Journal of Genocide Studies and Prevention Special Issue: Mass Atrocity and Collective Healing
This Special Issue brings together five articles from different disciplines. It aims to contribute to the emergent critical voices in research about collective trauma and collective healing by introducing novel perspectives and inviting further debates on the relevant issues evoked. For this reason, the Special Issue focuses on collective healing through a number of prisms. First, it delves into the notions of wounding and trauma, with a view to advance a well-argued theoretical framework for understanding collective healing. Second, it identifies underlying ethical pillars for collective healing, especially the principles of equality and well-being that affirm human dignity founded on our intrinsic non-instrumental value as persons. Third, it interrogates one of the deeply seated root causes of transatlantic slavery, and establishes a connection between capitalist expansion and systematic subjugation of human beings to brutal forces for the sake of materialistic production and wealth accumulation. Thus, this Special Issue attempts to survey historical dehumanisation in some of the mass atrocities, probe their continued legacies in contemporary societies in Africa, Europe, and the Americas, and highlight some of the political, psycho-social and grassroots approaches to collect healing in various contexts. In doing so, it further reflects on the conceptual, methodological and structural challenges involved when moving towards collective healing.
UNESCO Webinar Series: Opening Session 3rd APRIL 2023 16.00 Paris Time / 15.00 London Time
The UNESCO Routes of Enslaved Peoples Project and the Global Humanity for Peace Institute, University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD), are jointly hosting an exciting international webinar series entitled: New Perspectives on Healing, Justice and Well-Being.
In this opening session to be held on Monday 3rd April on Zoom, Mrs Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, will be joined by Professor Medwin Hughes, the Vice Chancellor of UWTSD, to introduce the series.
The keynote speaker for this session is Zeinab Badawi, the award-winning international TV and Radio journalist who has worked on a major 20-part TV series on the History of Africa.
Following the keynote presentation, Mrs Gabriela Ramos and Ms Zeinab Badawi will dialogue about UNESCO’s Routes of Enslaved Peoples project and the significance of learning from the history of Africa, including exploring the importance of giving voice to people of African descent, and valorising their culture and contributions to modern societies.
There will be simultaneous translation in English, French, and Spanish.
Keynote Speaker: Zeinab Badawi
Zeinab Badawi a BA Hons in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a post-graduate degree in history (awarded with a distinction) from SOAS, London University. She has worked extensively in the British media for four decades, and is best known for her work in the BBC’s international division at BBC World News TV and BBC World Service Radio on programmes such as ‘Hard Talk’, and ‘Global Questions’.
Zeinab is President of SOAS, London University, a member of the International Advisory Boards of think-tanks Afro-Barometer and the Mandela Institute for Development Studies, a member of the high-level panel of the Africa Europe Foundation, a board member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a council member of the Arts, Humanities and Research Council of UKRI, a director of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Royal Opera House and Hampstead Theatre in London, and she is a member of Italy’s annual Venice Seminar.
Zeinab was a member of the Rhodes Commission (2021) on the future of the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford. She has previously served on the boards of the British Council, BBC Media Action, the National Portrait Gallery, the Institute for Historical Research, the Overseas Development Institute and has been Chair of the Royal African Society and Article 19, the freedom of speech advocacy organisation. She was also on the advisory board of the Foreign Policy Centre.
Zeinab has received many media awards as well as honorary doctorates from SOAS, London University, York University, and the University of the Arts London; and she is an honorary fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford University. Other awards include the President’s Medal of the British Academy for her services to broadcasting and education, the UN Association-UK Sir Brian Urquhart award for distinguished service to broadcasting, education and the UN, and International TV Personality of the Year awarded by the Association of International Broadcasters.
Since 2021, the Healing the Wounds of Slavery project has been recognised as an important initiative of UNESCO Routes of Enslaved Peoples. This work focuses on advancing collective healing, social justice and global well-being. Therefore, we have decided to change the default website URL from ‘Healing the Wounds of Slavery’ to ‘Collective-Healing’.
Until this time, the UNESCO Routes of Enslaved Peoples Project dedicated last three decades to breaking the silence about the histories of transatlantic slavery, and encouraging our shared recognition of the continued intergenerational trauma, and the legacies of structural dehumanisation. Now it is time to introduce future-facing strategies that aim to engage global communities in collective healing.
Currently, the Collective Healing Initiative consists of four mutually reinforcing iterative processes:
1. Collective Healing, Social Justice and Global Well-Being:
- To launch intergenerational dialogue & inquiry pilots in communities in four continents and explore historical wounds connected to the legacies of slavery and colonialism.
- To invite and gather narratives of resilience and examples of indigenous knowledge, wisdom and practices of collective healing.
- To co-develop a bespoke Collective Healing Programme based on learnings from the inquiries.
- To pilot the programme in the community facilitated by women and youths.
2. Empowering Women and Youths:
- To establish an innovative UNESCO Future Leaders Academy
- To offer co-created transformative competences programmes for empowering women and youth facilitators – the driving forces of the bespoke collective healing programmes in different communities.
- To nurture, enable and support women and youths to become pillars of their communities who will collaborate in confronting systemic discrimination and intolerance in worldwide communities.
3. Research, Evaluation and developing UNESCO Policy Brief:
- To develop academic and interdisciplinary research for understanding and evaluating participating communities’ experiences of collective healing, well-being and regeneration.
- To analyse meaningful impacts across the different communities involved in the Project.
- To propose a UNESCO policy brief that characterises institutional conditions for social transformation.
4. Implementation and Dissemination:
- To improve and implement collective healing programmes in relevant communities.
- To mobilise NGOs and partners to provide continuous support to women and youth facilitators and offer leadership opportunities for them to introduce collective healing to wider societies.
- To distribute and share research findings and disseminate policy briefs and learnings through publications, webinars, and conferences.
11-12 May 2022 Int’l Symposium on African Endogenous Governance
“Revisiting Theories and Practices of Endogenous Governance in Africa” Co-Convened by Afrospectives and Global Humanity for Peace Institute took place on Zoom on 11-12 May 2022 at 14.00 – 18.00 UK (Summer) Time. Read about the Symposium below. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SYMPOSIUM FLYER.
Africa, the continent where humanity created its first communities, has always had rich philosophies, wisdom and praxis aimed at developing humanising systems of governance through regulating power, enriching social interactions, distributing resources fairly, and harmonising human’s relationships with nature and other non-human entities. Examples of this rich heritage include the political traditions of Ubuntu of the Bantu peoples, the Kurukan Fuga Charter of the Mandingos, the Xeer of Somalis, the Gacaca in Rwanda, the Gada of Oromos and the Madqa of the Afars, to name but a few. Africa is also home to incredibly diverse socio-political organisations ranging from multi-ethnic and multi-cultural empire structures to small homogeneous community formations. It is the continent par excellence where sophisticated methods of consensus-building, conflict transformation, and relational reconciliation have been elaborated.
More than 60 years after formal independence, the legacies of coloniality that have perpetuated the prejudices, toxic viewpoints and dehumanising behaviours inherited from colonial domination continue to shape the worldviews and imaginations of African decision-makers. In most African countries, political and institutional mimicry of the ruling classes has led to the emergence of fragile nation-states, unsustainable socio-political and economic structures and inappropriate governance policies, all based on Western paradigms. In this context, some countries such as Botswana, Rwanda and Somaliland, have initiated interesting experiments to revitalise indigenous and traditional values and practices in response to people’s needs.
To explore these significant examples of endogenous (vs. exogenous) government systems within the African continent, we are proposing an international symposium, co-convened by the think-tank Afrospectives and the Global Humanity for Peace Institute. The Symposium brought together high-level panellists who are African scholars, experts and practitioners, including:
- Scholars who have done research in the field of concrete systems of governance in Africa
- Experts who have studied policies and practices of traditional governance in Africa at all levels
- Thinkers who have been reflecting on the relevance of African endogenous humanist and political philosophies and their contribution to Africa and to humanity
The panellists and participants were invited to:
- Present the result of their field-research on endogenous systems of governance;
- Identify and discuss specificities and communalities and complementarities between different governance systems in Africa;
- Present and analysis examples of revitalisation and modernisation of traditional systems of governance to respond to current needs;
- Discuss the contribution that African endogenous visions and perspectives on governance could make to the current crisis;
- Define some guidelines for African countries willing to revitalize their indigenous systems of governance.
Together, the panellists and the participants will identify inclusive forms of community decision-making aimed at consensus building, especially those demonstrating respect for diversity, mutual listening, dialogue, and understanding. Practices highlighted are those rooted in values that are more deeply human, more communitarian, and more in tune with the spiritual nature of human life. Thus the examples to be explored can help re-envision the contribution of traditional African governance practices to the emergence of contemporary Africa approaches to democracy.
Read HERE about the speakers, their bios and the abstracts of their presentations.
Global Humanity for Peace Institute
On 18th November 2021, Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, and University of Wales (Trinity St David) jointly launched Global Humanity for Peace Institute. The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Medwin Hughes, and the Chairman of the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, Mr Sharif Istvan Horthy, will be leading the Institute’s Board of Directors. Scherto Gill has been appointed as the Institute’s inaugural Chair and Director. She will be facilitating its ongoing programmes and activities.
The following will be the focus of Global Humanity for Peace Institute:
- Fostering collective healing (including healing the wounds from past atrocities and the wounds of our planet), enriching community regeneration, and advancing social justice and global solidarity;
- Developing UNESCO Academy for empowering youth leadership, nurturing youth transformative competences and providing professional development opportunities to facilitators of collective healing and community regeneration;
- Harmonising holistic human well-being with our planet’s flourishing, and supporting the development of governance processes that are values-based, dialogue-centred, and well-being sensitive;
- Encouraging educational transformation and inspiring a culture of caring in educational institutions;
- Creating spaces for deep encounter, deep listening, and deep dialogue for engendering greater harmony amongst all that is.
All these activities will be closely aligned with UNESCO’s objectives.
Challenges for White Liberals – Rob Corcoran’s blog
In his most recent blog, Rob Corcoran asks: “Is it possible that the biggest obstacle to racial equity is white liberals who resist risking these privileges and who focus more on performative anti-racism and cultural battles?” He then investigates how structural racism in the US, such as unequal public education finances, and unconscious white supremacist ideologies are at root of challenges to true racial equity.
Read the full blog here: https://www.robcorcoran.org/2021/07/21/challenges-for-white-liberals/
26th May 2021 UNESCO Webinar: The Legacy of Slavery, Transgenerational Trauma & Collective Healing
At this exciting international event, the UNESCO Slave Route Project and the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace Research Institute (GHFP) brought together high-profile speakers and artists to launch “Healing the Wounds of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery: Approaches and Practices: A Desk Review.” This timely Report draws together the perspectives of researchers and practitioners to map major approaches to addressing the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery. It was the fruit of collaboration between an international team of researchers and practitioners, under the guidance of the UNESCO Slave Route Project and the GHFP Research Institute. The Report highlights the imperative to embark on a collective journey towards healing transgenerational trauma and the importance of systemic transformation.
Formally launching and disseminating this Report is an active response to UNESCO’s Global Call against racism. It will inspire the world to learn from the histories of slavery, acknowledge the harms of structural injustice and institutional racism, and promote inclusion, pluralism and intercultural dialogue.
Watch the recording of the UNESCO Launch event here:
Panel Dialogue: “Owning Slavery, Pursuing Justice, Seeking Reconciliation: Lessons from Georgetown and the U.S. Jesuits”
This is a panel dialogue that took place online on April 29, 2021. The background is that in 1838, the Jesuits sold 272 enslaved people, including men, women and children. This was the largest single sale of enslaved people in human history. Some of the proceeds were used to support the development of Georgetown University.
In 2015, Georgetown President John J. DeGioia established a Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, which led to dialogue with and apology to Descendants and key efforts to address the legacy of slavery and overcome racism at Georgetown, in Washington, and beyond. On March 15 of this year, U.S. Jesuits and descendant leaders announced the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation, which will support the educational aspirations of Descendants of Jesuit slaveholding and racial healing efforts in the United States.
At a time of national reckoning on racism and dialogue on how to pursue justice, this Initiative Dialogue explored personal, religious, and institutional responsibilities for the legacy of slavery and the reality of structural racism. The dialogue around institutional responses to enslavement has raised important questions, offered new possibilities for collaboration, and new paths forward for our nation and the U.S. Catholic Church.
Dr Joy DeGruy on How to Address the Legacy of trans-Atlantic slavery
In this A Narrative of Love conversation, the UNESCO Slave Route Project Advisor, Dr Joy DeGruy, explores what it feels for black African Americans to negotiate the multiple challenges of living in a racist society, including internalised racism, the learned helplessness, and structural dehumanisation. Dr DeGruy also highlights key elements that can move the society towards healing, at both personal and collective levels.
More importantly, Dr DeGruy offers pathways that individuals, organisations, and governments can embark on to repair, rebuild and restructure our common habitat through partaking in the mutuality of shared humanness. Thus we can all Be the Healing.
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