Culture of Health Leadership Institute for Racial Healing


The Culture of Health Leadership Institute for Racial Healing is an 18-month leadership experience supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that uses the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) framework to strengthen the ecosystem of practitioners who are advancing racial and health equity in their work.

Program participants connect with a national community of like-minded people to be nurtured in this work, support and serve as a resource to others, and gain tools and resources to hold public officials and private sector leaders more accountable for real progress. The program experience includes:

  • Monthly virtual learning opportunities with peers and other experts doing work aligned with the TRHT framework
  • Individualized coaching
  • Peer learning and sharing opportunities
  • Retreats focused on fostering deep connection with other practitioners doing complementary work.

Meeting the Urgency of the Moment

Across the country, there is growing acknowledgment of the impact of racism on the health of individuals and communities. Through resolutions, executive orders, and other mechanisms, more than 250 local and state public health jurisdictions and other organizations have declared racism a public health crisis and committed to addressing systemic health and racial inequities. We acknowledge that a Culture of Health and a culture of embedded racism cannot co-exist and that the pandemic, racism, classism, and other forms of oppression take a disproportionate toll on the poor, the marginalized, and communities of color. 

This time of great upheaval brings great urgency: the welfare of communities systematically disenfranchised from opportunity is intricately linked to the health and well-being of our country. This is a moment we cannot waste in our drive toward a world beyond racial hierarchy. We envision a future where we’ve ended structural racism and racialized health inequities by acknowledging the harms caused by centuries of racial hierarchy and committed to a path toward healing where we can fully embody our espoused values of freedom, equality, and justice for all.

There are already practitioners across the country doing this work. The Culture of Health Leadership Institute for Racial Healing program prioritizes personal and collective healing so participants can sustain their work over the long haul; creates opportunities for participants to share their challenges, best practices, and innovative ideas with one another; and experiment and apply the tools they learn in the program to their existing work.

Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation

 The Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) framework depicts a comprehensive approach to addressing racism as both a belief system that’s embedded and a structural legacy that requires a collective effort to overcome. The framework sees the foundational pillars of Narrative Change, Racial Healing and Relationship Building, Separation, Law, and Economy as central to impacting health and racial equity. 

(Click on the image above to download interactive PDF)

Examples of types of work that are aligned with the TRHT framework are included below as a guide, but are not exhaustive:

  • Narrative change, including but not limited to, work in journalism, entertainment, digital media, the arts, museums, etc.
  • Racial healing and relationship building–including the work of racial healing practitioners, circle facilitators, community bridge builders, faith leaders, local civic leaders, etc.
  • Community, research or policy work in areas that address separation (health, education, housing, segregation, immigration and migration, etc.), the law and democracy (voting rights, policing, incarceration, juvenile justice, etc.) and/or the economy (labor, employment, workforce development, wealth-building, etc.)

You can learn more about TRHT here.

Program and Participant Experience

Participants in the 18-month program are guided through the five components of the TRHT Framework – building upon their expertise and allowing them to work more effectively toward community-based change. These leaders will challenge historic and contemporary modes and content of narratives that polarize; experience and share models and approaches for building and sustaining higher levels of community cohesion and resilience during and following turbulent times; and bring focus to the oft-ignored healing component of the work that is required for lasting societal transformation.

It is the aim of program participants to:

  1. Foster a community of practice and meaningful networks across race, class, age, geography and ability
  2. Engage in spaces for hope, connection, and restoration so that they may return to the work more whole and supported
  3. Share their lived experience and existing expertise
  4. Apply the tools they’re learning in the program, share what they’re learning in the field, and experiment with innovative techniques for community change
  5. Connect to the resources they need to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of their work and ability to navigate rapidly changing organizations and systems. 

Applications are now closed.

Thank you to everyone who viewed, shared, or submitted the application.

Key Dates and Deadlines:

  • Informational Webinar Available: This recorded informational webinar was recorded on November 8, 2021 and includes an overview of the program, application process, and goes over frequently asked questions
  • Deadline for Applications — December 6, 2021 (3 p.m. ET): Deadline for receipt of full applications, including video and references. Please note applications will be capped to the first 250 complete submissions we receive.
  • Late February 2022: Applicants invited to participate in virtual interviews will be notified.
  • Semifinalist Interviews March 14-25, 2022: Semifinalist interviews, virtual (attendance required)
  • Finalists Notified in Early April 2022: Program administrators will notify finalists
  • The Culture of Health Leadership Institute for Racial Healing Begins May 2022: The first cohort officially begins the program