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Meet Joshua Ham of The Healing Circle LA in South Central

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joshua Ham.

Joshua, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m from South Central, LA. I endured a lot of “Black Boy Trauma”. My brother was system impacted and served 13 years in prison. Was raised in. A single-parent household and of course the streets raised me. I always noticed the disrapires in my community—how targeted and marginalized Black folks were my community. I started organizing in the hood at the age of 11 years with the org called the Labor Community Strategy Center. Patrisse Cullors, the Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter, is on the women who added to my politically analysis I have now. I appreciate the despair I was served; I believe it added character, sternness and street smarts. Nonetheless, it’s repatriated way too often in the Black community.

So doing policy and working on reform to change material conditions is something dear to me. I already work with non-profits to advance efforts but I took a step further. We can talk about policy and Changing the community all day. Why should it matter if the mind and hearts aren’t influenced and changed as well. As Black people, we have to decompress and truly dismantle the intergenerational trauma that have been induced for centuries. To make it short, me and team have a started something truly powerful in one of the most disadvantaged community in the state. The Healing Circle LA is a Co-Ed space for Black men and women to Challenge stigmas and perspectives through dialogue. A place unpack and speak your truth. It’s been a powerful space thus far. It started in my small apartment to now renting venues because we can barely hold everybody. If we didn’t want to heal before, the time is now. Let’s Heal, Let’s Build

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s never easy working with a team, especially if your goals are somewhat different. I have been doing communal work for 13 years Of my life. Some folks I work with haven’t really done it. So they may not have talked about toxic masculinity, patriarchy, hegemony or even lead healing or dialogue circles. I’m all for developing leadership, my team is optimistic and always ready to challenge themselves to show face.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Healing Circle LA – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am a photographer, Instagram: @BlackCoffeeVisuals. I shoot headshots, weddings, portraits and Lifestyle Shots. Been shooting professionally for three years. Always had a think for taking pictures since I was in middle school.

I also help run a coalition called Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition which includes 9 Community Organizations across LA County; regions like Long Beach, South Central and East LA. I working closely with Black, LatinX and South East Asia male-identified boys to ensure we change material conditions in disadvantaged communities. We’re all about policy reform and getting the young folks they need to have a fighting chance at success. Our young people deserve their Heaven on earth too. Communities we service have been deprived for way too long and it’s time for justice —the time is now.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Quitting my job to consult and follow my dreams. Follow your heart and remain steadfast. I need to do things on my own terms. My divinity is first.

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