A Conversation about Healing Justice with Cara Page

CLASP held a conversation on on September 16th at 4:00 pm ET for a virtual conversation on healing justice with Cara Page. Cara spoke with CLASP’s Isha Weerasinghe about the importance of centering healing in social movements, how to holistically respond to generational trauma and oppression, and the connection between healing and liberation. This conversation is a part of our series centered on healing-centered liberation policy. Healing-centered liberation policy thinks beyond what is and demands what should be. It requires new decision-making structures, acknowledges failed and abandoned policies, and recognizes both historical harms and ongoing discrimination. Because our current mental health, education, and workforce development systems, among others, are steeped in historical and structural racism, we must reimagine how public policy can respond to inequity beyond our existing systems.

Cara and Isha will connect healing justice to this reimagining, affirming the need for healing in this new vision. Cara Page is a Black queer feminist cultural/memory worker, curator, and organizer. She is an architect of healing justice, which is deeply rooted in Black feminist traditions and shaped by Southern Black radical traditions. She is co-founder of the Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective and the former executive director of The Audre Lorde Project. She is currently building care, power, safety, and resistance strategies that she began co-organizing regionally and nationally at the 2007 U.S. Social Forum (USSF) in Atlanta and the 2010 USSF in Detroit at the Health & Healing Justice People’s Movement Assembly. As lead organizer and curator of her new project, Changing Frequencies, she is building an archival/memory and cultural change project to intervene on generational trauma, centering the Medical Industrial Complex. She is a recent recipient of the Soros Equality Fellowship (2019-2020) and an ‘Activist in Residence’ at the Barnard Research Center for Women to elevate this work. Learn more at https://carapage.co and follow her @changingfrequencies.

Isha Weerasinghe is a senior policy analyst focused on mental health and works on CLASP’s youth team. She leads work on the effects of CLASP’s issue areas on individuals’ mental health, with a specific focus on youth, young adults, and mothers. Ms. Weerasinghe previously worked as the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Association for Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), where she focused on the intersections of how Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA&NHPIs) can better access linguistically concordant and culturally appropriate care. She has done extensive coalition work and policy advocacy on the impacts of hepatitis B in the United States. Isha has a bachelor of in arts degree in biology from Bryn Mawr College and a master of science degree in health policy and demography from the London School of Economics and Political Science.