CULTURAL Wellness Center
OURHISTORY Howwe got Started Getting people involved
Creating resolutions for everyone!
CALL TODAY SPECIALIZING IN CREATING CONNECTIONS & BUILDING THE COMMUNITY
2025 Portland Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55404
The Cultural Wellness Center helps people recognize and accept the wisdom within themselves and their communities by helping them tap into life-affirming ceremonies, rituals, practices, disciplines, and philosophies from personal cultural traditions. Strengthening People www.culturalwellnesscenter.org
We are about people, from people, and for people. We partner with organizations, institutions, and people within communities to develop models to solve problems and create lasting solutions.
WWW.CULTURALWELLNESSCENTER.ORG 2025PortlandAveS,Minneapolis,MN55404 612-721-5745
About Us Founded in 1996, the Cultural Wellness Center is one of the primary community and cultural knowledge-production organizations in the Twin Cities region. We are about people, from people, and for people. We partner with organizations, institutions, and people within communities to develop models to solve problems and create lasting solutions. Our People’s Theory of Sickness states that individualism, loss of culture, and loss of community, makes you sick. In many cases, this is at the core of the problems faced by people in communities.
Creating Connections Our work is to unleash the power of citizens to heal themselves and to build community. Through work with individuals, communities, families, academic institutions, government agencies, philanthropists, and other non-profit organizations, we build a body of knowledge and web of relationships that support community engagement, intercultural communication, and personal responsibility. Our connections are used to help communities build their own capacity to address, resolve, and prevent the things that stand in the way of their health and wellness. Our connections also enable partner organizations and institutions to further develop an understanding of culture and community that strengthen their ability and effectiveness to work in and with community, achieving the most desirable outcome. Our connections are used to help communities build their own capacity to address, resolve, and prevent the things that stand in the way of their health and wellness.
Building Community Community and cultural knowledge are at the forefront of building community.The Cultural Wellness Center believes that culture is the glue for holding community together. All people have culture. When studied and valued, it becomes a powerful resource for community health and healing. In Cultural Wellness Center work, community is a unit of measure for health. One’s individual health is not separate from his community’s health. We work with community members to care of themselves and build up their kinship across culture and community. This builds community, improving the health of people within.This also ensures greater capacity to reconnect with culture and its natural support systems.This enables people to more effectively take control of their own health, build lasting partnerships, and more effectively utilize available resources. We work with community members to care of themselves and build up their kinship across culture and community.
Strengthening People The Cultural Wellness Center helps people recognize and accept the wisdom within themselves and their communities by helping them tap into life-affirming ceremonies, rituals, practices, disciplines, and philosophies from personal cultural traditions. The Cultural Wellness Center inspires people to heal themselves and give back to their communities.
Our Philisophy Everyone has culture and no one culture has the authority to impose a universal truth or reality. We create a space and a process for people to privately study their own culture, hold internal dialogues, practice ritual, and ceremony – as well as to come together with people from other cultures to learn from each other and to celebrate, work, and learn together as a unified community. As we move into the future, successful and mutually beneficial interfacing of different cultures will be critical to creating sustainable health and wellness in community.
Our ability to solve problems and get things done in communities is greatly enhanced by doing things in a way that understands and respects other cultural ways.
The existing culture of institutions is a product of the dominate culture and its people. Our understanding and use of cultural and community knowledge is a fundamental characteristic that makes our approach and methodology successful. Our ability to solve problems and get things done in communities is greatly enhanced by doing things in a way that understands and respects other cultural ways.Throughout this society, dominate culture has institutionalized its cultural ways.
Culture is a resource for people in their health and healing. Healing happens when people recognize and accept the wisdom within themselves and their elders and tap into the life-affirming ceremonies, rituals, practices, disciplines and philosophies from their cultural traditions.
Culture and epistemology are integral to understanding human behavior.
The health of one’s cultural identity is directly related to one’s personal health, the health of one’s community and one’s cultural group. Culture and epistemology are integral to understanding human behavior. Reconciliation and bridging between cultures contribute to healing in the cultural dimension, which, in turn, affects community and personal health.
Inside of every human being, there is a spark. We ignite that spark. www.culturalwellnesscenter.org
About the Fellows
Minkara Tezet ,MS GriotofPsychologyandPsychiatry
Semerit Strachan ,M.D. GriotofMedicine
n his work as a Community Fellow, Minkara Tezet is focusing on cultural calling or work/vocation and on
hysician for over 30 years, Dr. Semerit Strachan is the Director of Medicine and a Fellow at the Cultural Wellness Center. Throughout her career she has fought to create a space for the human spirit in the clinical encounter. She practices at the University of Minnesota as a Developmental – Behavioral Pediatrician, coaching children and their family members to use inner resources to heal and recover from illness. Her fellowship explores ways of BEing in body that result in greater vitality. She believes that the body is neither a suitcase to be lugged around, barely tolerated, nor a cold, distant temple. Rather the body is a wise being – alive, intelligent, wise and constantly seeking harmony. She describes her work as the “Medicine of Reconciliation.” Part of her fellowship is about developing the leadership to create a viable and functional interface between the Medicine of Reconciliation and conventional medical practitioners. Dr. Semerit received her M.D. from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine at New York University. She is on the faculty of the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute and is certified as an Intentional Creativity Coach.
understanding the intra-cultural relationships and dynamics among Black people of African Heritage. Minkara believes that African culture is anchored in spirituality and that “spirituality is a personal relationship with the Divine (Seba Ahmed Azzahir).” The goal of Minkara’s fellowship is to create strategies for self-study of intra-cultural understanding specifically related to the spirit and of the impact spiritual development has on the concept of home. Tezet holds a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Augsburg College and a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. Minkara’s mother Bernice Christopher encouraged him throughout his life to believe in the impossible; it is this belief combined with the idea that “if you can heal the African in America, you can heal the world” that drives Tezet in his work to heal African people. Minkara is also the father of two amazing children, Nala and Nia Ford, who are the reason for his intense desire to see changes in the world around him.
WWW.CULTURALWELLNESSCENTER.ORG 2025 PORTLAND AVE S, MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55404 612-721-5745
The Cultural Wellness Center engages individuals from across the Twin Cities to help them overcome personal challenges by better understanding their culture and themselves. Individuals come to the Cultural Wellness Center for the following reasons: • They are facing crisis situations and need the guidance and support of the Cultural Wellness Center. • They are feeling isolated and disconnected to family and community. • They have a desire to know and understand their culture. • They want to learn an alternative way of viewing the world and getting things done • They need guidance and process for knowing and understanding themselves for the purpose of healing and moving beyondperceived limitations. We offer cultural approaches that guide the individuals to create the knowledge that will allow them to resolve or move beyond their current situation – no matter what challenges they face. Our use of cultural knowledge and awareness is a unique approach to healing, and there is no equivalent to it in thE Twin Cities.
Helping people identify and move beyond their challenges
Map to Wellness This is the Cultural Wellness Center’s documented process of identifying all the barriers that exist between where you are at currently and your Wellness. You then create a step by step action plan that includes how you will overcome each barrier that exist between you and your wellness. Every stage of the process is guided by the cultural knowledge of Cultural Wellness Center staff to ensure its progression all the way to the end point of the individual achieving their Wellness. Wellness, as understood by the Cultural Wellness Center, includes all facets of health; the mind, the body, the spirit, living stability, financial stability, relationships with family, friends, community, cultural awareness, etc.
Every stage of the process is guided by the cultural knowledge of Cultural Wellness Center staff to ensure its progression all the way to the end point of the individual achieving their Wellness.
Community Re-entry This is the Cultural Wellness Center’s practice of assisting individual who feel isolated and disconnected from family and community. We provide individuals with readily available avenues to community involvement, with community members of common backgrounds, interests, and goals. This aids the individual in developing a network of community people that become the basis of a kinship network that supports the individual while, at the same time, combating the sickness of isolation. The Cultural Wellness Center has this capability as we have been a prominent community institution for nearly two decades. We have accumulated valuable relationships and connection in our Twin Cities community.This allows us to maintain awareness of what’s happening throughout the community so it is simple to connect people to other people in the same community.
Cultural Self-Study This is the Cultural Wellness Center’s practice of working with individuals to provide them with the knowledge and guidance that enhances their capacity and frame to do a cultural self-study. The Cultural Self-Study is a long-term process that require commitment to researching, writing, and being perfectly honest with yourself. It requires the initiate to stay connected with the Cultural Wellness Center through periodic check-ins and updates. Without the cultural knowledge and guidance of the Cultural Wellness Center it is nearly impossible for the self-study to stay on its correct path aligned with its original purpose.
The Cultural Wellness Center has this capability as we have been a prominent community institution for nearly two decades.
Problem Solving We work with community members to produce the knowledge and insight that will alleviate their problems and prevent them from happening. We accomplish this by meeting with community members from all backgrounds and using a culturally based process that helps surface individual knowledge and empowerment.
The Cultural Self-Study is a long-term process that require commitment to researching, writing, and being perfectly honest with yourself.
Life Coaching This is the Cultural Wellness Center’s cultural practice of the elders making themselves available to regularly check-in with anyone who finds themselves in need of guidance, advice, permission, assurance, understanding, wisdom, or anything else of a similar nature. Elders see this as a high priority obligation because it is how their cultural knowledge and wisdom is carried into the future. All that is shared by elders or staff is based in, and done because of, cultural knowledge.
OUR PHILOSOPHY Everyone has culture and no one culture has the authority to
impose a universal truth or reality. The existing culture of institutions is a product of the dominate culture and its people. The health of one’s cultural identity is directly related to one’s personal health, the health of one’s community and one’s cultural group.
WWW.CULTURALWELLNESSCENTER.ORG 2025PortlandAveS,Minneapolis,MN55404 612-721-5745
Unleashing the power of citizens to heal themselves and build community.
WWW.CULTURALWELLNESSCENTER.ORG VISIT OUR WEBSITE
Our Resources for Institutions Our PartnershipWork Involves:
Too often a lack of understanding of different cultures completely disrupts the process and derails the purpose of coming together in the first place.
Coaching We train our partners’ staff to interface with the community in a way that is understanding of the community’s different ways of perceiving and operating in the interactions that occur.This allows staff to conceive more effective
approaches to reaching the goals of their community interactions.The end result in that our Institution partners increase their capacity to effectively work with and engage community, to serve their agenda, in a way that is not detrimental to the community or the people in it. Convening Gatherings
We bring together community groups and institutions in a way that is culturally grounded and respectful of all the differences present in the same room. Too often a lack of understanding of different cultures completely disrupts the process and derails the purpose of coming together in the first place.The Cultural Wellness Center’s expertise in this area helps ensure high attendance, a conversation that progresses and a conclusion that achieves the desired results of both the institutions and the community.
Facilitating Dialogue We facilitate dialogue and mediate conversations between two or more different cultures and across socioeconomic levels to ensure understanding and mutual respect.This enables people of different backgrounds to begin to develop the ways in which their interfacing can be mutually beneficial and complementary. Our facilitation method does not allow one culture or one socioeconomic class to dominate or undermine the other. Rather it demands that the value of both is respected and attempted to be understood in the context of working together.
Mediating Conflicts It is common practice to attempt conflict resolution with no recognition of any cultural dimension of the situation. We help resolve conflicts by intervening and providing a perspective based in our cultural knowledge and experience. We bring the critical missing piece by surfacing the role of culture in the cause of the conflict and work with the parties to to create a resolution.
Problem Solving We work with institutional leaders and staff to help them identify and understand culturally based community perspectives that they often do not know exist in a way that is collaborative and focused on the end goal of improving the health, education and economic opportunities in our community.
We help resolve conflicts by intervening and providing a perspective based in our cultural knowledge and experience.
Visit us online: culturalwellnesscenter.org
Creating Connections Building Community Strengthening Each Other WWW.CULTURALWELLNESSCENTER.ORG
Get Involved! Participate
All of the Cultural Wellness Center’s activities—classes, workshops, events, and more—are developed by community members for community members as journeys toward health. Join others actively working to heal and strengthen them-selves and our community through workshops, trainings, mentorship, healing circles, community events and more. Re-Connect The Cultural Wellness Center reconnects people to culture and communities, honoring life experiences and building communities where every person’s culture and knowledge is valued. Attend a cultural self-study meeting. Eat dinner with your neighbors in our offices. Reconnect to your culture and heritage as you plan a birth, navigate your children’s schools, build relationships with health care institutions, and more.
Our mission is to unleash the power of citizens to heal themselves and build community.
Engage People do not learn how to engage; it is a natural state of being. We engage people in using culture as a resource for taking responsibility for their own health and well-being. Our goal is to ignite and inspire people to take action on their own behalf. We seek to cultivate confidence in people and pull from what is already inside of them, to help them birth their thoughts and activate their healing, transformational energy for themselves and their communities.
Donate Through work with individuals, communities, families, academic institutions, government agencies, philanthropists, and other nonprofits we build a web of relationships that support community engagement, intercultural communication, and personal responsibility. Community and cultural knowledge are at the forefront of our work.
We believe that everyone has a culture – and it is a powerful resource for health and healing. We reconnect community members to their culture and help them tap into life-affirming ceremonies, practices, disciplines and philosophies from their personal cultural traditions – and in doing so we help them make positive changes to improve their lives. With the widening disparities in nearly all aspect of life – education, health care, transportation, housing and jobs – our community needs our support more than ever before. We know that our expertise in community engagement and cultural interfacing can help institutions, government agencies and other nonprofits more effectively deliver the programs needed to close the gaps.
Partner If you represent an academic institution, government agency, or another nonprofit organization, and you are serving or collaborating with diverse communities we can help you increase the effectiveness of your work. But we can’t help them without help from you. Please help us expand our programs, classes and community engagement efforts so we can reach more people and have an even bigger impact.
“Ramsey County and the Cultural Wellness Center of necessity have different and distinct philosophies of service to the community we serve together: Working toward understanding mutual and unique issues while articulating and melding those philosophies is an act of true partnership.” -Patricia Brady, Director, Workforce Solutions, Ramsey County
TheCultural Wellness C e n t e r believesthat culture i s t h e g lu e forholding community together... www.culturalwellnesscenter.org
Everyone has culture and no one culture has the authority to impose a universal truth or reality. The existing culture of institutions is a product of the dominate culture and its people. Culture is a resource for people in their health and healing. The health of one’s cultural identity is directly related to one’s personal health, the health of one’s community and one’s cultural group.
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