Where Does the Pain Go?
There are many different models and methods of looking at and explaining mental health. “Where Does The Pain GO?” was a conference series hosted by the Community Empowerment Association (CEA) in Pittsburgh that used this frame work to discuss ideas to help their community. The CEA website stated that the conference was created to “begin to better understand our conditions and the historical trauma that continues to play itself out in our day to day personal relationships. We also need a better understanding of how day to day life occurrences impact our physical, mental, and emotional well being.” You can read more about CEA at CEApittsburgh.org .
Afrocentrism is a paradigm based ideology that would reassert a sense of agency in people of African descent according to Dr. Molefi Kete Asante. Afrocentricity was founded in the 1960 to address black disorientation, decenteredness, and a lack of agency.
During the conference the importance of changing the black narrative was discussed. African Americans must combat stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination in their daily lives and that can impact someone’s mental health. The CEA wanted to implement a plan to build up the youth in their area by creating a bond and unity using afrocentricity. It is important to help build up adolescents’ racial identity and create a strong community support system for this population. Because society doesn’t show much support for African Americans, it must be created. The thought behind this is that once a young person believes that they are important, loved and cared for they will then see that in themselves and manifest that in their thoughts, actions, and self-esteem.