Kente Circle offers conference on ‘Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma’

The year 2016 has been a year of significant toxic and traumatic stress for Black people. We have been bombarded with adversity, joy, frustration, and pride from multiple angles all year.

If we are to be honest, this is nothing new to our collective experience since we have been in America. However, the year of 2016 has brought forth different traumaticJegna responses that we have not seen in quite a while. What we are experiencing is what has recently been termed “Racial Trauma.”

Racial trauma has been defined as how racism and discrimination negatively impact the physical and mental health of people of color. Many organizations are attempting to address and find solutions to the damage of racial trauma. Kente Circle is one local example of a quality mental healthcare provider that serves communities of color as a method to combat the trauma.

Kente Circle is currently led by Larry G. Tucker, LMFT (2016 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow) and it has a clinically diverse staff with professional training in marriage and family therapy, psychology, and social work. They are proud of their staff’s cultural and ethnic diversity, which has over 80 years of combined experience in the social service field.

The name Kente Circle evolved from a process that was facilitated by people in the community with a goal and desire to examine and illuminate the connectedness between individuals, families and communities.

On September 29 and 30, Kente Circle is offering a conference to continue their efforts to serve the community in an effective manner. The conference, entitled “Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma,” will feature Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy, Ms. Vanessa Jackson, Dr. AJ Franklin, and one of the Black psychology pioneers, Dr. Joseph White.

The conference has a number of objectives for participants. First, it aims to increase understanding of the impact racism has on our community, the people we work with, and ourselves. The conference will also provide skills and concepts to increase participants’ capacity to address the issue of racial trauma.

Overall, the goal is to inspire participants to take action towards dismantling forces that promote and maintain the systems that negatively affect communities of color. This is a communal effort that will directly address a major stressor facing the Black community: racism.

We cannot negate the fact the racism is a root factor in the dysfunctional state of the Black community. We will not be able to reach our fullest potential collectively without addressing the traumatic psychological effects of racism on us all.

Racism’s psychological toll exacts high prices at the cost of the entire community. Our pain extends beyond police shootings and murders. Our pain comes in many forms and from many angles. However, our children cannot afford to continue to develop under such conditions.

It is up to you and me to be honest and take action to make the rest of our lives and those of our children full of enjoyment and justice. Kente Circle’s conference is planned to just be one step of many to ensure this happens. Be sure to be there and bring someone you care about.

The conference is a two-day opportunity to network and build key skills to combat one of the most pressing issues facing our community. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available for most professionals.

Register for the conference at Kente Circle’s website:

Brandon Jones M.A. is a mental health practitioner. He welcomes reader responses to or follow him on twitter @UniversalJones.