At the Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference October 12-14, workshops will include subjects related to healing historical trauma and racial reconciliation.
Now in its 14th year, the event is moving to Kanuga Conference & Retreat Center in Hendersonville, NC.
Why include a focus on racial equity at an herbal conference? Southeast Wise Women Director Corinna Wood explains that the conference focuses on women’s health from a perspective of empowerment and self-love, which includes overcoming internalized oppression. “For women of color, day-to-day experiences of systemic racism, micro-aggressions, and internalized oppression add up to huge health-risk factors. Therefore, we consider the dynamics of racism an important aspect of women’s health to address, individually and collectively.”
One highlight of the weekend will come on Saturday, Oct. 13, when Racial Equity Institute director Deena Hayes-Greene and Monica Walker will present “Racial Atonement & Reconciliation,” a healing journey designed to function as “a process to make people whole again.”
As the organizers describe, “Issues and discussions about slavery and racism still often remain taboo in the American psyche. We have so divorced ourselves from the pain of remembering, that selective amnesia became second nature. What is our way out? It is back through. Born out of a dire need to address the residual effects of Post-Traumatic Slavery Disorder, this is a story that places the history of this nation in its truest perspective and offers an opportunity for all of us to understand the nature of the oppression inflicted upon generations of Africans in America.”
Saturday’s special program will be followed by a late-night concert, “The Women United Will Never Be Defeated,” with nationally renowned African drummer Ubaka Hill.
On Sunday morning, Oct. 14, Deena Hayes-Greene will lead an intensive program, “Racial Equity: A Groundwater Approach,” using stories and research data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature and is so normalized as to be almost invisible. As Hayes-Greene says, “It is hard to address a problem that we cannot see clearly or understand well. Yet, as a cross-system problem, we are all connected to these issues.” Participants will gain an understanding of the nature of structural racism, and how diagnosis determines treatment.
The weekend lineup of more than 50 classes on subjects related to herbs and women’s health includes the popular returning class “Herbs, Slavery, and the South,” with Angelique Sobande Greer. And “In Transcending Historical Trauma and Grief,” led by Patty Grant-Edgemon, participants learn how historical events continue to impact the lives of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation. “Acknowledging these traumas affects each person individually and the courage it will take to move beyond the trauma into forgiveness,” says Grant.
Asheville native Jacquelyn Hallum will also present “Know Better, Be Better,” based on Maya Angelou’s famous line, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Hallum says, “Let us reflect on our journey through our multi-ethnic society and look at micro-aggressions and implicit biases that impact people based on ‘isms’ while functioning on the premise that we are doing our best.”
For details on the 2018 herbal conference, visit the Southeast Wise Women website at www.sewisewomen.com.