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Healing Labs: All-in Conversations

Healing labs: All-in Conversations

Healing Labs will provide safe spaces for youth, caregivers and parents from the communities of the African Diaspora to explore journeys of self-worth and self determination. Together, we will delve into the history of resiliency and the many ways in which black and brown communities have learned to cope, process and move forward to thrive.

Healing Labs take place in-person and virtually from Black History Month to Juneteenth. 8th-12th graders are invited to participate and will receive gift cards throughout the event series to help facilitate their learning. 

Youth will:

  • Build resiliency and learn to deal with stress and trauma through creative outlets
  • Explore their identity through art, experimentation, photography, DNA and more

  • Deepen relationships with family and experts in our community

  • Learn about the African Diaspora

  • Try out new activities and be compensated for their time


Upcoming sessions are coming soon to a Madison High School near you! 

Questions? Suggestions? Want to connect with this project? Email youth@madisonpubliclibrary.org   


Virtual Programming as part of Juneteenth

Tuesday-Thursday, June 14-16, 10am-2pm, online

Virtual programming that supports education and health. More info coming soon!


Healing Labs at Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 18, noon-4pm, Penn Park (2101 Fisher Street)

Come learn more about Healing Labs and pick up some cool swag as we celebrate with our partners from Kujichagulia!





Caribbean Association of Madison (CAM) Scholarship Application

Applications due Sunday, May 22, 2022

Applicants must be from Dane county or attending/scheduled to attend a 2- or 4-year college or university in Dane County.


It Takes a Village II

Thursday, June 30, noon-5pm, Penn Park

The “It Takes A Village'' Community Resource Fair focuses on bringing the community together in a fun environment to learn about services available on the south side of Madison.




Healing Labs: Who's In Your Village?Kick-Off Event: Who's In Your Village?

Tuesday, February 15, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Madison Room (3rd floor), Central Library

The first Healing Lab will have teens explore their personal history and the concept of self. Where do you come from? Who are you - in the here and now? In history? In a global context? The global and the personal are not separate but connected. We'll talk about how history and genetics affect health and resilience and do a family mapping activity where teens can take photos of the people who make up their family and make a creative family tree. Let's document our village!

Supplies, snacks and $30 gift cards are available for the first 30 youth attendees. No registration is required. 

Healing Labs Finding Your RootsFinding Your Roots

Tuesday, February 22 (6:30-8pm), Virtual (through Zoom)

In Session Two of the Healing Labs, we'll delve further into family and identity using tools like genealogical research. Presenter Marcus Simmons will provide a short guide on how to get started with genealogy research, introduce teens to best practices and tools, and talk through common ethical concerns for black and brown folx. Pros and cons for genetic testing will be provided, along with a short exploration of library resources that can help facilitate this research.

This session centers youth (grades 8-12), caregivers and parents from the communities of the African Diaspora, but all members of the public are welcome. Please register through the library calendar to receive the Zoom link to attend this virtual program. The presentation portion of this program will be recorded.

About the presenter: Marcus Simmons has worked as an intercultural communications educator and researcher for 10+ years and is currently based in Atlanta. With a background in performance, conflict transformation and higher education, he views his work as amplifying stories that reconcile estrangement and build community. His current research looks at popular media and society, and he is in love with music and double stuff oreos.

Welcome Table at UW Science Expeditions Campus Open House

Sunday, April 10, noon-2pm, UW Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Ave

Come learn more about Healing Labs and pick up some cool swag! We'll be at the UW Health Sciences Learning Center (750 Highland Ave.) as part of the 2022 UW Science Expeditions Campus Open House.


Healing Labs are hosted in partnership with the Madison Metropolitan School District's FYCE department, Kujichagulia, All of Us Wisconsin, First Unitarian Society, and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Feb 8, 2022