© 2018 by James Encinas


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Nov 12, 2018

World Healing: Everyone Everywhere, Like-minded Souls


Edited: Nov 14, 2018


We are the WHEELS: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

By James Encinas



As sowers of positive change in service to the dignity of all people, we are united in the belief that fear must not prevent the speaking of truth.


On April 12, 2014 I got on a bicycle and hit the pavement for my second cross-country ride. It was a leap of faith grounded in the belief that humans now have tools and knowledge to engage healing after adversities experienced in childhood that affect adult life. Since that bicycle trip, I have been graced to come into relationship with many like-minded souls who lead with their hearts and are committed to being of service to others.


You’re reading this because you too are a like-minded soul.


We’ve entered into community, and we are calling ourselves Social Justice Global Healer Warriors because we’re committed to healing self and others. We work and volunteer in the fields of domestic violence, foster care, parenting, victims’ services, sexual abuse, restorative justice, healthy relationship, healthy masculinity, faith, body/mind, and resilience.




Seeking greater freedom and justice for those who are poor, vulnerable, oppressed, voiceless, or marginalized we created a forum and now engage in a public conversation that changes the current dominant narrative, which diminishes rather than uplifts people.


We embrace a narrative that enhances people’s power to create better ways of living, allows spoken truth to be heard, acknowledges the life-altering impacts of trauma, and protects those deemed as “other” from being labelled, punished, degraded, ostracized and removed from society.




Every human is able to articulate pain and suffering. Every human has the right to ask for and find relief. Every human has the power to create profound and positive change to prevent or minimize future hurts. The right combination of self-exploration, reason, emotion, and experience is what leads to valuable and life-altering transformations. Providing individuals with tools for self-reflection, emotional self-regulation, the ability to regain balance, and nurture personal growth through the “witness of others” who care enables them to understand how past experiences influenced their development and shapes their present personal interactions with others.


When it comes to the topic of healing the wounds of emotional trauma, what we propose is a radical transformation. Old ways of thought now give way to a new philosophy and new language for communications that enable healing.


We believe that labelling people with singular negative identities dehumanize, objectify, and justify harsh responses. Being void of empathy, labels negate care and compassion. At various points in the history of the U.S., labels were used to rationalize inhumane treatment toward those seen as having identities different from our own including race, religion, gender, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, class and political views. And then they were, and in some cases continue to be, exterminated either by slow, insidious methods, or by random perpetrators of violence.


It is a truth that “Hurt people hurt people.”

It is also a truth that “Healing people are healing other people.”


We believe that the time has come to embrace the lens of, “What happened to you?” rather than, “What’s wrong with you?” Families and communities that are impacted by violence and trauma now have opportunities to move beyond the narrow institutional focus of correcting behavior through harsh discipline and restraint of unpleasant emotions.


The science behind the Adverse Childhood Experiences study revealed how traumatic experiences create unseen roadblocks to healthy growth for people, organizations, systems and communities in our world. We now know that what were regard as true adverse experiences (sexual, physical and emotional abuses) also include the ‘normal’ adverse experiences of divorce, living with an alcoholic, drug addict, or a depressed parent. Those ‘normal’ adverse experiences during childhood are what cause chronic diseases, mental illness, and violence. The ACE Study’s researchers—medical doctors Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda—found that most people experience ACEs, and that these experiences are lost in time and protected by shame, by secrecy, and by social taboos.


As Social Justice Global Healer Warriors, we share stories and offer a new narrative so that readers will engage in this critical conversation by sharing their stories, insights, voice, and their truth.


Rev. James Encinas - Child Abuse/Domestic Violence Service Provider, Parent educator, Florida

Audrey D. Jordan, Ph.D., CPC - Founder, ADJ Consulting & Coaching, California

Clay Robinson - Facilitator R&R Domestic Services, Inc. Tamarac, Florida

Rev. Keisha Kogan - Coordinator of CONNECT Faith, New York City

Eve Scalon - Parent Educator, Domestic Violence Facilitator and Advocate, California

Rev. Garrett A. Foster - Founder of Community In Spirit, Delray Beach, Florida

ShaRon Rea - Family Relationships Specialist, Scottsdale, Arizona

Rev. Juan Carlos Arena - Program Director, Children & Youth Program Futures Without Violence, New York

Linda Chamberlain, Ph.D. - Scientist, author, professor, and founder of the Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project, Alaska

Rita S. Fierro, Ph.D. - Fierro Consulting, LLC, Philadelphia

Mary L. Holden – Founder of new72media, freelance writer/editor, Phoenix, Arizona

Rev. Thaeda Franz, Ph.D. - Psychotherapist, Alternative Consulting Enterprises, Inc. Reading, Pennsylvania

Peter Pollard, MPA - Violence Prevention and Intervention Specialist, Washington, DC

Dana Brown - Organizational Liaison for ACEs Connection and ACEs Science Statewide Facilitator with Learn4Life, California

Forrest Moore, Ph.D. - Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall, Chicago

Christine "Cissy" White - Writer, Parenting with ACEs Community Manager & Northeast Region Community Facilitator, MA, Blog at Heal Write Now

Rev. Diane Rooney, M.S., L.Ac., Dipl. OM - Licensed Acupuncturist, Teacher, Healer, First Year Dean at One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, New York

Nov 12, 2018

James -


You are an inspiration and I am so very glad and proud and determined as a co-sojourner in SJGHW with you and the rest of our dear brothers and sisters. Let this leg of the journey begin!

Likewise! So looking forward to posting your insight and wisdom my friend.

"We believe that labelling people with singular negative identities dehumanize, objectify, and justify harsh responses. Being void of empathy, labels negate care and compassion." - This resonates so powerfully for me. I see it over and over- particularly for men who have acted out with physical violence in relationships. In the area where I work and live, the only "domestic violence" counseling providers are people who use harsh labels and insist on blaming/shaming the men they are counseling. It is awful and it needs to change.

Nov 13, 2018

James: Thanks for bringing us all together. I love "healing people are healing other people." I love that as a response to hurt people hurt people. Looking forward to this journey. Beautiful website, too! Cissy

Dear brother James,


Thanks so much for such beautiful and wise declaration of our collective commitment. Onward with the work, the love and the healing!


Juan Carlos

New Posts
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  • It happened in a men’s group I was facilitating. A passionate intern got frustrated with a group member and blurted out, “Battering is a choice...a simple choice. It is not hard to make another choice. People can simply choose to stop battering!” At that point, most of the men in the group mentally checked out. I shook my head and smiled, remembering how, in my early years as a counselor, I wanted the process of change to be simple. Describing battering behavior as a choice, while true, is an oversimplification. It does little to help those who batter. This intern needed to understand some of the driving forces behind the “why” of battering, as well as the “who” behind the person that makes violent choices in relationships. The Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACEs) shed light on the “who.” Examining 10 aspects of family dysfunction some children are exposed to, the study found that the chance of growing up to use violence in relationships increases with every ACE suffered before the age of 18. This important discovery highlighted some of the long-term effects of ACEs.  The Family Peace Initiative, in partnership with Hope Harbor in Kansas City, administered the 10-item Adverse Childhood Experiences questionnaire to over 200 participants, all males, in a Battering Intervention Program (BIP). The average number of self-reported ACEs among those participants was 4.2. There were some dramatic differences between the ACEs reported in the original study and those reported by our BIP participants. See the chart below: Adverse Experiences CDC Study (males) BIP Male Participants Emotional Abuse 7.6% 69% Substance Abusing Caretaker 23% 59% Parents Separated or Divorced 21% 61% Witnessing Domestic Violence 11% 53% Physically Abused 29.9% 57% The male BIP participants often talk about adverse experiences beyond the ones measured by the ACE questionnaire. Abandonment by a parent or caretaker, oppression, systematic abuse, poverty, homelessness, and being bullied come up in group conversations. It is now accepted knowledge that among those who batter, high ACE scores are the rule, not the exception. Expecting someone to establish healthy, respectful relationships after being raised in a world of abuse, cruelty, and disrespect, is unrealistic. Some of these men are able to overcome their ACEs, but many cannot. The skills necessary to survive a cruel upbringing are not the same skills required to create and maintain healthy relationships.  Of course, many people who experienced horrible childhoods do not use violence in their relationships. The ACE resiliency studies indicate the more children experience unconditional love, receive messages of value, and are allowed safety and protection from dangers, the less negative impact their ACEs will have in the long term. On one level, my intern was right. Battering behavior is a choice. However, human behavior is much more complex. Understanding the impact of past traumatic experiences is critical in helping BIP participants learn to make respectful choices in relationships.
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