Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Provost Katia Passerini, Keesha Eure, Jamila Davis and Professor Juan Rios.
The Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing (CoHLI), a program run by the National Collaborative for Health Equity, selected Professor Juan Rios, director of Seton Hall's Master of Social Work program, to its first ever cohort.
CoHLI is an 18-month leadership experience 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. TRHT is an actionable model designed to bring about transformational and sustainable change that addresses the historic and contemporary effects of racism. Using the framework, practitioners will focus work in one of five areas: narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law, and the economy.
Professor Rios joins thirty-nine other talented leaders from 21 different states around the country. After a competitive selection process beginning last fall, individuals were selected for their leadership experiences in the policy, law, grassroots organizations, education, and health fields.
“We stand at a crossroads in this country, poised for reckoning and transformation,” said Professor Rios. “And I am extremely pleased that my work in personal development and social justice has been recognized and supported by this program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I look forward to joining the cohort and the next steps in building a culture of health here in New Jersey and across the United States.”
In addition to being the director of Seton Hall’s MSW program, Professor Rios has headed and developed programs in East Orange, Newark and Brooklyn, NY designed to facilitate social and emotional learning in disadvantaged youth. He also headed the launch of the Community Care & Justice program in South Orange, which looked to “reimagine” policing and included a social justice curriculum for South Orange, Newark and Brooklyn residents, educators, elected officials and youth.
The selected practitioners in CoHLI will 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 for racial and health equity in all communities across the country.
“We are thrilled for our first cohort and are eager to see the transformational changes required for our communities to heal and thrive and, ultimately, end the absurd belief in a hierarchy of human value,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, executive director at the National Collaborative for Health Equity. “The selected practitioners represent some of the brightest minds advancing racial and health equity in our communities today, and it is our hope that the program will only amplify their work further.”
CoHLI begins work on selecting the next cohort for the program, with applications opening in June and made available on the National Collaborative for Health Equity’s website. In addition to receiving funding, selected practitioners will experience:
- 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.
The Culture of Health Leadership Institute for Racial Healing is a leadership program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
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