How Nonprofits Can Help to Heal Internalized Racism
In this episode of Nonprofit Hub Radio, host Delaney Mullennix interviews Rev. Bethany Johnson-Javois, President and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation. Bethany returned to Deaconess Foundation after having formerly served on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Devoted to the Deaconess mission and guided by faith, Bethany leads the Foundation in its continued pursuit of the improved health of the Metropolitan St. Louis and Southern Illinois communities and its people through philanthropy, advocacy, and organizing for racial equity and policy change.
Bethany speaks with Delaney about the importance of healing for leaders and activists and how philanthropic and nonprofit organizations can invest in this process. They also discuss some of Bethany’s particularly transformative experiences, how peace and healing exist on the other side of acceptance, and how the field of racial trauma healing will evolve into the future. Bethany mentioned the white-dominant leadership that exists in the nonprofit sector as a major structure that needs to be dismantled, similar to what we learned from Kia Croom in this previous episode of the Nonprofit Hub Radio Podcast.
In 2023, the Deaconess Foundation launched the Institute for Black Liberation, a novel approach to developing liberatory consciousness through healing the pains of internalized racism. The leadership development program provides Black Diaspora people in the Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois region with a space to name, reckon with, and heal from racial trauma and grow as leaders who will pursue a just future.
Rev. Bethany Johnson-Javois, MSW (she/her) is a health and racial justice advocate dedicated to the improved health and well-being of the people of the Greater St. Louis region and Southern Illinois. She is President & CEO of Deaconess Foundation, Pastor of Monument of Faith Church, Inc., a Commissioner with the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, former CEO of the St. Louis Integrated Health Network (IHN), and former Managing Director for the Ferguson Commission.
Deaconess Foundation envisions a community that values the health and well-being of all and gives priority attention to the most invisibilized. Deaconess seeks to create conditions where liberation is the lived reality within seven generations. A ministry of the United Church of Christ, Deaconess has invested more than $85 million to improve the health of the St. Louis community since 1998. Our grants and cultivated relationships support the accelerated change in conditions through policy, advocacy, and/or organizing efforts building and wielding power to transform systems to respond to the will of the people. The Foundation’s advocacy and grantmaking footprint includes St. Louis City, St. Louis, Jefferson, St. Charles and Franklin Counties in Missouri and Madison, St. Clair and Monroe Counties in Illinois. For more information, visit deaconess.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter and Instagram @deaconessfound and on Facebook at facebook.com/deaconessfoundation.