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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | U.S. | Racial Justice
Universal Alignment ~ A New Way Forward ~ December 3, 2012
Overlooking the Hudson River, high above New York skyline, at the home of Susan Taylor I was introduced to Cares Mentoring Movement, 2008. On Friday, December 3rd 2010, a standing-room-only crowd of over 400 turned out for the inaugural gathering of A New Way Forward: Healing What's Hurting Black America. Attendees were moved by the inspirational testimony from both young people and adults about the critical need for Black mentors in our communities, and the even greater call for each of us to take the responsibility to heal ourselves. At the State of the Black World Conference III, November 15, 2012, I listened to the passion and urgency of Susan Taylor desire for a unity plan of alignment. December 3, 2012 universal alignment is here, marking recalibration of a new way forward, healing what is hurting Black America. A renaissance of Black Agriculture producers will nurture the soil toward a higher spiritual vibration in our sacred ethnic specialty crops,; staple fruits, vegetables and grains. Universal alignment seen.
Like you, I ache over the state of emergency in Black America: that we able adults are allowing our vulnerable young to fall. That we are leaving outside our sanctuary doors "the least of these." That legions of our children are without textbooks, art and technology training in failing schools. That 85 percent of Black fourth-graders read below grade level and a million Black males are on lockdown. That there is no strategic alliance among Black leaders, no agreed-upon agenda. That we're so stressed, moving fast, but losing ground in every quarter critical to Black progress.
We have no time to waste. The work is ours to do, and the call to action is now! In 2009, the National CARES Mentoring Movement organized an intergenerational group of some of the finest minds to create a consciousness-changing curriculum we called A New Way Forward: Healing What’s Hurting Black America. Published in December of 2010, our vision then, as it remains, is to anchor Black people solidly in our Highest Self, and help us heal our hurt, depression and self-denial, which is rarely named or recognized but has been internalized over generations and today prevents us from caring well for ourselves and our vulnerable young. A New Way Forward is for our transformation.
Working for a year with committed community and faith leaders in Oakland, California, we brought to life the teaching of our curriculum in a series of pilot trainings we will now be taking nationwide—into faith institutions and schools, onto military bases for children of deployed parents—and anywhere the community calls for healing. Our deeply held belief is that if we are to reclaim and restore our children, we must be brave enough to reclaim and restore ourselves. With all we have witnessed and borne, African Americans need and deserve a safe place to heal and achieve wellness for our body, mind and spirit.
This is the A New Way Forward mission: an initiative here to help revitalize us, to heal the incalculable damage done to us by more than three centuries of slavery, Jim Crow practices and racism. It is to root in us what our ancestors knew: No matter how rough the course, we must believe the promise. We are not at the mercy of outside forces. Our power resides where it has always been-within us, with our God and in unity.