Santa Barbara Unified Partners with The Healing Space

By Santa Barbara Unified School District

Santa Barbara Unified is partnering with The Healing Space as part of its efforts to provide psychological services for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Communities.

The services provided to SB Unified students include being present in the schools between four to fifteen hours per week, with at least four hours of those hours carved out for individual and/or group counseling rooted in race-based stress and wellness. The assistance includes support with IEPs, counseling with GenEd students, and responding to referrals that involve racialized bullying.

The Healing Spaces is a therapy training clinic under the UCSB Counseling, Clinical & School Psychology Department supporting community-led efforts that center wellness for the Black Community.

“The type of support offered by The Healing Space is a much-needed service. It has become clear that we need to transform how we support students who have been historically marginalized. We are proud to partner with the UCSB Healing Space team, and we look forward to working with them,” said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent.

The organization’s efforts focus on combating anti-Black racism, colorism, and other experiences of social oppression.

“We are excited to begin a long-term collaborative relationship with SB Unified in the prevention and treatment of race-based stress among Black youth and their families. We thank our community partners at Healing Justice Santa Barbara for advocating to get our clinic more involved in SBUSD. Our team is well prepared to help with direct counseling as well as system-wide efforts that prevent anti-Black racism so that youth can be fully seen and affirmed in school,” said Dr. Alison Cerezo, director of UCSB’s Healing Space.

The organization aims to train from Afrocentered and racial trauma therapy approaches and host guest speakers and workshops for students and community members.


Written by SBUnified

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). Learn more at

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    • @Transparent – Parents and community members are fully capable of criticizing the district’s ability to improve testing scores without making discriminatory comments. These same people are not attacking music or sports programs, but they are attacking programs aimed at inclusivity and diversity. That’s not a coincidence, hence posters calling out racism.

    • You’re essentially saying that anyone disagrees with the likely efficacy of this program is a racist. I think that’s poor logic, poor manners, and poor advocacy.
      I’ve dedicated my life to helping kids in and around these schools… call me what you will though. Words are cheap, whether from online comment forums or district PR initiatives.

    • CHILLIN – also a grim reminder of just how many people are OK with racism. Saying it’s a “waste” or not a problem or in other ways dismissing the importance of addressing racial problems, are basically saying, “I know there’s racism, but I don’t think it’s a problem.”

  1. Check back in a few years and ask parents of kids who haven’t learned to read, write, or do math well enough to manage in today’s society upon high school graduation and ask them what’s most important. All too easy for a couple people here to to call out ‘racist’ everyday when they aren’t agreed with.

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