The Way Forward: A Webcast Series on Disrupting Dehumanization
As communities of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, we were hit with the stark reminder that another pandemic has been mutating in America for centuries. The successive, dehumanizing deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd bring to light the negative narratives, policies, and practices that impact people of color.
The five-part webcast series, The Way Forward, is designed to foreground the concept of dehumanization as the foundation for systemic racism and racial trauma. Forward Promise is convening experts from direct service organizations and youth-serving systems (like education and family services) to discuss what dehumanization looks like in these arenas and how we can substantively disrupt dehumanization for boys and young men of color (BYMOC) and their communities. Each episode addresses one of the five dimensions of dehumanization and presents solutions that affirm the humanity of BYMOC.
What is dehumanization? It is the persistent invalidation of humanity through perceptions or actual treatment. At the center of dehumanization is the pervasive idea that people of color do not need, and are not worthy of, basic human dignities. Dehumanization threatens the healthy development of BYMOC and their communities. The better we understand the five dimensions of dehumanization—historical, cultural/spiritual, social, emotional, and physical—the better equipped we will be to help BYMOC to heal, grow, and thrive.