New Initiative

Cultural Enrichment and Enhancement of Individual and Collective Health and Sustainable Well Being

Linda James Myers, Ph.D., Director

As a part of a public land grant institution, the AAAS CEC recognizes its legal and moral obligation to educate and enhance the quality of life for Ohioans, and as a good global citizen, the world. Our requirement is to address the most pressing issues confronting the citizens of Ohio, particularly those to whom our curricula and research endeavors are devoted. Thus we have committed over the next four years to bring to bear the best resources available to us to improve in Ohio what are now the worst health outcomes for Black babies of any state in the nation, and in Franklin County, the worst health outcomes for Black babies of any county in the state. Emphasizing the social determinants of health, our aim will be to utilize a Wisdom Paradigm, that is a model which recognizes what is of value in life for oneself and others, including knowledge, know-how, and understanding, and giving intellectual and ethical priority to discovering possible solutions to the problems of living. We will begin our new initiative by acknowledging and exploring the strengths of Black culture identified among non-immigrant Africans brought to the Americas.

Seldom do we hear of the perspectives of those non-immigrant Africans in the Americas who have not taken on the cultural world view propagated by the off-spring of their ancestors’ captors. However, it is that perspective on life and the world that can easily be argued to be what allowed those brave, courageous, indomitable non-immigrant Africans to survive almost 250 years of the most brutal, vicious, dehumanizing form of enslavement ever practiced in the history of humankind. What do we know of that mindset? How can learning more about it be of benefit to all of humankind today? One thing we know for sure, it allowed those non-immigrant Africans enslaved as chattel , generation after generation to maintain enough faith, hope, and charity to become the moral and spiritual leaders of this nation in its movement toward equal civil rights for all.

The new initiative upon which we have embarked this year at the CEC is designed to educate us about that rich, proud, steadfast heritage, such that we, the descendants of those most honorable men and women can again provide the leadership needed to uplift this nation and the world to the level of moral reasoning and spiritual insight needed to create a just, sacred, sustainable world.