"it's a Vibe": Belonging, Healing, and Liberation in Community Spaces by Us and for Us

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Equity & Excellence in Education

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Through conceptual framing of “a vibe” and abolitionist teaching, our study explored the self-determining work of Black and other People of the Global Majority (PGM) who have curated “by us, for us” (BUFU) community spaces of belonging, healing, and liberation. We asked where PGM community members were finding refuge and what healing and abolition-centered work looked like in BUFU spaces during a spring and summer of viral and violent attacks and disproportionate deaths of Black folks and other PGM. Through engagement with two Black-led organizations, a community survey, and interviews, we identified three interrelated themes that characterized these community spaces. First, the spaces had soulful vibes cultivated through food, music, artwork, and the PGM folks who frequented them. Second, they offered healing vibes that allowed participants to exhale and find refuge from white supremacy and surveillance. Lastly, they were spaces that embodied abolitionist vibes evident in knowledge sharing, freedom dreaming, and calls for collective action.


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