The Collective Healing Initiative is guided by an Advisory Board consisting in historians, scholars, researchers, healing experts, and award-winning programme facilitators. The board members meet regularly on Zoom to provide advice, consultation and guidance on both the strategic direction of the collective healing project and the design and process of its activities.
Anne de Andrade is an Afro-Brazilian & Dutch artist and climate justice activist. She studied Comparative Literature (BA), New Media & Digital Culture (MA), at Utrecht University (Netherlands), and Brazilian Literature (MI) at Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). After exploring post-colonialism, representation, identity, belonging and power in on- and offline realms, in the academy, Anne moved her focus to working through embodied realities of oppression and freedom somatically. As part of the following auto-ethnographic research she lived with Jurandir Palma in 2018; choreographer, first ballerina in the pioneering Afro-Ballet dance company ‘Brasiliana’, and right hand of the iconic Mercedes Baptista. She debuted as performer in the acclaimed Dutch play “Menstruatie de Musical” in which she was also involved as creating artist, in summer 2020. Currently she is co-creating a podcast on racism and the ecological crisis with climate justice activist and runner for parliament Martine Doppen.
Benjamin Bowser (Ph.D. Cornell University) is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social Services, California State University East Bay in Hayward, California. He was the university’s outstanding professor in 1996. As a sociologist, he specializes in research methods, public health, and community assessments. He has served on three Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Science) expert panels focused on drug abuse and HIV risk. Dr. Bowser was elected President of the Association of Black Sociologists in 2004, served as Interim Dean of his college and department chair. He was a visiting professor at the University of Paris (La Sorbonne) in 2005. His books include: co-edited with Aimé Charles-Nicolas (eds.) The Psychological Legacy of Slavery in the Western Hemisphere (2021); with Chelli Devadutt, Racial Inequality in New York City Since 1965 (2019); and Paul Lovejoy and B.P. Bowser (eds.) The Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery: New Directions in Teaching and Learning (2013).
Katrina Browne produced/directed the Emmy-nominated Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, a documentary about her slave-trading ancestors from Rhode Island, the hidden history of the North’s complicity in slavery, and her family’s reckoning with questions of privilege and repair today. Traces premiered at Sundance (2008), and then aired on PBS (broadcasts also in Canada, Cuba and Bermuda). Katrina travels extensively with the film as a speaker/trainer – in the U.S. and overseas. She co-founded The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery to help improve how slavery is taught in schools and interpreted at historic sites and museums. The film contributed to the Episcopal Church’s 2006 decision to atone for its role in slavery. Katrina now works for the Church as a consultant on their Becoming Beloved Community racial justice and healing initiatives. She has a particular focus in her work on the range of psychological/emotional legacies of slavery and racism in white Americans, and how to transform dynamics such as denial, defensiveness or shame into heart and mind-states that can be in service to racial justice and right relationship.
Rob Corcoran is a trainer, facilitator, writer, and racial healing practitioner. He has led workshops among diverse and polarized groups across North America, Europe, South Africa, Brazil, India, and Australia. He is Trustbuilding Program Design & Training consultant for Initiatives of Change International. He served as the national director for Initiatives of Change USA and founded Hope in the Cities, its internationally recognized program for racial healing in Richmond, Virginia, engaging city government, universities, museums, business leaders, faith communities and nonprofit organizations. He collaborated in the creation of a dialogue guide for President Clinton’s race initiative and consulted with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in the launching of its national Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation enterprise. He is the author of Trustbuilding: An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility, (University of Virginia Press, 2010). He currently lives in Austin, Texas.
Professor Myriam Cottias is a colonial historian, specialist in slavery in the Caribbean area, is research director at the CNRS (CRPLC, University of the Antilles and Guyana). She heads the International Center for Research on Slavery, actors, actresses, systems, representations. She is president of the national committee for the memory and history of slavery.
Dr Joy Angela DeGruy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication, a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW), a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Social Work Research. Dr DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher and educator. For over two decades, she served as an Assistant Professor at Portland State University’s School of Social Work and now serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Joy DeGruy Publications Inc. Dr DeGruy’s research focuses on the intersection of racism, trauma, violence and American chattel slavery. She has over thirty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work. She conducts workshops and trainings in the areas of Intergenerational/Historical trauma, mental health, social justice, improvement strategies and evidence-based model development.
Professor John Franklin serves as Cultural Historian and senior manager in the Office of External Affairs at Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr Franklin received his bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Stanford University, with a focus on French-speaking West Africa and Caribbean societies. He later did graduate work at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies focusing on African development issues. Prior to joining the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Mr. Franklin served as a Program Manager and Curator with Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, where his responsibilities included curating the annual Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival’s programming around Washington, D.C, Mali, Cabo Verde and Bahamas. Mr Franklin also served as Programme Specialist in the Smithsonian’s Office of Interdisciplinary Studies where he organized conferences on Black Francophone Presence in the U.S, African Americans and the Evolution of the Living Constitution, African Immigration, West Africa Research and Human Rights and Scientific Progress and seminars on Cultural Diversity.
Professor Katherine Marshall is Senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, where she leads the center’s work on religion and global development, and a professor of the practice of development, conflict, and religion in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. She helped to create and now serves as Executive director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue. Marshall, who worked at the World Bank from 1971 to 2006, has nearly four decades of experience on a wide range of development issues in Africa, Latin America, East Asia, and the Middle East, particularly those facing the world’s poorest countries. She led the World Bank’s faith and ethics initiative between 2000 and 2006. She serves on the boards of several NGOs and on advisory groups, including AVINA Americas, the International Shinto Foundation, the Niwano Peace Prize International Selection Committee, and the Opus Prize Foundation.
Mohammed Mohammed is a senior program officer at the Fetzer Institute where he leads a portfolio of projects that focuses on the relationship between science and spirituality, spirituality and technology, and spirituality and health. Recent projects he is helping shape and manage include a longitudinal global human flourishing study, research on free will, and a mindfulness app that was named in the top three of its class by the New York Times. As part of his pursuit, he has co-authored articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. His publications include “Communities and Freedom: Transforming Governance” in Why Love Matters: Values in Governance and “Enabling Community and Trust: Shared Leadership for Collective Creativity” in The Foundation Review. Trained in the humanities, social sciences, and human-computer interactions, Mohammed is a philanthropy professional with decades of experience leading research, technology development, and programmatical projects around the world. He has worked in the academic and the corporate sectors before transitioning to philanthropy. Mohammed is an international traveller conversant in various languages, cultures, and spiritual traditions.
Dr Ali Moussa Iye holds a PHD in Political Sciences from the Institute of Political Sciences in Grenoble, France. He was journalist, editor in Chief of a weekly Newspaper and Director of Press and Audio Visual in Djibouti . He joined UNESCO in 1997 as Coordinator of the Programme of Culture of Peace in the Horn of Africa and then of the Programme on the Fight against Racism and Discrimination. Before leaving UNESCO in 2019, he directed two important UNESCO Programmes: The Routes of Dialogue (Slave Route Project, Silk Roads project ) and the General and Regional Histories Project. He is the Coordinator of the General History of Africa project. Dr Moussa Iye is involved in research in Political Anthropology and has published several books on the endogenous democratic institutions and practices in the Horn of Africa. He is the founder of a new think tank called “AFROPROSPECTIVE: A Global Africa Initiative”.
Margaret Smith serves as the Director of the Program on Trauma Healing and Community Resilience at the Institute of World Affairs in Washington, DC. She has devoted her life to exploring the nexus between personal growth and social change. Her doctoral research focused on new ways dissemination of historical ideas can be used to mitigate conflict, including the pedagogy of the teaching of history as a tool for post-conflict reconstruction. That research issued in Reckoning with the Past: Teaching History in Northern Ireland (Lexington Books, 2005). Between 1999 and 2017, Smith was on the faculty of the Program on International Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University, where she taught courses aimed at helping students confront differences and recognize how new approaches to understanding history and memory can help build a more resilient society, especially in places of deep social division. She has written about and participated in a number of fora addressing the role of history and memory in reinforcing social norms and rigidifying the boundaries of divided societies. Her areas of specialization include nationalist and ethnic conflict, uses of memory in politics, and post- conflict reconstruction in deeply divided societies. Smith spent four years with Initiatives of Change in Richmond, Virginia working on projects to improve community relations.
Joe Louis Washington is a human rights advocate, social critic, curator of stories, and peacebuilder. Joe’s professional background spans the areas of university related teaching and training (including in various capacities as an international lecturer and trainer in human rights and conflict resolution); public policy development and analysis; philanthropy; and peacekeeping. Joe has presented papers and/or published articles on topics related to conflict prevention, the right to self-determination, human security, Gandhian approach to non-violence, the rights of indigenous peoples, and barriers to the effective implementation of human rights, specifically economic, social and cultural rights. Among Joe’s various activities include: Organizer and Curator, hiSTORY, herSTORY, theirSTORY, mySTORY, ourSTORY; Collaborator, Ubuntu House; President – Global Vision Institute (GVI); Fellow, Complexity University; and Managing Director of the soon to be launched The Nia Foundation (TNF).
Professor Erica Wilkins is the Program Director for the Masters of Couple and Family Therapy Program at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her research explores the ways in which the residuals of slavery affect African American individuals, couples and families and implications for clinical practice. This research also highlights the training needs for therapists who work with descendants of formerly enslaved Africans. Dr. Wilkins has been an invited television and radio contributor and has presented at local, national, and international conferences. Through her private practice she assists clients in coping with the residual effects of slavery, recovery from various historical traumas, grief and loss, anxiety, depression, trauma and abuse and addiction, culturally competent services, and contextual therapy.
Professor George Woods (MD, L.F.A.P.A.) is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah Medical Center, the first psychiatrist to be so honored. Dr. Woods also received the Historical Prixe from the University of Milan in July 2019. He is currently President-Elect of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, being asked to return to this position for the second time in 6 years. From 2017 through 2019, he served as Secretary General to the International Academy of Law and Mental Health. He is Neurosciences Advisor to BetterManager, a leader in advanced coaching for all levels of management. He is also Senior Consultant to Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc., a major provider of Behavioral Health services in California. Dr. Woods is on the Board of the Stanford University Health Alliance Accountable Care Organization and the Board of Directors of Global Press Institute. He serves on the Advisory Board of Roots Medical Clinic in Oakland, California. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Cal-Pep, an outstanding advocate for HIV and homeless services. Dr. Woods is a Lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, and was Adjunct Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry from 2002-2018. He also maintains an active neuropsychiatric practice in Oakland, California. His current passion, in addition to his grand daughters, Jordyn and Harlem, is bringing his deep understanding of body/brain functioning and its impact on behavior to technological solutions in medicine, neuropsychiatry, business, and social policy.