13 Blackness & Belonging — Prentis Hemphill

Today we’re talking with Prentis Hemphill, former Healing Justice Director of the Black Lives Matter Network. We talk about the ways anti-Blackness shapes all of us to deny our own humanity, the role of shame, how we heal so we can give our unique contribution, avoidance, the Black Lives Matter Healing in Action toolkit, how healers are real people with limitations who aren’t better than anybody else, and belonging as a decision we make, not an external condition.

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About our guest

Prentis Hemphill is healer, Somatics practitioner, teacher, writer and organizer who works at the intersections of healing and justice. As the former Healing Justice Director at Black Lives Matter, Prentis committed to supporting and nurturing the brilliant strategies of organizers and healers to address trauma, move through conflict and center wholeness in the BLM network and in the broader movement for Black freedom and liberation.

Prentis continues their ongoing work as a teacher of somatics and personal transformation with Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD), a training program for Black organizers throughout the US, and with generative somatics, which is focused on bringing a politicized Somatics practice to movement building organizations. Prentis has worked for years with communities developing transformative responses to violence and envisioning new ways of being together, including work with generationFIVE and Communities United Against Violence.

Prentis is committed to transformation on the cellular level and the belief that who we are and how we are in our most intimate spaces is vital for our collective liberation.

Resources from this episode

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network

Black Emotional and Mental Health Project

Dignity and Power Now in Los Angeles

Healing in Action: A Toolkit for Black Lives Matter Healing Justice & Direct Action

Practice: Reflection on Belonging

Check out the accompanying practice to hear Prentis lead you through cultivating a sense of belonging within yourself that is untouchable by external conditions. It is a political act to claim a belonging and dignity that cannot be threatened by inequality or oppression, and am emotionally empowering act to resource ourselves with this very real human need to know we belong. You don’t need anything except a quiet space for this practice.

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