What are Rx Racial Healing Circles?
Rx Racial Healing Circles (RHCs), created by our center’s Senior Scholar Dr. Gail Christopher while at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, are founded on the principles of jettisoning the hierarchy of human value and narrative change through storytelling. The uniqueness of RHCs come from their focus on health, well-being, agency, inclusion, and our common humanity. Everyone in the Mason community — students, faculty, staff, and alumni — can join RHCs.
RHCs are designed for community building and racial awareness. This framework is rooted in spiritual and community-sustaining models in many indigenous cultures. The power of the RHC experience comes from sharing stories – telling personal stories (taking us to the heart space) rather than simply relating to an event (the mind space). Circle participants often can see their own experiences in the stories of others, which helps us to see ourselves in one another.
Racial healing is an ongoing process beyond an individual circle experience. As such, we recommend that individuals engage in multiple racial healing and transformation activities for long-term, immersive learning. Click here to learn more about the background of Racial Healing Circles. RHCs are a collaboration between our center and Mason’s Campus Center for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT).
We will present more RHCs during the Spring 2022 semester and will announce details as soon as they’re available.
What is the Time Commitment?
We strongly recommend three hours for a circle experience, which allows for participants to fully share their stories while creating a safe space where everyone is appreciated and affirmed. While this originally was designed as an in-person activity, we follow Mason’s COVID procedures and offer this experience virtually via Zoom until further notice.
Who Are the Facilitators?
The RHC facilitators are Mason faculty and staff. Many of our RHC facilitators received training directly from Dr. Gail Christopher, the architect of Rx Racial Healing Circles and a Senior Scholar at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.
Every RHC is co-facilitated and models the diversity and narrative of the RHC facilitators.
Here’s what some participants have to say about their RHC experiences:
“Even in diverse experiences there are points of common ground — creating safe spaces for conversation is vital to deeply connecting with others and having productive interactions.”
“I felt heard, energized, and motivated to dig deeper. From my perspective, that signals to me that our RHC was a success.”
“Going into the circle I hoped to connect more deeply with my colleagues and have meaningful, open conversations. I feel this expectation was positively met.”
“I want to learn more about people’s stories. The circle has motivated me to foster these conversations in my personal relationships.”
“I loved this experience and truly appreciate the coordination and facilitation. I think we can use this circle model for other conversations within our team too. Thank you so much!”
“I look forward to our next RHC.”