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Learnings from Black Liberation System Entanglements: A decolonial healing-centered approach

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Culture & Society

Victor Udoewa
Part 1

Donnella Meadow’s groundbreaking work in systems theory and practice continues to remain relevant today. And yet, we must ask for whom? Most of the systems community’s justice work has focused on the ecological crisis of climate, but not much has been shared about the learnings from other intersectional social justice movements such as racial, gender, disability, LGBTQIA+, Indigenous, and economic justice. This is partly because this systems practice work is being done outside of the “expert” systemic design communities. We explore an updated understanding of harmful system entanglements, or traps, contextualised to the lived experience and struggle for Black liberation in conversation with other parallel struggles (feminist, queer, womanist, mujerista, queer womanist, Latin American liberation, disability, and more). We furthermore explore these adverse system entanglements through the lens of relationality and trauma. As a result, this paper describes different decolonial types of trauma responses from a Black liberationist perspective and shares an understanding of system traps as trauma responses of the ego-preserving (un)conscious system. Our justice work is to be system stewards, or trauma stewards, walking alongside the system towards healing. These are learnings we, in the Indigenous and transgenerational Black liberation movements, already have, embody, carry, and through which we tell stories to the systemic design community to facilitate inter-ontological and inter-epistemic conversation. This is the first in a short series of papers to explore updated Black liberation adverse system entanglements (or traps), movements (not interventions), and praxeology (instead of methodology).

KEYWORDS: Black liberation, system traps, trauma stewardship, social justice, system entanglements, healing-centered, system stewardship, African-American Indigeneity

RSD TOPIC(S): Cases & Practice, Society & Culture

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Citation Data

Author(s): Victor Udoewa
Year: 2023
Title: Learnings from Black Liberation System Entanglements: A decolonial healing-centered approach
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/black-liberation-system-decolonial-healing
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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