Professional News

Free Racial Healing Circles Available for Black Men, Women and Families

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2021) — The Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative, a community-advised committee of the Blue Grass Community Foundation (BGCF), in partnership with the Center for Healing Racial Trauma, will offer free Racial Healing Circles for members of the Black community.

The free, six-week online sessions will be led by Candice Hargons, executive director of the Center for Healing Racial Trauma. Hargons is also an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky College of Education’s Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology.

The sessions will allow Black community members to discuss racial identity development, racial socialization and cognitive, emotional and somatic responses to racism. Participants will learn strategies for coping, healing and resistance. Three groups will be available to discuss specific areas of interest: 

  • Surrendering Superwoman Syndrome: Group for Black Women 
  • Healing While Black: Group for Black Men 
  • Family Matters: Empowerment Group for Black Families 

“I am so grateful to the leaders of the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative and Blue Grass Community Foundation for selecting the Center for Healing Racial Trauma as their first partnership to support essential work of racial justice and health equity,” Hargons said. “I founded the Center for Healing Racial Trauma because I saw a great need for healing that specifically focused on racially and ethnically marginalized people. Through my training as a licensed psychologist, my scholarship as a scientist of healing racial trauma, and my lived experience as a Black woman, I have gained the understanding that we can’t heal racial trauma without an accompanying strategy to prevent racist stressors from occurring. That is why a partnership like this is so timely and necessary.”

Those interested in participating in a Racial Healing Circle are urged to sign up by Feb. 13 to receive priority. More information is available online at www.centerforhealingracialtrauma.com/center or by emailing info@centerforhealingracialtrauma.com

The Racial Healing Circles pilot project is made possible thanks to the support of many community and corporate donors, with special thanks to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky and CVS Health for their support.  

“We are all so grateful for the additional funding support of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky and CVS Health,” said Lisa Higgins-Hord, Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative co-chair and assistant vice president for community engagement at UK. "It is an empowering opportunity for our community to have Dr. Hargons’ expertise providing mechanisms for healing. Her passion and commitment are undoubtedly key in the maturation of this initiative.”

“Great corporate partners like these accelerate our work, and we look forward to partnering with other businesses committed to advancing racial equity,” said Tiffany Daniels, Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative co-chair.

Businesses and community members interested in supporting the mission of the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative can donate online at https://bgcf.givingfuel.com/lexingtonblackprosperityinitiative. All gifts to the initiative’s endowment will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000, thanks to an anonymous donor and the Jenna and Matthew Mitchell Family Foundation at BGCF.

About the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative

Blue Grass Community Foundation's board of directors launched the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative, a community-driven, community-focused charitable fund to address racial equity gaps and anti-Black racism. An advisory committee of local leaders, co-chaired by Lisa Higgins-Hord, assistant vice president for community engagement at UK, and Dr. Tiffany Daniels, D.C., owner of Chiropractic Care of Lexington, drive the grant-making strategies of the initiative. Learn more at www.bgcf.org/racialequity

About Blue Grass Community Foundation 

Blue Grass Community Foundation creates more generous, vibrant and engaged communities by growing charitable giving throughout the Bluegrass and Appalachia Kentucky. To learn more about the Community Foundation, visit www.bgcf.org or contact President/CEO Lisa Adkins at 859-225-3343.  

About The Center for Healing Racial Trauma 

The Center for Healing Racial Trauma is dedicated to using love, liberation, equity and creativity-informed therapeutic interventions to help racially/ethnically marginalized people heal from racism.The center also provides continuing education and training for mental health, education, business, religious and medical professionals, and engages in, and supports, activist work to create an anti-racist world. The Center for Healing Racial Trauma was founded by Candice Nicole Hargons, a licensed psychologist, assistant professor, and director of master’s training in counseling psychology at the University of Kentucky. Learn more at www.centerforhealingracialtrauma.com

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.