Peace Fellows Promote Healing in Chicago

Global Alumni Coordinator

2019 Chicago Peace Fellow Dr. Pamela Phoenix and her team at Phoenix Life Solutions hosted the Sankofa Rites of Passage course for 23 adult participants this March, 2021. Dr. Phoenix hosts the Rites of Passage each year to promote love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance.

“This way of honoring yourself, learning how to forgive, release and honor others, is so important because the more you’re able to self-develop, the better the next generation will be” -- Dr. Pamela Phoenix, Chicago

Sankofa (going back to your roots to go forward) is a healing process which promotes emotional wellness and helps people deal with their generational trauma. This April, they just started their yearly Sankofa Rites of Passage Course for Children at Woodlawn Community School with the 6th grade class.


To continue promoting healing and renewal, they have also conducted excursions at the Host Springs and crystal mines (Ron Coleman and Wegner) in Arkansas from March 31st to April 4th.

“Being outside in the nature helps us to just release some of that Covid-19 and violence related stress, anxiety and depression.” — Dr. Pamela Phoenix, Chicago

Dr. Phoenix and her team have recently started a knitwear line called “Love & Protection” where they use crystals found from the excursions to create knitwear products that will hopefully support their community work at Phoenix Life Solutions. The line is built around people feeling loved, connected and protected. They had their first photo shoot and video taping of the knitted garments on April 18th, which will be shared on their Instagram channel and Facebook page.


“We have all been traumatized by the pandemic and the news of people that have been killed, it’s helpful to engage in any creative expression to relieve stress and anxiety. For me I spent my time knitting and while I’m knitting I pray for those families, chanting and blessing them up so that we all can survive these atrocities that are happening in our world.” — Dr. Pamela Phoenix, Chicago

Another thing they have started doing to help people get active, cope with stresses and connect with others is Tai chi and Kemetic Yoga classes. They call it Yoga Fun, where people come together to heal— because stretching and breathing into your body makes you feel better. The yoga classes range from beginners to advanced levels. Classes are taking place at Pump High Energy Fitness Center (1945 E. 71st Street) on Sundays, from 8:30 am to 10:00 am.


Another Peace Fellow from the new 2021 class, Pilar Audain, held a bonfire release circle followed by a balloon release hosted by the family of baby girl Jaslyn Adams who was killed in Chicago last month.

“There were many teens and tears and families out there. I facilitated a fire to release pain and then communal prayer in the lot at Blocks Together...then the family of the slain baby girl had an emotional balloon release.” —Pilar Audain, Chicago Peace Fellow


Through her initiative, Wrap Your Beauty Movement, Pilar bridges the traditions of self-care, mindfulness, and art. She holds many events throughout Chicago including Gele Day, Sage & Copal, and Juneteenth. During the Gele Day celebration, people come together for a multitude of activities to promote unity, reconnect with the earth, and stay connected as a community. Gele day activities include head wrapping, dancing, meditation, singing, and empowerment.

The Sage & Copal takes place on corners in which violence has taken place. Pilar and others will sage and pray over the areas to bring healing to the community. See the poster below for dates of Sage & Copal events starting from this Sunday, May 16th at 71st & Jeffery from 10 am CST. Another upcoming event by Pilar is expected to take place on Juneteenth, June 19th, 2021.


Click here to learn more about Pilar’s initiatives

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