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Cope, Breathe, Relax and Try to Heal:Expert on Racial Healing Offers Tips for Pitt-Greensburg

by Wiz Campbell

Photo Courtesy of Pitt-Greensburg on Instagram

Michelle Saahene, an activist and educator on racial issues, discussed racial healing during an event hosted by the Pitt-Greensburg Academic Village Thursday, Feb. 9 in Village Hall.

Saahene’s activism sprouted from her experience as a first-generation Ghanian-American growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood. At Pitt-Greensburg, her talk focused on how racism hurts everyone, including those who perpetrate it. 

Saahene not only asked the audience questions, but asked people to ask themselves questions, such as:

  • “Where do you feel discomfort when talking about race?” 
  • “Where does racial stress hurt you?” 
  • “In your field, where does racism show up?”

In an interview with “Forbes” in December 2021, Saahene said, “This work is incredibly difficult for us to do. So, if we don’t learn ways to cope and breathe and relax and try to heal that race-based trauma, we are just going to continue to actually add to our own trauma.”

While at Pitt-Greensburg, she encouraged the audience to read books such as “The Sum of Us” by Heather McGee; “Dying of Whiteness” by Jonathan Metzi; and “Who is Wellness For?” by Fariha Róisínas in order to expand knowledge about race-based issues.

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