Castel  Sweet's profile photo

Castel Sweet

Director, The Center for Community Engagement

Castel  Sweet's profile photo
Location: Oxford, MS
Start Year: 2004
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building

Biography

Castel Sweet is a community builder and embedded sociologist who works at the intersections of community, culture, and race, particularly emphasizing relationship building through placemaking and place-based engagement practices. She serves as the director of the Center for Community Engagement and assistant professor of practice in Community Engagement in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Mississippi, where she supports the development of mutually beneficial community-campus partnerships. Castel is also the co-facilitator of the Layafette Community Remembrance Project, which seeks to educate Lafayette Countians and beyond regarding the history and continuing effects of lynching and racial violence, with justice at the heart of all we do.

Castel is a practitioner-scholar committed to using her skills and talents to create a thriving community where all people can be their whole and authentic selves regardless of their identities and life experiences. She has collaborated with communities and community-led organizations to deepen their impact and strengthen their capacity to achieve sustainable outcomes grounded in the lived experiences of community members. In addition, she has a growing track record advancing racial equity, working in community with others to engage in storytelling and truth telling to promote racial healing. 

FUTURE FOCUS 

As part of the cohort, Castel is excited to deepen her work with the Lafayette Community Remembrance Project based in Lafayette County, Miss., which uses the Equal Justice Initiatives Community Remembrance Project model to confront the tragic history of lynching and racial violence through truth telling, and to promote healing and transformation in our community. She will work with the group to organize gatherings for individuals and communities in Mississippi (and beyond) interested in memorialization work around racial injustice. Through this work, she hopes to increase her capacity and the capacity of others to support our collective ability to heal from the wounds of the past, build mutually respectful relationships and trusting intergenerational and diverse community relationships that better reflect our common humanity.

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Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program