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Establish a National Commission for Truth, Healing and Reconciliation

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The U.S. needs a National Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Commission. 

 More than fifty years after the historic March on Washington and passage of landmark Civil Rights legislation, the ‘United’ States remains racially divided. The laws that ended segregation and made discrimination illegal didn't eradicate racial injustice nor did they address the psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical effects of racism on the entire nation. 

The legacy of racism, cultivated by centuries of inhumane societal practices, cultural genocide and injustice continues to plague and erode this nation. Studies reveal that people of color experience disproportionate rates of poverty, poor health, premature death and incarceration as compared to their non-Hispanic white peers.  

Across the nation, people have marched in over 37 cities honoring the lives of James Crawford III, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice to name a few. People of all races and ethnicities are angry, hurt and fed up with, racial inequity, injustice and police brutality. We need to embark on the journey to truth, reconciliation and healing. 

That is why EmbRace Healing, the campaign to promote racial healing and reconciliation in the United States, proposes the establishment of a national Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Commission.

 Amnesty International reports that 28 nations have truth commissions.  Each one varies in scope and impact, but each aims to reduce violence, lessen the effects of trauma, promote a shared history and enhance national solidarity, and/or launch steps for the socio-economic improvement of people. 

 International examples include: 

South Africa’s  Truth and Reconciliation Commission,  Rwanda’s Community Healing and Reconciliation Program; and Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

In the US, North Carolina's Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and

Maine’s  Wabanaki - State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission  serve as two examples of local and state run commissions.

A national Truth, Healing and Reconciliation commission involving community organizers, concerned citizens, clergy, and policy makers would work towards achieving the following goals by December 31, 2020:

1. Gather and present a historically accurate, evidence-based truth of race in America.

2. Study and promote practices and policies for racial reconciliation and healing.

3. Develop strategies to dismantle institutional racism in local, state, and national civic   structures.

4. Establish a national archive of Commission findings and recommendations.

 These goals can be accomplished through community education, funding allocation, and a national commitment to change.

If we don’t work together for healing, reconciliation and change, this nation will collapse. 

 Justice can’t breathe and it’s time to resuscitate her.

Please join me in urging President Obama and Congress to establish a National Commission for Truth, Healing and Reconciliation. 

In Peace and Solidarity, Acasia Olson | Founder, EmbRace Healing



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