“We stood in El Mina slave dungeon, on the Cape Coast of Ghana on a recent trip to West Africa, overwhelmed by despair, grief and rage. Without needing to verbalize it, we were both imagining what reaching this spot must have felt like for some long-ago, un-remembered African ancestor as she stood trembling on the precipice of an unknown and terrifyingly uncertain future.

“It was hard to process the fact that for over three hundred years, millions of women, men and children, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, brothers, potters, weavers, had begun their long and brutal journey of being captured, kidnapped, sold and enslaved from the very spot where we now stood the portal now infamously known as the door of no return.”

These are the words of my friends Belvie Rooks and Dedan Gills from their website Growing a Global Heart.

Belvie and I have worked together several times over the past two years, bearing witness to the profoundly transformative impact our separate journeys to the slave dungeons of West Africa had on each of us.

Belvie and Dedan have “a powerful vision of helping to heal the planet from the ravages of catastrophic climate change while honoring and bearing silent testament to the “many thousands gone”–one tree at time!”

Their goal is to help plant one million trees along the route of the Trans-Atlantic slave route to honor and remember the millions of unnamed, unheralded, and unremembered souls who were lost. The planting of the trees will help combat the ravaging effects of global warming and catastrophic climate change and actively highlight and support African-inspired sustainable solutions.

Please visit their website today. Purchasing a “Growing a Global Heart” stainless steel water bottle will help plant 40 trees. Using the bottle will help reduce the use of plastic drinking bottles in your life.

Dedan and Belvie say that what they need most “…are your hopes, prayers and any ideas that you have that might help move this project forward. If you have any suggestions or feel that you can help in any way, we welcome your input.”

I ask you, my friends, to support this work and to please forward this message to your friends and colleagues via e-mail or re-posting on your blog.

Healing ourselves and our world takes many forms. Growing a Global Heart is what healing looks like.