Our approach to building healthy networks for BYMOC will involve preparing individuals, families, organizations and institutions to face the power of the humanity of BYMOC, apply culturally-responsive programming to identify historically-driven trauma experiences, and record and share diverse examples of health transformation. Standing on the shoulders of previous Forward Promise grantees, the new NPO will carry on the work of healthy village-making.
Research reveals that historical and contemporary oppression, discrimination, and poverty have led to negative physical, mental and emotional health outcomes across life-spans and generations (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014). Dehumanization is a core dynamic that plagues many health promotion and recovery problems in our society. Through histories of colonization and racism, BYMOC have faced significant hardships that have led to the creation and perpetuation of historical, spiritual, cultural, social, emotional, and physical traumas. These effects impact the systems, such as educational, justice, health and employment systems, with which BYMOC interact on a daily basis.
Recognizing the humanity of BYMOC would seem at first to be a given – not needing explanation, justification, or promotion. Unfortunately, appreciating the humanity of BYMOC is a struggle for many people who interact with them from preschool through young adulthood, as well as many BYMOC themselves. Improving the quality of how systems and their personnel relate to BYMOC can reduce trauma reactions and improve their health in areas of learning, resilience, self-care, help-seeking, social mobility and even sleep (Winn, Iruka, Buansi, McKinney, & Stevenson, 2012; Stevenson, 2014).
The Forward Promise NPO will target culturally-responsive healing promotion solutions that lead to healing, growth, and thriving in the lives of BYMOC as defined by their communities. Defining a healthy village may differ across the diverse communities of BYMOC.