Latest Episode of NCHE Presents Released – July 20 2023
On the new episode of NCHE PRESENTS: Leaders Pursuing Health Equity in America podcast (audio), Dr. J. Goosby Smith joins the podcast to discuss her work pursuing racial healing at Citadel University and in her new position as the inaugural vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer at Pepperdine University.
Host Dr. Gail C. Christopher, Executive Director at National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE), talked with Dr. Goosby Smith about the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation™ (TRHT™) movements she spurred at Citadel and Pepperdine. Dr. Christopher was the chief architect of TRHT as a vice president and senior advisor at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“Some of the things that we were able to accomplish at the Citadel while we were there…was to start the conversation about racial healing because of the history of slavery in Charleston and the historic role that the Citadel played in that,” Dr. Goosby Smith said, adding, “Just starting the conversation was a great thing.”
Further, Dr. Goosby Smith built a relationship with the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative at Sophia Institute, a center for learning offering innovative programs focused on personal and societal transformation. With the institute, they worked with the City of Charleston on racial healing and other TRHT pillars critical to building trust and racial progress, such as narrative change, separation, the law, and the economy.
“And so (when the pillars) are done well, they will create a stronger community,” she said. “The goal for me at Pepperdine is to work with our community to break down silos and barriers so that people can see each other, hear each other, and realize that they all have equal value. As we look at our TRHT work here, we seek the truth together. We’re trying to engage in racial healing, and we’re trying to change those narratives that we have about ourselves and the work.”
Dr. Christopher exclaimed, “That is so powerful… You’re doing such wonderful work, and you continue to do that work.”
Dr. Goosby Smith responded, “You gave us a methodology, you gave us a framework, but you left us free to imagine what could be and imagine what the vision can be and how to implement it.” She said both institutions also engaged in healing circles, a foundational component of Dr. Christopher’s racial healing approach. Dr. Goosby Smith noted that in February, she facilitated a virtual coast-to-coast healing circle on the National Day of Racial Healing, which the Kellogg Foundation launched in 2017.
“What we’re doing is trying to connect people,” Dr. Goosby Smith said, adding that in our cities, “we’ve divided ourselves into so many different pockets, different parts of town, different professions, different socioeconomic areas, different educational levels. And I think we’re at a time right now in a society where there’s maximum division and maximum fear among people, but there’s also an opportunity because there’s a maximum need for authentic connection.”
Dr. Christopher agreed, saying, “We’re all on this journey together. This is our collective journey and this experiment that we’re in, this thing called self-governance in America, it’s learning, it’s evolving… (there are possibilities) for the realization, the actualization of our potential as human beings and as a nation, but more importantly as a society and as a world.”
Enjoy their complete enlightening conversation HERE.