Those of us at the Institute for Social Healing are troubled and deeply saddened by the attempted coup and insurrection that took place at the U.S Capitol on January 6.

Our hearts hurt for the lives lost and for the suffering of those injured and terrorized. We are committed to supporting research, educational opportunities and connections that promote healing and the creation of a more loving and just world. Healing requires us to have a clear-eyed recognition of the historical and current contexts and conditions that inflict physical, moral, psychological and economic injuries. Healing also requires accountability; for our choices and behavior, as well as for the individuals, institutions and systems that have contributed to this harm. The time calls for an honest inspection of ourselves, our history, our shared and divergent values and visions for the future. There must be a collective resistance to whitewashing or minimizing the events of last week. As James Baldwin wrote, “To accept one’s past—one’s history—is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.”

The tragic events of January 6 were the result of persistent systems that support white supremacy, racism and antisemitism, the strategic use of misinformation, an inability or unwillingness to critically examine evidence, growing economic and educational inequities, distrust of media and political sources that do not align with our own beliefs, decades of war and the suffering caused by a pandemic. Where we go from here, whether we choose to critically think about our world and our place in it, how we strengthen our democracy and if we can create a kinder, fairer and more loving world depends on the choices we make, the actions we take, and how we think about, speak to and relate to one another in the days, months and years ahead. 

The Center for Community Engagement at York College of Pennsylvania, The Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy at York College of Pennsylvania, The Institute for Social Healing and our partnering schools and organizations will be sharing resources along with hosting educational events and discussions in the following weeks and months to help contextualize the riot of January 6 and identify some of the driving factors that brought us here so that we can begin on our paths toward healing. The following are some of those resources.  

“Love is an action, never simply a feeling. ” —bell hooks