WASHINGTON-Testifying before the Helsinki Commission today, Dr. Gail C. Christopher detailed a new approach toward eliminating racism and facilitating healing in the United States that could also assist nations plagued with extreme nationalism, anti-Semitism and ethnic and religious bias sustained by the antiquated belief in a hierarchy of human value.
“Together with other healing thought leaders, we have plotted a new course, one that can transform our nation as well as serve as a blueprint for other nations facing legacies of racism and discrimination,” said Christopher, the founder of the Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature, Chairperson of the Trust for America’s Health, and the architect and implementer of more than $1 billion in efforts spanning four decades to help jettison racism in America.
With divisive rhetoric escalating in the United States, Christopher said the Rx Racial Healing campaign is a movement that will mobilize a critical mass of people committed to working together and healing the wounds of the past while seeking an end to racism and the inequities it has created. She suggested that racism is best addressed by giving people something positive to believe in and support, rather than fighting hate rhetoric with more rhetoric.
The foundation for the Rx Racial Healing campaign is dismantling the belief in a hierarchy of human value that deems one set of people superior over others.
Informed by 21st century genomic science, Rx Racial Healing will help philanthropic, public and private sectors leaders leverage media and technology to disseminate a new narrative about human origins and connectedness to repudiate the false 17th century belief in separate and unequal human races. This public historical correction will include authentic narratives and experiences of diverse people who will provide previously untold historical and contemporary perspectives, fuel new understanding, and enhance capacity for self-compassion and empathy.
“By redefining racism as the embedded and entrenched belief system it is, Rx Racial Healing provides a needed on-ramp for launching a new model of relatedness that is grounded in the knowledge of our interconnected and equal worth as human beings,” Christopher testified. “With this foundational idea in place, we can create new ways of living, policing, and governing, as well as ways of distributing resources more equitably because we see our collective common interests.”
Further, Rx Racial Healing is based on two interrelated strategies: building a national organizational network and activating local action to promote racial healing and racial equity. At the national level, partner organizations are using their leadership positions to engage others in their sectors to become champions for racial healing and equity. Organizations throughout the education, health, housing, economic development, philanthropic, faith, and non-profit communities will make up a second sphere of collaborating entities.
Currently, Rx Racial Healing includes five organizations – Association of American Colleges and Universities, American Public Health Association, Community Action Partnership, National Collaborative for Health Equity and Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature – that can reach the grassroot level in communities. While their work has already begun, the organizations are seeking to expand their partnerships and resources to invigorate efforts to facilitate racial healing, improve equity in communities and eradicate racism.
In her testimony, Christopher emphasized that Rx Racial Healing is a much-needed, fresh approach to addressing racism, noting that “architect and systems thinker Buckminster Fuller once said: ‘You never change things by fighting the existing model. You must create a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.’ “