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Collective Healing

The GHfP Institute, in partnership with the UNESCO Routes of Enslaved Peoples Project, and the UNESCO Inclusion, Rights and Dialogue Section, is facilitating and coordinating a collective healing initiative.

This Initiative focus is on healing intergenerational traumas following transatlantic slavery and colonialism, addressing the legacies of dehumanisation, and dealing with the psycho-social, economic and political consequences. The hope is to co-create, with global partners and communities, shared pathways towards cultural, institutional, societal and systemic transformation.

Since 2018, Professor Scherto Gill has led an interdisciplinary research and dialogue, laying conceptual, epistemic and pedagogical foundations for this initiative. The body of knowledge includes:

  1. Understandings of collective healing processes from over two decades of ‘Healing the Wounds of History’ research and practice;
  2. Insights from two international symposia hosted by the UNESCO Slave Route Project and the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace on healing the intergenerational trauma of transatlantic slavery (2018 and 2019).
  3. A normative inquiry which yielded a four-fold conceptual framework for collective healing (2019).
  4. A Desk Review to map the approaches to and practices of collective healing relevant to the historical dehumanisation of transatlantic slavery launched & published by UNESCO in May 2021.
  5. A Special Issue of the International Journal of Genocide Studies and Prevention on Mass Atrocity and Collective Healing (guest edited by Scherto Gill, published in Dec 2021).
  6. An innovative Collective Healing Programme Handbook for facilitators, including enriching activities and resources (to be published by UNESCO in 2022).

The Collective Healing Initiative is supervised by an Advisory Board. The Advisory Board includes renowned historians, academics, researchers, film makers, artists, and collective healing facilitators who provide insight, expertise and a creative orientation to the Initiative. The strategic direction of the Collective Healing Initiative and its global engagement is guided by the UNESCO Routes of Enslaved Peoples Project’s Scientific Committee.



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