Social Change from the Inside Out!
The complex issues facing young people in communities of color require a new strategy in schools and community organizations. Nicole Lee, Executive Director of Urban Peace Movement in Oakland California commented that we often think of social change occurring from the top down, (i.e. government programs), or from the bottom up (i.e. grassroots community organizing). However, the conditions in urban communities of color also require that we address the long-term exposure to social trauma. This means social change from the inside out by working on self-transformation, healing, hopefulness and fostering a general wellbeing. By and large, these spaces do not exist in urban schools and community organizations, as we now know it. As a result, their absence has been the Achilles Heel of modern organizing’s effort to engage constituencies in a deeper way. Inside out social change simply means examining both the root causes of barriers to building effective, healthy and vibrant communities, and focusing on caring for our individual mental and physical health. Healing justice advocates examine the process that contributes to individual well-being, community health, and broader social justice.
What do you social justice, youth workers think?