"Healing Justice" Project Receives Grant

December 16, 2019

From the Seattle University Newsroom

"This College of Arts and Sciences project will explore an assortment of frameworks and practices that offer holistic recovery from the psycho-spiritual and physical health consequences of oppression-linked health threats.

Seattle University’s College of Arts and Sciences has received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support, “Healing Justice: Emergent Wellbeing Practices in Social Movements for Racial and Gender Justice,” a research project led by Rachel E. Luft, PhD, associate professor of Sociology. The $249,500 grant funds the research through Oct. 31, 2021.

This project explores healing justice, an assortment of frameworks and practices that offer holistic recovery from the psycho-spiritual and physical health consequences of oppression-linked health threats. Composed of an eclectic mix of emotional and spiritual interventions—e.g. trauma work, ancestral practices, and somatic therapies—it recognizes the inextricability of wellbeing and justice. Seeking both individual and movement sustainability, healing justice is transforming movements in the process. “Healing Justice” examines the promise and unintended perils of this emergent phenomenon.

An activist-scholar, Luft’s primary areas of research specialization are race, gender, intersectionality, and social movements. For years following Hurricane Katrina, which struck while she was teaching at the University of New Orleans, she was a participant observer in grassroots social movement responses to the crisis. Her research explores racialized disaster patriarchy, the intersectional experience and effects of disaster and disaster movement organizing; it can be found in American Quarterly, Feminist Formations, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and other publications."

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