“We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind.”

— Marcus Garvey

Emotional Emancipation (EE) Circles are self-help support groups in which we, Black people, work together to overcome, heal from, and overturn the lies of White superiority and Black inferiority: the root causes of the devaluing of Black lives.

Emotional Emancipation Circles (EECs) are evidence-informed, psychologically sound, culturally grounded, and community-defined self-help support groups designed to help heal the trauma caused by the lie of White superiority and Black inferiority. In EECs, we share stories; deepen our understanding of the impact of historical forces on our self- images and sense of self-worth, our relationships, and our communities; and learn essential emotional wellness skills to help us be at our best as individuals and as a people.

In early evaluations, EEC participants have reported notable improvements in their mental health. Here’s some of what participants have said:

 “The EEC group gave me an opportunity to first talk openly with comfort and ease and authenticity about race. It allowed me to know that there’s nothing wrong with me.”

 “It hit me like a brick. It was only at that point that I realized that I had never allowed myself to imagine…what the world would be like without the amount of racism that we have to deal with.”

“It was instrumental in informing the lens that I’m using to engage people of color in some very difficult conversations around the emotional trauma of racism.”

 “Thank you CHN you have saved lives and improved …clinical outcome(s)…”

Together, CHN and ABPsi have trained almost 1,000 EE Circle Facilitators and planted seeds for EE Circles in nearly 50 cities in the U.S., including Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Los Angeles, Oakland, New Orleans; and internationally in Cuba, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Haiti.

Because of COVID-19, all EE Circle work will be done online until further notice.

Emotional Emancipation Defined…

Emotional Emancipation is about what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called “psychological freedom” for Black people. It is about “emancipating ourselves from mental slavery,” as Marcus Garvey described it. It includes: complete freedom from the lie of Black inferiority; freedom from any and all toxic ideas about the inferiority of Black lives, Black intellect, Black culture, Black values, Black hair, Black skin and other Black physical features, and Black people, in general; freedom to see ourselves as the beautiful, lovable, intelligent, capable, and worthy people we are; freedom to see ourselves beyond the negative stereotypes that have burdened and limited us for centuries; freedom from the poisonous idea that Black people are less than human; freedom to see ourselves in a whole new, positive, light. Emotional emancipation is about reclaiming our human dignity as people of African ancestry.

EE Circle Workshops and Training

For each workshop and training, CHN and ABPsi seek participants who are committed to emotional emancipation for themselves and their families and communities, willing to become advocates and champions for the idea of emotional emancipation, and willing to mentor others to help build the global movement for the emotional emancipation, healing, wellness, and empowerment of Black people.

EE Circle workshops and trainings are “within-group” gatherings designed to equip members of the Black community to establish and maintain Emotional Emancipation Circles. The workshops and trainings focus on the underlying principles of emotional emancipation that should inform any effort aimed at improving conditions in Black communities and the specifics of Emotional Emancipation Circles, and how they can be used to help promote personal and community healing and transformation.

What YOU Can Do

What do you need to lead an EE Circle? You need a deep commitment to the emotional liberation of Black people, a willingness to do the work necessary to promote your own emotional healing and that of your family, neighborhood, and community, and a willingness to abide by the guidelines set by the Association of Black Psychologists and Community Healing Network to protect the integrity of EE Circles and the movement for emotional emancipation.


*PLEASE NOTE: Emotional Emancipation Circles, EE Circles, EECs and related marks and logos are service marks owned exclusively by Community Healing Network, Inc. EEC facilitators, trainers, and hosts are independent, and are not employees, agents, partners, or corporate affiliates of Community Healing Network, Inc. or the Association of Black Psychologists.


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