Artist Resmaa Menakem launches new book, gallery exhibit and album to inspire action on racial justice

Community elders gave Resmaa Menakem his name approximately 20 years ago and merely a decade after he began his path as a mental health therapist. His name reflects his calling as a healer with Resmaa meaning “to cause to rise in the alignment of truth” and Menakem meaning “using the foundation of his people” in the Kemetic language. Menakem believes that he “came to this planet as a healer,” and remembers that his mother noted his affinity for helping people in his youth. After 30 years of working as a therapist with people with severe handicaps, abused children and others, he has now released another book to aid with healing and show the truth in his name. Menakem’s book, titled “My Grandmother’s Hands: Radicalized Trauma and the Pathways to Mending our Hearts and Bodies,” dropped in September 2017 with the audio version due out Dec. Continue Reading

Community Voices: Why choosing ‘with respect to’ instead of ‘regardless of’ can change underlying meaning

I have to admit that I don’t like the use of “regardless of” when it comes to talking about resources, opportunities and all those things that people should have just and equitable access to. What I mean are statements like “everyone should have access to employment regardless of their race, gender, ability, etc.” “Regardless of,” in those instances, seems to perpetuate that sort of colorblind/genderblind/blind-to-whatever state of mind. I mean, the phrase is literally saying that people’s identities, experiences, etc, should not be regarded when thinking of how resources, opportunities and whatnot are allocated – that everyone is “treated the same.” The thing is – and I’m only about the millionth person to say this – people’s needs and desires aren’t all uniform. Continue Reading