The Voices of Healing project is a multigenerational community-engaged project committed to exploring the relationship between activism, mental health, and healing among Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other racially marginalized youth across the Colorado Front Range.
The interdependence of youth voice, agency, and mental health is increasingly recognized by educators, researchers, and youth activists. Although experiences of activism and voice can foster well-being, they can also take an emotional toll, including stress, anxiety, and backlash. We recognize that young people are seeking strategies to take care of themselves while they simultaneously work towards social change, consistent with an approach many are calling healing justice.
Our project aims to contribute value to the broader ecosystem of youth organizations engaged in healing justice work in the Front Range and develop resources with young people so that they can walk away with their own tools and strategies for healing. To do this, we have been meeting with community organizations and organizers engaged in this work. We also launched an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) project to explore these issues with Students of Color on the CU campus.
Figure 1. Word cloud of terms discussed in conversations with organizational partners