Home > New
Back to top

Healing Labs: All-in Conversations

Feb 8, 2022
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

Healing Labs is back in 2023! Questions? Suggestions? Want to connect with this project next time? Let us know at https://forms.gle/gGgxBW3kfmYhPBtc6

Save the Date!

“History in our Veins” A Discovery and Wellness Event

Saturday, May 20, noon-4pm, Central Library (201 W. Mifflin St)

Healing Labs is back at the Central Library on Saturday, May 20th! Mark your calendar now, and join us and lots of great partners for an afternoon of knowledge and connection.


Other Events You May Enjoy: 


Children's African Story Hour

Mondays, April 3- May 22, 2 pm-3:30 pm, Goodman South Library (201 W. Mifflin St)

The African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in collaboration with Madison Goodman South Library is proud to present our inaugural Children’s African Story Hour series. Join us each week in a fun and relaxing atmosphere as we share award-winning children’s literature that celebrates the diversity of art, culture, food, and language across the African continent. Participants will engage in hands-on creative activities and will have the opportunity to sample different African cuisines. Each week promises to be fun and enriching!  This program is free and designed for children ages 5 – 10 and their caregivers. All are welcome!




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

Tuesday, February 15, 2022; 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, 2022; 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, 2022; 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.


Virtual Programming as part of Juneteenth

Tuesday-Wednesday, June 14-15, 10am-2pm, online

Our partners at Kujichagulia Center for Self Determination hosted virtual programming supporting education and health all week. Recordings should be posting soon.


Healing Labs at Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 18, 2022; 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!


Healing Labs Community Kwanzaa Celebration

Tuesday, December 27, 2022; 5:30-9pm, Fountain of Life Church (633 W. Badger Rd)

"Habari Gani?"


Save the Date for a community Kwanzaa celebration especially for teens and their families! The event is part of the Healing Labs initiative in partnership with Kujichagulia Center for Self Determination, All of Us Wisconsin, Madison Metropolitan School District's Family, Youth and Community Engagement department, First Unitarian Society, and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Teens who identify with communities of the African Diaspora and their families are invited to connect with community elders in meaningful ways, including sharing of oral histories. We'll be giving away gifts of kufis or shawls to young participants. Save the date for Tuesday, December 27!

"What Is the News?"



Healing Labs @ UW Science Expeditions

Sunday, April 16, noon-3pm, Health Sciences Learning Center Atrium (701 Highland Drive)

UW Science Expeditions is a part of a multi-day campus-wide science open house each spring, and will take place April 14-16, 2023.. On Sunday, April 16th visitors have the opportunity to engage with partners of the Healing Labs as well as MANY other science-related partners and exploration stations. Learn more about the event and where to find free parking at https://science.wisc.edu/science-expeditions/

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.