The Julius Ford/Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Community (JF/HTHLC) is a year-round initiative that creates opportunities for critical thinking, healthy living and co-creating community among inter-generational educators, activists, artists, community builders and under-served youth.
The Julius Ford/Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Community
JF/HTHLC recognizes the reality of longstanding racial oppression and economic inequality experienced amongst urban youth and other underrepresented groups of young people and therefore aims to create an inter-generational experience that will provide tools, possibility and space for participants to empower themselves with support, encouragement and love. Participants span generational, race, city and class lines, and tackle issues of personal and social identity, aspects of oppression and other social problems or issues (homelessness, violence, etc.) impacting our communities.
Birthed of powerful collaborations, The Julius Ford/HarrietTubman Healthy Living Community has challenged and erased social borders by eliminating the chaos that humanity undergoes in this age. The openness and environment of Earthdance helps to emphasize the importance and beauty of discovering and nurturing the world as lovingly and bravely as we do our minds and souls.
Only the community can build and elevate itself to its highest potential, and for this, we highlight all voices. Considering the inter-generational, the ethnic, the social implications of identity and image, we progress to a place of learning, educating, and understanding, with equality.
Every Summer Earthdance hosts the JF/HT Healthy Living Conference, a week-long, intensive gathering of between 50-70 young people, educators, organizers and facilitators, to engage in key identified aspects of healthy living, critical thinking and communication skills, integrative arts and performance, nutrition, contemplative practices and co-creating community technologies.
The Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Project began in 2007, when Julius Ford and co-founders Gopi Krishna and Margit Galanter identified that the Pioneer Valley had a great need to consolidate and unify its youth leadership, and saw the perfect opportunity to create a long-term community-building movement. Their interest was to foster a new kind of consciousness within activist and artist culture—one that incorporates a holistic approach to healthy living and integrates body, mind, and spirit. The idea was that this whole-person approach would build greater skills and connections between youth leaders and would ultimately empower youth and adults to work together towards social justice in their own communities.
After Julius Ford passed away the project was renamed in his honor to become The Julius Ford/Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Community.