Gathering, Telling, Preparing the Stories: A Vehicle for Healing

  • Sandra Starks
  • Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi
  • M. Jenise Comer
  • Carmen Ortiz-Hendricks

Abstract

This article connects the process of healing for women of color and indigenous people with the process of sharing their oral stories. It summarizes lessons learned from a project that facilitated the discussion and processing of issues of survival and success in the academy among women of color faculty in social work programs across the United States (Vakalahi, Starks, & Ortiz-Hendricks, 2007). A surprising yet perhaps expected dimension of the journey toward collaboration and publication was the shared experiences of personal and collective healing among the editors, contributing authors, and women who read these shared experiences and later expressed interest in telling their stories. The process of collecting the voices confirmed the continued experiences of sexism and racism in society while deepening the understanding of the need for support and sisterhood. Reflections on the process were as significant as the collected inquiry data. The critical need for validation and support of indigenous practices, alternative pedagogy, and systems of change at all levels of the academy and society is stressed in this discussion.

References

Aguirre, A., Jr. (2000). The status of minority faculty in academe. Equity & Excellence in Education, 28(1), 63-68.

Berrios, R., & Lucca, N. (2006). Qualitative methodology in counseling research: Recent contributions and challenges for a new century. Journal of Counseling and Development, 84(2), 174-186.

Berry, T. R., & Mizelle, N. D. (2006). From oppression to grace: Women of color and their dilemmas within the academy. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Boyd-Franklin, N. (2006). Black families in therapy: Understanding the African American experience. New York: Guilford Press.

Brach, C., & Frazer, I. (2000). Can cultural competency reduce racial and ethnic health disparities? Medicare Care Research and Review, 57 (Supp. 1), 181-217.

Comas-Diaz, L., & Greene, B. (Eds.).(1994). Women of color: Integrating ethnic and gender identities in psychotherapy. New York: Guilford Press.

Council on Social Work Education. (2008). Educational policy and accreditation standards. Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press.

Council on Social Work Education. (2005). Handbook of accreditation standards and procedures. Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press.

Council on Social Work Education. (2000, 2004a, 2004b, 2005). Statistics on social work education in the United States: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003. Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press.

Dreachlin, J. L. (1996). Diversity leadership. Chicago: Health Administration Press. Freire, P. (2004). Pedagogy of hope: Reliving pedagogy of the oppressed. London, England: Continuum Publishing Group. Hippolite Wright, D. (2007). Archetype, culture and gender: A Maori social worker reflects on her academic career. In H. Vakalahi, S. Starks, & C. Ortiz- Hendricks (Eds.), Women of color as social work educators: Strengths and survival (pp. 135-147). Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press.

Horton, D. (1994). The encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, society and culture. Canberra, Australia: Aboriginal Studies Press for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Loopie, C. (2007). Learning from the grandmothers: Incorporating indigenous principles into qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 17(2), 276-284.

Mehl-Medrona, L. (1998). Coyote medicine: Intensive mind-body-spirit healing adventures. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Moodley, R., & West, W. (2005). Integrating traditional healing practices into counseling and psychotherapy. London, England: Sage.

Murphy, Y., Hunt, V., Zajicek, A. M., Norris, A. N., & Hamilton, L. (2009). Incorporating intersectionality in social work practice, research, policy and education. Washington, DC: NASW Press. Padgett, D. K. (2008). Qualitative methods in social work (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Phipps, A. (2007). The sound of higher education: sensuous epistemologies and the mess of knowing. London Review of Education, 5(1), 1-13.

Quantz, D., & Thurston, W. E. (2006). Representation strategies in public participation in health policy: The Aboriginal Community Health Council. Health Policy, 75(3), 243-250.

Schaefer, C. (2006). Grandmothers counsel the world. Boston: Trumpeter. Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. New York: University of Otago Press. Some, M. P. (1993). Ritual: Power, healing and community. New York: Penguin Books. Starks, S. H., & Cashwell, S. (2007). Women of color in social work education. In

H. Vakalahi, S. Starks, & C. Ortiz-Hendricks (Eds.), Women of color as social work educators: Strengths and survival (pp. 135-147). Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press.

Starks, S., & Hughey, A. (2003). African American women at midlife: The relationship between spirituality and life satisfaction. Affilia, 18(2), 133-147.

Stewart, A. (2005). Poem: “I am a woman.” In H. Vakalahi, S. H. Starks, & C. Ortiz-Hendricks (Eds.), Women of color as social work educators: Strengths & survival (p. 31). Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press.

Stewart, S. L. (2008). Promoting indigenous mental health: Cultural perspectives on healing from native counselors in Canada. Journal of Health Promotions and Education, 46(22), 12-19. Struthers, R., Eschiti, V. S., & Patchell, B. (2004). Traditional indigenous healing: Part I. Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, 10(3), 141-149. Thomas, L. (1998). Womanist theology, epistemology, and a new anthropological paradigm. CrossCurrents, 48 (winter); 496. Tomlin, P. J., & Berlin, A. (1998). U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. British Medical Journal, 316 (7136), 1020. Turner, C. S. V., & Myers, S. L. (2000). Faculty of color in academe: Bittersweet success. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Vakalahi, H. F. O., Heffernan, P. K., & Johnson, R. A. (2007). Pacific Islander elderly: A model for bridging generations and systems. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 12(2), 26-41. Vakalahi, H. O., Starks, S. H., & Ortiz-Hendricks, C. (Eds.). (2007). Women of color as social work educators: Strengths and survival. Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press.

Vargas, L. (2002). Women faculty of color in the white class room. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Weaver, H. N. (2005). First Nations People: Ethnic-specific communities of people. In K. Guadalupe & D. Lum, Multidimensional contextual practice: Diversity and transcendence. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Weech-Maldonado, R., Dreachlin, J. L., Dansky, K. H., DeSouza, G., & Gatto, M. (2002). Racial/ethnic diversity management and cultural competency: The case of Pennsylvania hospitals. Journal of Healthcare Management, 47(2), 111-124.

Westbrooks, K., & Starks, S. H. (2001). Strengths perspective inherent in cultural empowerment: A tool for assessment with African American individuals and families. In R. Fong & S. Furuto (Eds.), Culturally competent practice: Skills, interventions & evaluations. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Wilson, S. (2008). Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods. Canada: Fernwood Publishing.

Wineera, V. (2002). For Mereana a metaphor. In H. Vakalahi, S. H. Starks, & C. Ortiz-Hendricks (Eds.), Women of color as social work educators: Strengths and survival (p. 59). Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press.

Published
2010-02-01