Capturing Impact

Our Recap of A Gathering of Leaders 2014

Healing Generations: Connecting Black and Brown Voices and Hearts Using Drums and Circulo Within a Health Equity Agenda This interactive session highlighted how Black and Brown experts and elders of color in Oakland, CA, are merging efforts across culture, generations, funding streams, initiatives, and practices.


Jerry Tello National Compadres Network
Ricardo Carrillo National Compadres Network
George Galvis Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
Arnold Perkins Brotherhood of Elders
Kokomon Clottey Attitudinal Healing Connection Inc.

Main Points

  • Indigenous and African cultures are heterogeneous, but they have traditions in common, such as drumming and chanting that can be tools for healing the trauma that boys and men of color go through.
  • This trauma includes the violence that many boys and men of color experience but also the historical trauma of colonialism.
  • Another part of the healing process is recognizing the women in communities of color who have supported boys and men and the trauma that they go through, as well.

Key Strategies

  • Stress the importance of ancestral sacrifice.
  • Bridge the gap between indigenous, Latino, and Black males.

Action Steps

  • Black, Native American, and Latino elders should first convene to discuss tensions between their communities.
  • Teach boys and young men of color to engage in creating, for example, making their own drums, so that they can take responsibility for their own healing.
  • Use African and indigenous cultures to connect with boys and young men of color.
  • Acknowledge the role of women in raising boys and men of color.

Standout Quotes

"The drum is medicine. Young boys make their own drums so that they become responsible for their own healing." George Galvis
"Culture keeps us healthy. It can heal." George Galvis
"As a rite of passage, we used to take a young man and sit him in the middle of a circle and say, “Look around. Look at all the people who love you. And if you make a mistake, look at all the people who will correct you. But we also make a promise that you will never be alone." Jerry Tello