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A Brave Space with Dr. Meeks
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A Brave Space with Dr. Meeks

Author: Dr. Catherine Meeks

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A Brave Space with Dr. Meeks will support the work of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in its mission of creating brave space where the truth can be told. The sessions will explore various topics that address the intersections between slavery, lynching, the prison industrial complex, the death penalty and 21st-century police killings and the ways in which these issues prohibit racial healing in America. There will be a wide variety of guests who will assist the host and Absalom Jones CenterDirector in engaging the crucial topic of racial healing from their wide range of experiences as resistors to racism and in seeking racial healing.
25 Episodes
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Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? The Center for Racial Healing is focused on engaging conversations about wellness and in this insightful episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks continue the conversation with special guest Dr. Jennifer Gander, a Clinical Epidemiologist. In part 2 of this conversation, they explore the intersections of mental health and physical health, the healthcare industry, and ways to advocate for your personal wellness as a patient. 
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? The Center for Racial Healing is focused on engaging conversations about wellness and in this insightful episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks invited a special guest and friend of the center to share her wisdom and experience with mental health in the pandemic. Dr. Jennifer Gander, PhD, is a Clinical Epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente Georgia Regional. Listen in to hear how Dr. Jennifer’s expertise enriched our discussion about the relationship between mental health and physical health, policies and practices in the healthcare industry that may adversely affect minority groups, and much more. 
Lately, the Center of Racial Healing has been receiving questions about how people can respond to racism and increase the capacity to dismantle racism both individually and as organizations. In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks discuss this question and give concrete examples of ways people can answer the call to stand for justice and fight racism. 
What is a model minority? It is a term the media is using often in conversations of the AAPI community. One thing we must always be mindful of is the way oppression works. Because if you keep the folks you are oppressing fighting one another, perhaps they will miss that the real enemy is the oppressor!In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Catherine Meeks discuss these questions and truths around minorities and the passive acceptance that is a part of their social cultures.
Racial Identity

Racial Identity

2021-04-1229:04

Racial identity is a major topic. It might come up in conversation, on a job application, or in speaking with young people. How and why does it seem to always surface?This is a falsity around race. We are all human beings. We are members of a human family. In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Catherine Meeks wrestle with these tough questions and it includes Dr. Meeks' story of how she identifies with her racial identity and the journey it took her to get there.
March is Women's History Month. This month's episodes will focus on the women that have helped move our country forward by standing for justice, healing, and wellness. In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks celebrate the life of Ida B. Wells and discuss her successes, trials, and strength. Listen in for the full conversation.
Moving Towards Justice

Moving Towards Justice

2021-03-0316:46

January 6 was an important day in our country. It showed how differently groups of people are treated in our country. The day was the insurrection of our capital in the wake of a fair election. What a tragedy to see a rebel flag in our capitol. What a tragedy to see people hurt and killed over a correct election process. Where we do go from here? How do move towards justice and wellness while we bear truth to how differently people are treated in our country. In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks share their insights on this day, and where we might go from here. 
Seeking Wellness

Seeking Wellness

2021-02-1618:04

The Center of Racial Healing strives to be a place where people can become well. Healing is a part of wellness! But how do become well as a nation? It starts with the individual doing the necessary work.  In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks have a conversation about the Center's new Murphy Davis Let's Get Well Campaign and how we all might get well as individuals. 
The Center of Racial Healing strives to be a place of inclusion and multiculturalism. But is there a difference between the two? In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks discuss inclusion and multiculturalism and where they intersect in our lives as people of faith.
The Center for Racial Healing has now been open for just over 3 years! In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks take a look at the work the Center has and is doing in the work of Racial Healing and discuss some of the new initiatives.
In this episode, Dr. Catherine Meeks interviews Bishop Barbara C. Harris. This is one of the last recorded conversations with Bishop Harris before her journey into eternity in March of 2020. Dr. Meeks spoke with Bishop Harris in November of 2019 in Atlanta at the launch of the Bishop Barbara C. Harris Justice Project honoring her legacy of dismantling racism and social injustices. Bishop Barbara Clementine Harris was born on June 12, 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Harris grew up in Germantown, a neighborhood of Philadelphia. Her mother, Beatrice Price Harris, played the organ for St. Barnabas Church and her father, Walter Harris, was a steelworker. While attending Philadelphia High School for Girls, where she excelled in music, Harris wrote a weekly column called High School Notes by Bobbi for the Philadelphia edition of the Pittsburgh Courier, an African American newspaper. After graduating from high school in 1948, she attended the Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and Journalism. She earned a certificate from Charles Morris Price in 1950. In later years, Harris would study at Villanova University and the Episcopal Divinity School.As a member of the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity (ESCRU) since the late 1950s, Harris served on a number of diocesan committees. In the 1960s, she helped to form the Union of Black Clergy and Laity which was subsequently called the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE). She was a member of the St. Dismas Fellowship and served on the board of the Pennsylvania Prison Society. During the summer of 1964, Harris volunteered with Delta Ministries in Greenville, Mississippi, educating and registering voters. In 1974, she advocated for the ordination of the “Philadelphia Eleven,” a group of women who had been ordained priests, but were labeled "irregular" by the Anglican Communion. By 1976, the church began to admit women priests and, in October 1980, Harris was ordained as a priest. After her ordination, she served as priest at St. Augustine of Hippo Church and as chaplain of Philadelphia County Prison.In 1984, Harris was appointed executive director of the Episcopal Church Publishing Company, molding the social direction of the Episcopal Church. Known for her strong advocacy for social justice, Harris was elected in 1988 as the consecrated Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, becoming the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion. She served as bishop until 2002 when she retired at the age of seventy-two.
In this episode, Dr. Meeks sits down with the Rev. Canon Nan Arlington Peete. This episode was recorded in Atlanta in November 2019 at the unveiling of the Barbara Harris Justice Center.An Episcopalian priest, she was born on August 19, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory School in 1955. Prior to entering the seminary, Peete was a management consultant with Coopers and Lybrand Accounting Firm, where she was an expert in organizational management and financial analysis. After her ordination in 1984, Peete was the curate at St. Mark's Church in Upland, California, and in 1985 became rector of All Saints Church in Indianapolis. Working with the Indianapolis Episcopal Metro Council, she involved the parish in housing the homeless in the nave of the church, which eventually led to the development of the Dayspring family shelter ministry. From 1989 to 1994, Peete served in the Diocese of Atlanta as Canon to the Ordinary. In this assignment, she was responsible for the ordination process of priests, the Training-in-Ministry program, and the deployment of clergy for congregations seeking clergy.In 1988, Peete was invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to be a consultant for the Lambeth Conference, a conference of Bishops representing Dioceses around the world. She was the first ordained woman to address this body, which meets every ten years in Canterbury, England. She faced opposition but also received tremendous support as she made her case in the speech she gave. The speech was well-received, and resulted in an international policy change and the ordination of many women priests and the subsequent ordination of women as Bishops of the Episcopal Church. She was also a speaker at the pre-Lambeth meeting of the Afro-Anglican Bishops, held in Cambridge, England. She has been invited to speak and preach at a number of international and national meetings, conventions and assemblies.From 1994 to 1999, Peete served on the staff at Trinity Church Wall Street as the associate for Pastoral and Outreach ministries, and as the Canon for Ministry in the Diocese of Southern Ohio from 1999 to 2003. She became Canon for Deployment and Ordination for the Diocese of Washington in March 2003. Nan retired in 2005 but continues to be active in the church.
In this episode, Dr. Meeks sits down with Dr. Sandra Montes and has a conversation centered on becoming real and thriving in ministry based on Dr. Montes's new book. Dr. Sandra Montes has been singing since she can speak. She has a doctorate in education and is presently Interim Director of Worship at Union Theological Seminary where she plans and leads multi-sensory worship experiences for the diverse population of Union. Her book, Becoming REAL and Thriving in Ministry talks about her experiences in evangelism, welcoming “the other” and church growth (spiritually and in numbers).
In this episode, Dr. Meeks sits down with Dr. Beth-Sarah Wright and has a conversation around respect and dignity based on her new book Dignity. In the Episcopal Church, we often speak of dignity. We especially speak of it when we renew our Baptismal Covenant in that we recommit ourselves to respecting the dignity of every human being. While we strive for this, sometimes we fall short. Listen in for the full conversation on dignity, the stories, and the challenges of living into this call as followers of Jesus.Atlanta-based inspirational writer and speaker, Dr. Beth-Sarah Wright tackles issues of authentic living as an observer and ethnographer, advocate for mental health and as an institutional strategist. She is the author of five books, Me? Depressed? A Story of Depression from Denial to Discovery, Ten Things I Wish I Knew About Depression Before It Almost Took My Life, a spiritual novel, Weeping May Endure for a Night, a book of poetry and spiritual reflections on the Nicene Creed, Becoming Who I Am: Reflections on Wholeness and Embracing Our Divine Stories and DIGNITY: Seven Strategies for Creating Authentic Community. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University, an MPhil in Anthropology from Cambridge University and a BA (magna cum laude) from Princeton University in Sociology and Afro-American studies. A former college professor at NYU and Spelman College, she currently serves as the Director of  Enrollment Management at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory School of Medicine. Dr. Wright is originally from Jamaica and has lived and studied worldwide, from Edinburgh, Scotland to San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is married to Robert C. Wright, the Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta and they are parents to 5 children: Jordan, Emmanuel, Selah, Noah and Moses-Daniel.
The Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing invites you to participate in a series of three webinars focused on reimagining policing. The role of policing was imagined once. Yet the horrors of the ongoing War on Drugs, mass incarceration, and the police brutality that resulted in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other black and brown men, women and children, require us as people of faith and goodwill to use our collective energy to reimagine the role of policing today. The status quo is no longer an option.In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks have a conversation around what reforms might be needed and we as people of faith can do to be agents of change. 
The Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing invites you to participate in a series of three webinars focused on reimagining policing. The role of policing was imagined once. Yet the horrors of the ongoing War on Drugs, mass incarceration, and the police brutality that resulted in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other black and brown men, women and children, require us as people of faith and goodwill to use our collective energy to reimagine the role of policing today. The status quo is no longer an option.In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks take a look at the current status of policing and the impact on communities of color.
The Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing invites you to participate in a series of three webinars exploring the public crying out to God regarding the loss of lives and livelihood during this pandemic.This is part 2 of a series of podcasts focused on the theme of the webinar: A Cry To God Together: Lament In The Midst Of Covid-19. In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks take a look at the current status of COVID-19 and the impact on communities of color.
The Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing invites you to participate in a series of three webinars exploring the public crying out to God regarding the loss of lives and livelihood during this pandemic.This is part 1 of a series of podcasts focused on the theme of the webinar: A Cry To God Together: Lament In The Midst Of Covid-19. In this episode, Chelsi and Dr. Meeks take a look at the current status of COVID-19 and the impact on communities of color.
Dr. Meeks sits down at the International Women of Color Conference with Dr. Jenny Te Paa Daniel. Dr. Jenny is an internationally accomplished public theologian and professional consultant in higher education. Always a pioneer among indigenous women, she was the first Maori in the world to gain an academic degree in Theology (University of Auckland 1992). Te Paa Daniel was the first indigenous Anglican lay woman appointed to lead an Anglican theological college in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Dr. Meeks sits down at the International Women of Color Conference with Heidi Kim. Heidi currently serves as the Director for Servant Leadership at the Melrose Family Center. Heidi has extensive experience with empowering individuals and groups to identify assets and establish goals and objectives for creating inclusive, equitable communities. She is particularly gifted and dedicated to creating networks for inter-generational and inter-cultural conversations about diversity and inclusion. 
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