The principles and practices of A New Way Forward are the guiding framework for all National CARES’ programs. It was initially funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and Fannie Mae.
A New Way Forward began in the summer of 2009 as a mentor-recruitment and engagement protocol designed to foster in us adults practices that lead to peace, prosperity, wellness and mutual love. A meticulous and comprehensive racial-healing curriculum, it was developed by a Braintrust of 60 of some of today’s finest minds in the academic, wellness and advocacy fields. Its goal is to heal the incalculable damage done to the psyches and souls of African Americans over the centuries of enslavement, racial hatred and institutionalized Jim Crow practices we have withstood and somehow survived. The wounds, hurts and depression, so disruptive, continue to live within us. They’ve been passed down through the generations, but are rarely discussed or even acknowledged. The A New Way Forward manual was brought to life as a training launched in Oakland in 2010 and is now alive in more than 13 cities nationwide. Today, the A New Way Forward guiding framework is being used to open pathways to healing, self-love and total well-being for our children, as well as for their parents and mentors and other adults who care for them.
For a quarter of a century, I have served the needs of children all over the world as an ambassador for UNICEF, and I have seen children at all levels of the human condition. Whenever I am asked to consider the spiritual and emotional well-being of our children, I do so from a place of concern.
It's up to us. This is our work. Our tithing. We must reclaim our struggling children and ourselves.
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When our bodies are constantly stressed and tense, we set ourselves up for distress and disease. It is crucial to our healing and continued good health that we achieve and maintain an internal calm. Even in our fast-forward world, achieving inner peace and calm is possible.
Eat what comes from the earth: lots of fruit, dark green veggies and whole grains, and choose low-fat protein. Skip the killers: deep-fried, salty, highly processed, fatty foods and sugary drinks loaded with high-fructose corn syrup.
Practice listening and not talking "at" or "past" each other. Practice telling your own truth, the things about yourself––your deepest hopes and dreams, your fears and frailties. Lead the way in the opening of hearts.
The manual, A New Way Forward: Healing What's Hurting Black America, is a work in progress and is intended to inspire direct action from us as a people, to move us beyond our collective hurt and cultivate effective pathways to healing, wholeness and a willingness to mentor our children. The manual and its companion training are being piloted, evaluated and refined as we receive vital feedback from you.