While the Culture Action Team is committed to reinforcing a culture of belonging, understanding, and grace at Hope, there are numerous other teams committed to that same goal. Today, let’s look at one recent initiative that could have a significant impact on Hope College culture.
Are you familiar with the Rx Racial Healing Circles hosted by Culture and Inclusive Excellence and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion? The first Circles experience at Hope took place January 18, in conjunction with the National Day of Racial Healing. Twenty staff and faculty members were able to attend. Dr. Gail Christopher, executive director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, created the Rx Racial Healing methodology. In the words of Dr. Christopher, “Effective racial healing circles emphasize diversity among participants, modeling the desired state of coming together as one community. Effective racial healing design invites story sharing between two people in a safe and affirming manner. […] When we learn counter stereotypes in an attentive, focused effort, we can individually and collectively reduce bias and avoid automatically acting upon our stereotypical perceptions.”
Additional Circles were held on March 29. This time, the experience primarily included students. Student Congress’s Culture and Inclusion Committee, led by Mary Kamara-Hagemeyer and Andrea Hernandez, spearheaded the effort to bring Racial Healing Circles to the student body. Read on for some reflection from two participants.
“Racial Healing Circles are a great way to begin to expand your worldview, meet new people and do some self-reflection. I look forward to each one I have the privilege to be a part of.” – Zoe Abadi
“I initially thought it would be too long for a circle. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast the time flew by and how I didn’t want it to end. I wanted more, and I wanted us to follow up again and again!” – A staff member
If you would like to participate in an Rx Racial Healing Circle, it’s not too late! Additional opportunities are in the planning stages for the 2022-2023 academic year. Details will be forthcoming via email.