Black Survival and Wellness
"Healing for Black folx, Accountability for Non-Black folx"
*Please note: 2022 was our last A4BL but the work does not stop and some of your favorite trainers and healers can be found at the WELLS Healing Center.*
Academics for Black Survival and Wellness (A4BL) is a personal and professional development initiative for Non-Black academics to honor the toll of racial trauma on Black people, resist anti-Blackness and white supremacy, and facilitate accountability and collective action. A4BL also is a space for healing and wellness for Black people.
A4BL was launched in the Summer of 2020 on Juneteenth in response to the countless murders of Black people at the hands of white supremacy.
The initiative began as a week long initiative and call to action for academics to support and be accountable to Black liberation. With over 10,000 participants from across the world, the initiative provided Non-Black participants with training materials to make actionable change to address anti-Black racism in their personal lives and academia. Black participants were provided with virtual community wellness events to build their coping and resistance toolkit.
After a successful week and requests for more, we “rewinded and remixed” the original materials for new and returning participants for 21-days in August and hosted A4BL for two weeks each Juneteenth in 2021 and 2022.
Now, A4BL participants are implementing what they learned and addressing anti-Black racism in academia and beyond. Our website is filled with healing resources for Black folx and information about anti-racist training and accountability for Non-Black folx.
Academics for Black Survival and Wellness was organized by a group of Black counseling psychologists and their colleagues who practice Black allyship. Guided by a Black feminist frame, we hope to foster accountability and growth for non-Black people and enhance healing and wellness for Black people.
Academics cannot stay silent about anti-Black racism. Academics cannot remain silent in the face of racial injustice. Everyone needs to do their part.
Goals and Objectives
(1) Deepen your understanding of the history and deep-rooted nature of anti-Black racism in the U.S.
Every current disparity and statistic you see about Black people has a historical root. Those roots extend deep into our current systems, which maintain and perpetuate outcomes that act as barriers to Black wellness. We will offer opportunities for you to better understand them.
(2) Understand your personal relationship to white supremacy and anti-Black racism.
All academics in the U.S. are socialized in white supremacy. Because of this socialization, it is imperative you can recognize and lean into the psychological resistance that comes up as it relates to understanding and engaging in work related to anti-Black racism and white supremacy. We will provide material for reflection to help you understand these processes and how you may contribute to or perpetuate them.
(3) Reflect on the personal impact you have on the Black people in your immediate environmental context.
It is important to pause and center your attention on your relationships with Black people. We will provide an organizing framework for you to consider these relationships and how to be increasingly accountable within them.
(4) Develop a personalized plan to enhance the safety and wellness of Black students, staff, faculty, alums, and community members through your academic roles.
Exploring your academic roles, your academic skills, and your preparedness to address anti-Black racism using your unique skills is a key task for an academic seeking to facilitate Black wellness. We will encourage reflection and strategic planning to help you consider and develop a plan of action.
(5) Take action that includes time, energy, financial resources, and accountability until Black liberation is realized.