For Immediate Release
October 18, 2012
Contact Information

Tarice Gray

(BPRW) Community Healing Network and Black Psychologists Call on Black People to Commit to Emotional Wellness

(BLACK PR WIRE) – In observance of the fifth annual celebration of Community Healing Days, October 19-21, 2012, a coalition consisting of Community Healing Network, Inc. (CHN), the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), and the Mayor and key leaders in the City of Tuskegee, Alabama, today called on Black people everywhere to make personal commitments to emotional wellness by taking the Pledge to Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth at

The Pledge is a key part of the Coalition’s effort to call attention to the continuing impact of racism on the overall well-being of African Americans and the pressing need for a grassroots movement for emotional emancipation, healing, and wellness for Black people across the African Diaspora. The Coalition pointed to growing signs of emotional distress in the Black community, including the facts that:

Homicide is the leading cause of death for young Black males.

Depression among Black women is almost 50% higher than it is among White women.

Only 52 percent of Black males graduate from high school in four years, compared to 78 percent of White males.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “racism and racial discrimination adversely affect mental health by diminishing the victim’s self-image, confidence, and optimal mental functioning.”

And a recent study by the American Psychological Association found that “perceived racism may cause mental health symptoms similar to trauma and could lead to some physical health disparities between blacks and other populations in the United States.”

“Our aim,” said Enola Aird, founder and president of CHN, “is to mobilize Black people to overcome the lie of Black inferiority which has, for centuries, justified and fueled racism against Black people. The Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth campaign is focused on one simple message: It’s time for us as Black people to claim our full humanity.”

“As a people,” said ABPsi president Cheryl Grills, “for nearly 400 years, we have been fed toxic lies about our history, worth, and value as people of African ancestry, and those lies are all rooted in one big lie: the lie of Black inferiority.”

According to Daryl Rowe, president-elect of ABPsi, “the lie of Black inferiority contributes to many of the challenges we face as a community. If we want to reverse the negative trends for Black people, we must attend to the struggle for what Dr. King called ‘psychological freedom.’”

Mayor Omar Neal, leader of the Tuskegee Community Healing Initiative, said, “In spite of significant progress in increasing civil rights for Black people, and advances in our social standing, including the election of the nation’s first Black president, the lie of Black inferiority persists. It drives the world’s perceptions of Black people and our perceptions of ourselves.”

The Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth campaign is the launching pad for the Coalition’s mobilizing efforts for the next seven years--until 2019, the 400th anniversary of the forced arrival of Africans in Jamestown colony. The initiative, designed to engage a critical mass of Black people in the movement for emotional emancipation by 2019, is comprised of several key elements, including:

• Providing suggestions of steps people can take to fulfill the Pledge at;

• Developing a wide range of emotional wellness trainings and resources to help local leaders establish and maintain Emotional Emancipation Circles, local self-help groups focused on emotional emancipation, healing, and wellness for Black people;

• Encouraging CHN’s and ABPsi’s members and supporters and Tuskegee’s citizens to take the pledge and to spread the word to encourage all their family and friends to take the Pledge;

• Working with young spoken word and other artists in the Black community to deliver strong Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth message via public appearances, Twitter, and Facebook; and

• Enlisting a wide range of other organizations and leaders in the Black community at the international, national, state, and local levels to take and promote the Pledge.

About CHN--A 501c3 nonprofit organization, CHN is the creator and leader of the annual celebration of Community Healing Days (on the third weekend of every October, to put “time for healing” on the Black agenda) and the Community Healing Institute (designed to bring Black mental health professionals together to help local leaders establish and sustain self-help groups focused on emotional emancipation, healing, and wellness for Black people.)

About ABPsi--The Association of Black Psychologists is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, ABPsi seeks to promote and advance the profession of African psychology, influence and affect social change, and develop programs that address and work to alleviate problems of Black communities and other ethnic groups.

(c) 2012 CHN Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth, Community Healing Days, Community Healing Institute, and related marks and logos are service marks owned by CHN.