ALLI-PAS Healing Circle: Coming Together With Ancestors, Ourselves, and Each Other

The Afro-Latinx/Latinx/Indigenous People’s Action Subcommittee (ALLI-PAS) at Saint Mary’s recognizes that the Latinx, Asian American, and Black communities have been hit hard by COVID in various systemic and personal ways. Additionally, ALLIPAS recognizes that the Black community has been devastated by systemic racism and police brutality. Realizing that members of its community need a space to heal and acknowledge the suffering experienced over the past year, ALLI-PAS, in partnership with the the College Community on Inclusive Excellence, the Asian Pacific American Student Association, and the Native American and Indigenous Student Association, will present an online Healing Circle: Coming Together With Ancestors, Ourselves, and Each Other on Friday, April 16, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. 

“This is an opportunity for our Saint Mary's community to share in healing practices as we navigate systemic inequity and the pandemic,” said Professor Cynthia Martinez, faculty co-chair of the group. “It is a chance for us to actively engage in decolonized healing as we root ourselves in Indigenous and Afro-Latinx practices and knowledge. We seek to uplift healing practices that have been erased through historically violent colonialism. We can co-create a decolonized healing space while honoring the experiences and narratives of marginalized Black, Afro-Latinx, Latinx and Indigenous communities.”

Put together by both undergraduate and graduate students, the event aims to decolonize each community’s healing practices while honoring its ancestors. “Our communities have experienced a great deal of trauma, and we want to create a space where we can give voice to that and express it,” said Daisy Cortez, staff co-chair of the event.

"The idea for this event came directly out of support for the members of ALLI-PAS who have been directly impacted by the pandemic,” said Annaliese Martinez ’21, the subcommittee’s student chair. “The Latinx community has been one of the groups hit the hardest by COVID, and when we hosted our annual symposium in the fall, we planned our theme “Love in the Time of Corona” with this in mind. Still, so many members of our community just needed a space to heal and acknowledge the great loss we've been experiencing for the past year. At the same time, there has been a rise in hate crimes against the Asian American community, and the Black community continues to face police violence and racial trauma. 

“Family and community are so important within Latinx culture,” Annaliese continued, “and not being able to gather with loved ones in times of mourning is difficult in itself. We hope that this can be an opportunity for our communities to come together and honor ancestral healing practices, form solidarity through dialogue, and find peace with each other.”

Guests for the event include  Noxtin Nomecayotzin (All My Relations) Education; SMC Professor Zahra Ahmed; a Bomba segment with Felicita "Lissy" Pedroza and Dizzy Jenkins; Healing Dialogue breakout groups facilitated by Professors Cynthia Martinez, Kristen Freeman, Luz Argelia Gomez, and Scarlette Charles, and students Annaliese Martinez; and finally DJ breaks and a mixer by DJ Sue Problema.

For more information and to join the Zoom meeting, click here.