Healing is a necessary yet neglected aspect of the human experience. While many people heal in different ways, most healing comes through either a spiritual base, self-realization, or all the above. All it took was one Detroit social justice educator to tap into the power of youth through words and expression. From there, students from Detroit Collegiate High School founded the nonprofit organization, “Detroit Heals Detroit.”
Detroit Heals Detroit exists for youth to “transform their pain into power.” They also combat trauma, another overlooked emotional component, so the youth of Detroit can be free to operate at maximum capacity. “Forbidden Tears” is the name of the project that also sparked the creation of Detroit Health Detroit. The narrative-focused concept allowed students to freely express themselves and be vulnerable through their words.
The Board of Directors is comprised mostly of Detroit youth and the Youth Advisory Council. They work in tandem to push Detroit Heals Detroit forward. “Our overall goal is to build access for our peers: access to healing, access to literacy, access to liberation and access to new possibilities,” says Detroit Heals Detroit President Brianna Donald. “We hope to raise the level of literacy while simultaneously healing the system, truly giving our trauma a purpose.”
Detroit Heals Detroit is hosting an Inaugural gala for youth and adults. “Sincerely Detroit” is the theme of the celebration. The theme is symbolic of a love note to Detroit from the youth of Detroit. There will be poetry, vocal and dances performances, and several youths in attendance will receive awards.
The Inaugural Healing Justice Gala will take place on February 17, 2020, from 6 PM to 10 PM at The Pareik Gallery in Southfield, MI. For more information, please visit detroithealsdetroit.org.