What is Truth & Reconciliation?
Truth & Reconciliation is a process of restoration among groups that have experienced harms, and where such harms have not often been acknowledged. Truth & Reconciliation focuses on honesty, owning up to the truth of these injustices and harms, and engaging in a process to repair, rebuild, and restore broken relationships. In the IDD-MH context, Truth and Reconciliation means young adults with IDD-MH, families, and researchers work together to make things better and build a relationship based on trust.
There is no one way to engage in a process of Truth & Reconciliation. Almost all Truth & Reconciliation processes have four parts including:
#1 Truth Telling
Truth telling is the first step towards reconciliation. It was important to admit harmful past and present research practices, and how they affected people with IDD-MH, practices, and society.
In this video, a member of our leadership team, Joan B. Beasley, describes the structure of harms.
Acknowledging is the second step in Truth and Reconciliation. This involved offering an apology to young adults with IDD-MH and their families that they deserved. It involved asking young adults with IDD-MH and their families to join researchers to create a different future.
In this video, IDD-MH researchers, including members of our leadership team, provide an apology.
Restoring is the third step of reconciliation. Restoring emphasized learning from past problems and making sure that there are policies and practices that make future research safe and inclusive for persons with IDD-MH.
In this video, a member of our leadership team gives an example of moving from harms to restoration in research.