Social Justice: Articles by Mary Szczepanski

Opportunities for Healing Self and Others and Creating Authentic Communities

It was good to see the signatures of Lisa Anselme and Joel Anderson on the energy healers’ statement of support for ending racism, shortly after the George Floyd killing.

The global response to this killing at first seemed unexpected, frightening, and out of control. For those who experienced centuries of devastation from many forms of racism, and others who choose to see that oppression for what it is, this state of affairs was easily anticipated.

Under the protection of white privilege, we as whites can go about our lives, our professions, recreation, and other activities without paying any attention to the pain, threats and daily humiliation experienced by Blacks, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) of all ages, religions, socioeconomic levels, in all areas of life.

Fortunately, these events have brought forth an explosion of information and have provided a time of amazing breakthroughs. Black voices so often discouraged or silenced by threats of violence or loss of jobs or loss of friendships for speaking out – are available for us to hear in all forms of media: TV, movies, documentaries, books, audiobooks, newspapers, magazine articles, webinars and other social media.

Many whites are stepping into roles as allies in teaching about white privilege, racism, why Black lives matter, and what is microaggression. We need to help each other understand that racism is not just about saying mean things to people of color. Racism is so deeply imbedded in our institutions, that we don’t even see it. Many laws, ordinances, policies, practices and assumptions lead to whites having an advantage and people of color having a disadvantage for example, in housing, education, banking, credit, legal issues, voting, and many things that we take for granted.

Mostly, we are not at fault, but it is our responsibility. The first step we can take as whites is to learn what it means to be white and to have white privilege. Books like White Fragility by Robin Diangelo and Waking Up White by Debbie Irving are excellent resources. These books help whites understand how our strong identification as good people that is, not racist (because we don’t make racist comments) is directly in the way of seeing how we participate in systemic racism.

The good news is that we have many skills that can be used for making changes and having deeper, more authentic connections with others. In energy healing we hone our skills for understanding hidden agendas and holding energy for the truth to come out while gently supporting clients. We can listen well to those experiencing oppression, and not get defensive when we get feedback about our behavior. We can also support each other as we work through learning about white privilege, remembering mistakes we make in not speaking up. As white, we need to recover our own capacity to feel compassion, grief, and anger, for example when we watch someone getting murdered for real on video cams.

We have seen miracles in our lives and the healing work we do. We know impossible changes can occur. We can envision a future where all people are treated well and mistakes are not hidden. We have our cherished energetic tools and have learned healing disciplines. Maybe this is why we are here now at this time - to be part of this evolution.

It has already begun. In Asheville, North Carolina, the city passed a resolution to apologize to Black residents for the city’s role in slavery, discriminatory housing practices, and other racist policies throughout its history; and to provide reparations to its Black residents in the form of increasing minority home and business ownership, career opportunities… and more. This monumental action is a model for possibilities elsewhere. It also reinforces what can be done when people are willing to do the right thing.

(Much of the education about racism for whites is best done by whites. People of color have been trying to give us this information for centuries, at great peril to themselves and not much effect. I am offering the Ending Racism Book Group free as one way for us to begin educating ourselves. Learn more about the Book Group here.)

"Opportunities for Healing Self and Others and Creating Authentic Communities" was first published in "Perspectives", a newsletter published by Healing Beyond Borders.

Fiction by Mary Szczepanski

A Path of Healing For the adolescent reader. The unusual story of a teen's perilous coming of age. Gear up with Megan, grouchy teenage rebel, healer in the making, & just a hair's breadth away from true disaster in the remote Alaska wilderness. Learn more...
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Strands Shifting politics, global warming, & rapid social change across the globe set the stage for this futuristic tale. Take one young intuitive healer, add enhanced DNA, precocious friends & puzzled families. Mix well...if you can. This healer must remember where she came from to solve the riddle of her life. Learn more...
In Juneau? Buy it from Mary
Get it from Kindle or print