On Racial Trauma and Healing: Prentis Hemphill

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 6 – 7 pm

Northwestern University
40 Arts Circle Dr.
Evanston, IL 60201

In-Person, Free RSVP

Join teacher, embodiment coach, writer, and facilitator Prentis Hemphill as they explore strategies toward healing amid the enduring effects of racial trauma. Hemphill will share their work in this space, offering reflections on opportunities to heal and grow, even as ongoing realities challenge and oppose. Followed by a conversation with Melissa Blount, PhD, artist/activist/psychotherapist and member of The Block’s Evanston Community Advisory Group for A Site of Struggle.

Please note: this program will include brief embodied practice exercises, and we invite you to partake in physical activity as comfortable and able.


Prentis Hemphill is a writer, embodiment facilitator, political organizer and therapist. They are the Founder and Director of The Embodiment Institute and The Black Embodiment Initiative, and the host of the acclaimed podcast, Finding Our Way. For the last ten years, Prentis has practiced and taught somatics in social movement organizations and offered embodied practice during moments of social unrest and organizational upheaval. They have taught embodied leadership with Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity and served as the Healing Justice Director of Black Lives Matter Global Network from 2016 to 2019. Their work and writing have appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post. They are a contributor to ‘You are Your Best Thing’, edited by Tarana Burke and Brene Brown, ‘Holding Change’ by adrienne maree brown, and ‘The Politics of Trauma’ by Staci Haines. 


Melissa Blount, PhD and licensed clinical psychologist, is known for her commitment to creating a beloved community and empathetic connection with dialogue, fabric, and thread. This is a primary motivation in her practice as a psychologist, activist and artist. Her work centers Black and transgender women, exploring themes of white supremacy, and gender, state and economic violence. She creates a sacred space for people to memorialize and celebrate Black women in all of their complicated, intersectional glorious fullness. Her tools of choice are needle, floss and fabric. Notable influences of her work are the women of Gee's Bend Alabama, Marie Watt, Krista Franklin and of course, her partner in life Ben Blount. She lives in Evanston, Illinois but will always claim Detroit

This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence, with generous promotional co-sponsorship from Northwestern’s Offices of Counseling and Psychological Services and Social Justice Education.