University of Wisconsin–Madison

Healing and Care

“Healing involves more than repairing the deep wounds of racism, healing the scars of sexism, or easing the pains of poverty. Healing is the capacity to restore our humanity and care for ourselves and others even in the midst of our fear. Healing is the only pathway to real justice because it requires we take an honest look at what harmed us and pushes us to restore our humanity and finally move us confidently into a possible future.”Shawn Ginwright



Care is our collective capacity to express concern and empathy for one another. It requires us to act, defend, and advance the dignity of all human beings, animals, and the environment. This gets at the core of what justice is about: the act of caring for the well-being and dignity of others. (Ginwright, p. 121)

Individual care (self-care)

Individual care focuses on concern for self. Individual care is a result of individualism and the notion that we are separate from others. At the individual level, care is about the preservation of one’s own desires [and needs] and is focused on what one wants to do. (Ginwright, p. 123)

Interpersonal care

Interpersonal care focuses on the care we take in our relationship with others. This requires a level of awareness of how our well-being is interconnected. Interpersonal care has a strong emphasis on ethics of care like responsibility, commitment, and selflessness and is shaped by our efforts to sustain transformative relationships. (Ginwright, p. 123-124)

Collective care

Collective care is a social contract (laws, policies, rules) that assures the well-being of everyone in the institution or society. Collective care is forged by both values and rules that focus on the collective good rather than individual rights. (Ginwright, p. 125)

Healing justice

A framework and/or strategy to address collective harm, trauma, and systemic oppression to sustain our emotional, physical, spiritual, and environmental well-being. (Adapted from Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective,

Why center healing and care?

Self-care vs. Collective care

Learn more about the difference between and the value of self-care and collective care.

Stop Framing Wellness Programs Around Self-Care

Improving well-being through relationships, interpersonal well-being, and collective care.

Resources on Healing and Care

Community Healing Network (CHN)

Mobilizing Black folks to heal from the trauma caused by centuries of anti-Black racism.


A local, collaborative project that brings together community leaders to engage in social transformation practices.

Fireweed Collective

Mental health education and mutual aid through a healing justice lens.

Race Forward

Race Forward works to dismantle structural racism by building collective community power and transforming institutions. Race Forward has expanded over the years to work with community organizations and organizers to local and regional government employees and leaders to develop racially equitable practices and policies.

Racial Justice and Healing Collective

A 14-week facilitated journey for employees interested in investing in their own learning, growth, and healing around antiracism. Centered on The Racial Healing Handbook by Anneliese Singh, the group engages in dialogue-based sessions that will focus on support for each other’s self-work and collective learning, exchanging ideas and resources, and exploring personal journeys of navigating institutional racism and systems of oppression.

Healing Justice Resources

Healing Justice is a framework that identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma and violence. Healing justice brings collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts, and minds.

Transformative Justice Resources

Transformative justice seeks to provide people who experience harm with immediate safety and long-term healing and reparations, while holding people who create that harm accountable.

Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT)

The Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) initiative is a comprehensive, multi-year national and community-based process to bring about transformational and sustainable change. Through TRHT, partners address the historic and contemporary effects of racism in their communities and institutions.

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies

A book written by Resmaa Menakem that examines the damage, the physical and emotional consequences of discrimination, from the perspective of body-centered psychology. Menakem argues that until we learn to heal and overcome the generational anguish of white supremacy, we will collectively continue to bear its scars. This book is available to UW libraries.

“We have to take care of ourselves as an act of power, and value how our collective and interconnected work can both protect and heal.” Shawn Ginwright

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