In 2018, CARES launched Community Wellness and Wealth-Building Circles (Community Circles): healing gatherings through which we are deepening our reach into struggling African American communities. Galvanizing our local affiliate leaders to implement healing circles in their respective cities, Community Circles provide a safe place for reflection and connection, where our mentors and other community leaders can learn to relieve the debilitating stress too many of us shroud in silence.
Anchored by our culturally specific curriculum, Community Circles provide able adults needed health and wellness support and best-practices in community and mentor engagement, ensuring a pipeline of healthy, caring adults who are emotionally, physically and financially stable, and who will love and guide our children to total wellbeing. In these gatherings we acknowledge the historical and intergenerational toxic stress that is at the root of many of the debilitating, but preventable, diseases that lead to premature mortality among African Americans - at every economic strata. From this place of acknowledgement CARES facilitators lead participants toward self-discovery through proven principles and practices that affirm our humanity, resilience and ancestry. Together, community participants learn and practice stress-management techniques that foster psychological and physiological balance and wellbeing, and, ultimately, allow individuals to self-heal. Our curriculum deepens pride in Black heritage and what African Americans have survived and achieved. In Circle, mutuality is built, and spirituality and faith are honored. Our innovative curriculum has a strong focus on rooting economic independence within Black communities, encouraging civic engagement and support for strengthening local Black institutions, including our media organizations.