Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. – James Baldwin
~2017 Call to Healing Summit ~
“Kasserian Ingera?” (“How are the Children?”)
Among the most accomplished and fabled tribes of Africa, no tribe was considered to have warriors fiercer or more intelligent than the mighty Maasai. It is perhaps surprising, then, to learn the traditional greeting that passed between Maasai warriors: “Kasserian Ingera.” It means, “And how are the children?” It is still the traditional greeting among the Maasai, acknowledging the high value that they always place on their children’s well-being. Even warriors with no children of their own would always give the traditional answer, “All the children are well.”
A Call To Healing Summit: How Are The Children?
In the tradition of the Maasai warriors, picture a world where peace and safety prevail and the priorities of protecting the young and the powerless are in place. Please join the BMHA as we explore the trauma and psychological toll of racism on our children, the people, and systems that nurture them and the communities in which they reside.
National and local thought leaders will guide us through this journey as we move closer to: “All the children are well!”
The Black Mental Health Alliance for Education & Consultation, Inc. (BMHA) has heard the cries of underserved communities over the years and has attempted to address those needs and make a difference. BMHA is committed to working to address the root causes and toxic levels of stress in the community which includes dealing with present and historical racial trauma.
BMHA has taken action to initiate the first step toward healing which is acknowledging the racial trauma and stress that we are under and work to understand how it affects our feelings, our thinking and our actions. In doing so, BMHA is inviting national thought leaders to share their research on historical race-based trauma.
Patricia A. Newton, M.D., MPH, M.A. (Begins speaking at 3:25)
(Nana Dr. Akosua Akyaa)
Psychiatrist, Behavioral Scientist, Healer, Author, Activist
Mental health professionals are beginning to come forward with research and statistics showing the declining mental health situation for black children. the societal conditions for there to be a school to prison pipeline for youth is stronger than it has ever been. Inter-generational transmission of the parents’ trauma and behavioral response to that trauma to their children is an indicator of where we are headed as a community. Understanding this psychological toll can be the key to liberating ourselves from it.
A number of community-level strategies are emerging to address community trauma and promote community healing and resilience. The most effective strategies build on the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of those that live and work in the community to produce strategies that are culturally relevant and appropriate. This panel will share their work and success in the areas of youth development, violence prevention and health promotion programs that build on existing community assets and are dependent on community members and organizations that connect individual children, youth and adults to a supportive community.
(Three-person joint panel begins at 3:30)
Founder and Minister-of-Operation,
Pan-African Liberation Movement
Director of Baltimore Youth Organizing Project
Student at Morgan State University
D. Watkins (Begins speaking at 1:15)
Author and Professor
Developing resilience and strength based initiatives and not deficit based models creates space for acknowledging the existing talents and abilities of our young people. Black children’s resilience can be enhanced by their participation in family, school, cultural, faith based, and extracurricular and community-centered activities. Resiliency is increased when children feel their contributions to the group are valued, meaningful and appreciated. Participants on this panel will share culturally competent skills for the child and the village to strengthen a young person’s self-esteem, self-value, and self-worth.
Featuring: Larry C. Simmons (Begins speaking at 3:40)
Project Manager for ReCast/B-CIITY,
Maternal and Child Health, Baltimore City Health Department
David C. Miller (Begins speaking at 10:40)
Author, Founder of Dare to be King Project, LLC
Dr. Stacey Patton (Begins speaking at 24:45)
Author, Assistant Professor at Morgan State University
Panel Participants will examine the school to prison pipeline to understand the role of poverty, inequity, and exclusion in the promotion of academic failure; consider the trauma-related trajectories unique to race, gender, and poverty; and, discuss how the principle of African cultural practices, rituals, and trauma-informed service delivery systems can be applied to improve Black student engagement and academic outcomes to reroute the pipeline.
Dr. Andre Bundley (Begins speaking at 13:15)
Director of Alternative Option Programs and Schools
at Baltimore City Public Schools
Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead (Begins speaking at 31:15)
Author, Associate Professor at Loyola University Maryland
Dr. Lisa Williams (Begins speaking at 48:15)
Executive Director of Equity and Cultural Proficiency
for the Baltimore County Public School System