Florentina Staigers

Florentina Staigers
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana Cohort Start Year: 2017 Project Topics: Education, Violence and Trauma Population Served: At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations
Policy Specialist
Equity in All Places (Urban League of Louisiana)

New Orleans has a murder rate almost 10 times the national average. But a conversation about violence must include structural violence. I am working with a small organization, Equity in All Places, to help communities and individuals heal from institutional violence on the community and individual level. We are advocating for equitable policies; building multiracial, multiethnic coalitions; and creating space for authentic and self-aware dialogues on issues of race and intersectionality.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Strengthening a Healing Justice Community for Black Indigenous People of Color-led Practitioners in New Orleans
We will strengthen a black, Indigenous, People of Color-led healing justice community through a community-building model that also creates economy. Current systems perpetuate racial disparities and false narratives about quality of life and health and devalue Indigenous and ancestral beliefs and practices. Even justice spaces don’t recognize the need for healing, and healing spaces don’t address a racial context. Additionally, healing practitioners currently operate on the margins or in small siloes. Thus, we will create infrastructure and economic means to make a collective impact. We will: foster connections and collaborations among healers of color and with communities of color; identify current and needed opportunities and resources; make alternatives to healing/healthcare accessible; lift up Indigenous and ancestral healing practices and beliefs; acknowledge white supremacy’s impact on quality of life, health, and healing; and promote our model of healing justice.

My life’s purpose is to help raise the consciousness of the world, starting with myself. I am a social justice attorney, writer, and facilitator, and I choose work that enhances social welfare by cultivating peace, compassion, and understanding through principles of justice and equity.