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Fanon: Decolonizing the Psyche - From Theory to Practice

  • Red Bay Coffee 3098 East 10th Street Oakland, CA, 94601 United States (map)


Building on foundational works of Fanon, Cesaire, Memmi, Wynter, and others, this participatory and deeply imaginative workshop explores how the practices of racism manifest through institutions and organizations, impacting the psychic wholeness of program participants. 

In recent decades, much research has been conducted on stress, physiological symptoms and their relationship to institutional (organizational) and systemic racism; heart disease, maternal stress, depression, etc. Orchestrated through policy, imagery, narrative, history, culture, it is this sleight of hand and its impact on the soul that will be explored collectively.

This program is led by Amber McZeal, M.A. who’s organization 'Decolonizing the Psyche' focuses on the role of sacred scholarship and liberation arts practices in social and cultural transformation.


Effective methods of treatment and research for mental illness and mood disorders, as they relate to the black community, are lacking. Historical and social variables are generally overlooked, with the impact of colonialism, the slave trade, and institutional racism seldom making the conversation. 

To believe that all depression and/or mental illness, and/or grief is created equal, to assume that predominately European models and methods can provide non-Europeans with proper diagnosis, treatment, or healing insults the depth of our history, risks ignoring the origin of our mental illness, undermines the aptitude of our sovereign state, ultimately leaving us more broken.

To achieve psychic wholeness, we must acknowledge and confront the harm committed by contemporary institutions of 'healing.’ Led by a consortium of wellness workers, this program is a space and time for healers and the healing to collectively navigate the origin, reality, and dismantling of an unspoken legacy. 

This program is led by Kalkidan Gebreyohannes who has her degree in psychology and has worked closely with young girls dealing with mental illness, drug addiction, behavioral issues and victims of sexual abuse. After moving away from this career with many life changes in between she has decided to make the collective healing of our community as it relates to mental health a priority, through truthful conversations, vulnerability, community building, nutrition and health.

*In the spirit of decoloniality, these programs are participatory, dialogical, nonhierarchical, and radically conversational.
'Fanon: Decolonizing the Psyche - From Theory to Practice' is presented by MATATU within a body of workshops that navigate self-determination, wellness, sovereignty, and roadmaps to the future. The workshops are free to the public and funded by Akonadi Foundation's Beloved Community Fund.

MATATU is a platform for conversation, experience, and expression that helps ordinary people share their journeys. Together, we hope to enhance empathy and understanding of the global human condition. 

We are fiscally sponsored project of Intersection for the Arts. Learn more about us at

Earlier Event: November 12
Notebook: Record Keeping in the Diaspora
Later Event: February 1
Rich Medina: Reclaiming Pedagogy