Holistic Healing Fund
Since Chicago Beyond’s founding in 2016, human relatedness and healing has always been at the core of the work. We have participated in peace circles and advocated for restorative justice models. We have worked to bring together children and incarcerated parents. Healing has been included holistically in many of our investments. At Chicago Beyond we believe that all young people deserve the opportunity to live their fullest human potential. This includes the opportunity to be well, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and socially. We know that the combination of disinvestment and structural racism has create condition that take away those opportunities, in some cases showing up as traumatic experiences for our young people.
Healing is even more critical in this time, both for young people and adults who support our young people, their families, and our communities.
The Chicago Beyond Healing Fund will allow us to support the wellbeing of Chicago’s youth and communities in the face of trauma, disinvestment, racism, etc., and allow all of us to collective heal. Healing holistically is what will allow our young people freedom to reach their fullest life potential.
DEFINITION OF HOLISTIC HEALING
Healing has not been addressed in a comprehensive and holistic way. There is healing that supports mental health and wellness, healing that supports gun violence and domestic trauma, and healing that addresses systemic racial inequities. Chicago Beyond’s definition of holistic healing is multi-faceted. Holistic healing is about addressing various forms of harm done to our young and communities, ranging from physical, emotional, intellectual and structural harms. Holistic healing from physical harm is healing from wounds and body trauma from generational gun violence. Healing from emotional harm is healing from mental suffering, distress, psychological trauma from generational hopelessness and disinvestments. Intellectual harm is healing from the existing narratives that paint our communities negatively. Structural harm is healing from existing systemic racism and discriminatory policies that practices that prevent our communities from reaching basic needs. While these four types of harm are highlighted, we also recognize the many pathways to healing, and the ability for individuals to define for themselves for their individual, relationship, and collective well-being. Healing can be done by and with people, all in it together, as opposed to “for” people.
TWO DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO HEALING
Brandon Breaux is a fine artist and designer. In 2019, Brandon launched the Invsbl-Space, a gallery and multiuse space on 85th & Cottage Grove that exists to creatively challenge the pre-existing narrative around "underserved" communities. He is widely known for having designed all three of Chance the Rapper’s album covers, and his recent work highlights the intersectionality of mental health and creative arts.
Solutions and Resources
Tanya Lozano is the Founder of Healthy Hood Chicago, a nonprofit fitness and dance studio that educates and trains students and residents in South and West Side neighborhoods about healthy eating, exercise, and preventative care. Healthy Hood offers affordable fitness classes and workshops, and provides free, fresh produce to community members from its onsite garden.
COMMITMENT TO HEALING
The Holistic Healing Fund is Chicago Beyond’s commitment to healing. Healing is often times overlooked. Chicago Beyond intentionally investing in healing or with healing as the outcome is not a new approach, but the commitment for a fund with the primary focus on healing is. Chicago Beyond’s Healing Fund will invest in individuals, organizations, systems, and narrative shifts for healing. We remain committed to investing in individuals and leaders of color who are providing direct healing services to those in their respective communities. We are committed to investing in in community organizations with a healing approach that empowers those served. We are committed to investing in shifting narratives that can help influence perspectives, perceptions, and behaviors around healing, and what it means to be fully healed. We are committed to investing in systems and infrastructure that would shift funding to more healing initiatives for our young people and communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic, along with negative economic impacts, continued gun violence, racialized and civil unrest, have added stress and complexities to community-led work. As a result, healing is even more critical during this time period, both for young people, and the adults who support them, their families, and our communities. Our focus on healing is not “new,” it has been a part of Chicago Beyond’s DNA since its inception. However, our focus on healing is deepened and made more explicit through this Healing Fund, as one way we can contribute during this time and onwards.
Actions you can take
If you would like to apply a holistic healing method to your own actions here are quick points you can follow.
OUR HISTORY OF HEALING WORK
Healing has been at the root of Chicago Beyond’s work since its launch.
2016 Fenger High School
Prior to 2016: Fenger High School (Turnaround driver: holistically supporting students’ wellness (e.g. CARE teams, culture & climate changes, restorative justice, resources like Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools)2016
2017: Healing Hurt People – Chicago
- Invested in HHP-C since victims of violence need to more than physically heal; it uses a trauma-informed approach to support victims so they can fully heal
- Invested in Dr. Nneka Tapia to support her vision to promote greater mental wellness for Chicago’s young people (e.g., piloted mental wellness curriculum at an options school)
2018: Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN)
- Partnered with IMAN to support healing of the Chicago Lawn community (e.g., health clinic, ceramics, food justice efforts)