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Crosscurrents

Can we really achieve racial healing? Aeeshah Clottey says yes

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Aeeshah and Kokomon Clottey of Oakland's Attitudinal Healing Connections.

 

Aeeshah Clottey grew up black in segregated Louisiana. Her journey has taken her from the black church to the Nation of Islam, living in between the painful racial divides in the country — and always trying to find ways to mend our deep social wounds.

In the early 80s, Clottey came across the spiritual teachings of psychiatrist Gerald Jampolsky, and his mental-health philosophy of "Attitudinal Healing."

 

It intrigued Clottey and when she opened a center for children with life-threatening disease, she used the concept to help them. That experience inspired her to consider how attitudinal healing could also help mend racial wounds. In 1989 she co-founded Attitudinal Healing Connections in Oakland, and has been working there ever since.

 

So how does it work?

 

"I think that we have an opportunity now. Because everybody is talking about race. Everybody is talking about language. Everybody is talking about differences. So now it's like ok — what are we going to do about it. So this is the time to really implement those [healing] circles. Because I think we've got everyone's ear."

Click the audio player above to listen to the full interview.