Sage Community Health Collective - Chicago

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= "a worker-owned collective dedicated to healing justice".



Cheyenne Weber:

"Chicago’s Sage Community Health Collective, is a worker-owned collective dedicated to healing justice, which means directly addressing the “consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds.” Tanuja Jagernauth, a collective member, acupuncturist, and herbalist from a working class immigrant background, says “It’s important for my practice to be something my own family could access.” Sage offers sliding scale pricing, partners with local social justice nonprofits, and shares knowledge and skills with patients and other healers.

Perhaps where Sage really differs from other clinics is in its culture. “Healing is not linear. We do our best to normalize experiences of the mind and body. It comes down to giving people agency to trust and own what’s happening in their own bodies. I believe in radical consent, and that means eliminating all the subtle forms of coercion that happen in clinics, from follow-up treatment to booking appointments.”

That’s a far cry from the stories Icarus members share about their treatment at the hands of psychiatric wards and it opens a new path for care that adheres to solidarity economy values of democracy, social justice, ecological sustainability, and mutualism.

Tanuja is clear that there are challenges at Sage too. Finding practitioners who share a knowledge of cooperative leadership and an anti-racist and anti-capitalist analysis is an ongoing issue, as is running a business that seeks to remain accessible to the most marginalized. Sage has found some solutions to these issues in community not only locally, through the Chicago Healing Justice Network and its subsequent Teaching Collective Learning Circles, but also in the national movement for healing justice. “Without local relationships, it’s all abstract theory,” she says. (You can learn more about Tanuja's ideas on healing justice in this excellent interview.)

These are just two models to consider from the wide range of healing justice strategies, but they offer an important lesson: a network of peers, be they patients or practitioners, can have a substantial impact and save lives if held within an empowering, anti-capitalist, anti-oppression context that enables knowledge and skill sharing. (

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