2022 Day of Racial Healing Recap

On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, Pennsylvania officially observed the 2022 Day of Racial Healing. View a video from Governor Tom Wolf here.

The goals of this national, annual event are to:

  • Understand that racial healing is at the core of racial equity
  • Offer a time for contemplation and collective action
  • Provide an opportunity to bring ALL people together in their common humanity
  • Inspire collective action to create a more just and equitable world

For Pennsylvania’s first-ever observation of this Day of Racial Healing, Governor Wolf’s Office of Advocacy & Reform encouraged commonwealth residents to plan or participate in meaningful events that promote racial healing – be it a geographic neighborhood, school building/college campus, faith/spiritual, or business/organization. OAR provided a toolkit to assist in planning efforts.

Event Highlights

First Lady Frances Wolf Joins the Office of Advocacy and Reform to Honor Day of Racial Healing

First Lady Frances Wolf visited Jenkintown, Montgomery County on the Day of Racial Healing, and called on Pennsylvanians to use this day as an opportunity to pause, reflect, and rededicate ourselves to creating a more just commonwealth. At the center of the event was a mural and a documentary of the same name, “Symbol of Solidarity” and the story of how art can help inspire communities and heal divides.

The event with the Governor’s Office of Advocacy & Reform and First Lady Wolf centered on the importance of art to solidarity and racial healing. In addition to First Lady Wolf, featured guests include:

•             OAR Executive Director, Dr. Dan Jurman and OAR Deputy Director, Victor Cabral

•             Esteban Serrano, first time filmmaker – Symbol of Solidarity, Philadelphia native, and MTV producer

•             Poetry Performance by Berks County resident, Dr. Phillip Jeffrey Tietbohl, Poetry That Works

•             Musical Performance by the BelleTones, a Jenkintown High School vocal ensemble

•             Solidarity Walk from Jenkintown Town Square to Symbol of Solidarity Mural Location

•             “Paint Solidarity” community participation painting on canvas

This program was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To watch a recording, visit the PAcast website. Event images, available for public use, and a full press release are also available from PAcast.

HealPA Panel Webinar

Members of HEAL PA organized a Q&A webinar for Pennsylvania’s inaugural Day of Racial Healing and shared conversation about the need for racial and ethnic healing.

Watch the recorded webinar here. The panelists for this one-hour long webinar included the following.

  • Quincy Stephenson – an advocate for mental health, optimistic hope keeper, and servant of the community. A native of Memphis, TN., Stephenson has over 10 years of experience in mental health in both counseling and supervision. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Duquesne University’s Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education Department. His research interest are racialized trauma, contemplative approaches to treatment, and family systems care.
  • Dr. Nicole G. Johnson – with over 20 years’ experience working in the behavior health system in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. Johnson is an Assistant Professor, the Associate Program Director and Coordinator of Clinical Development at Thomas Jefferson University’s Community and Trauma Counseling Program. In addition to her roles in the Community & Trauma Counseling Program, Dr. Johnson has developed the Jefferson Trauma Education Network’s Interfaith Leaders’ Learning Collaborative on Trauma. This workgroup identifies the educational needs of the faith community in areas related to trauma and mental health and provides training to empower faith leaders to address trauma in their community.
  • Stephanie Sun is the first female immigrant appointed as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (GACAPAA). Prior to that, she served as a Commissioner on GACAPAA for more than two years, and served as the Associate Director of Partnerships, Philly Counts, for the City of Philadelphia, responsible for developing engagement strategies with diverse communities on the U.S. Census, Covid-19 and the election. Sun has worked for government diplomatic agencies in both China and South Korea, and for three Fortune 100 international corporations in three countries, China, South Korea, and the U.S. She also has experience in corporate philanthropy as a grant analyst working on both international and domestic grants and has also written grant applications. Sun serves as an active board member of multiple non-profit organizations, and an advocate for grassroots and marginalized people.
  • Dr. Cathy Sigmund is a Psychologist, Educator, Minister and Consultant, who serves as Director of Behavioral Health & Community Wellness at Northside Christian Health Center, and Director, Refugee/Immigrant Ministry at Allegheny Center Alliance Church, Pittsburgh, PA. As a psychologist, Dr. Sigmund specializes in developing and evaluating culturally congruent behavioral health services to ethnic minorities, refugees/immigrants and other underserved groups. She is an Adjunct Professor, MA in Counseling Program at Crown College, and Visiting Professor, Department of Psychology and Counseling at Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara, Uganda. Dr. Sigmund is published, has developed curricula, consulted and provided training in the areas of crisis and trauma counseling, faith-based trauma interventions, ethnic-racial cultural competence and multicultural counseling. She has collaborated with ethnic minority, refugee, immigrant community organizations, as well as public local, county and state public health entities to develop the QUIET C-19 Care Campaign (QUIET Care) which designs and implements culturally informed Covid-19 health education and mitigation strategies within ethnic minority, refugee, immigrant communities across Pennsylvania.
  • Gina M Goth M.Ed., CAC, LPC, is in private practice in the Oakland/Shadyside area. She specializes in the treatment of trauma, eating disorders, physical and sexual abuse, chemical addictions, and works with family members and clinicians who have lost someone to suicide. Gina works with multi-cultural populations in her work as a clinician. Gina also works with the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work Continuing Education providing training in trauma, grief, eating disorders and suicide post intervention work. Gina is a member of the HEAL PA as a co-chair of the physical and behavioral health action team. Gina is co-chair of the new micro-credentialed program at the school of social work in race and trauma. Gina also worked with the Jewish Family and Community Services after the October 2018 shooting to provide trauma counseling for families, staff, and others. Gina was trained by the Israel Trauma Coalition in 2019.