Breaking Bread


Before America can heal, we must be willing to break bread with everyone – even those we disagree with. Can courageous conversations help heal our deep divisions?
Watch the first episode of ‘Breaking Bread’ – our dinner conversation series – here.




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Heal America is taking the tour to Pittsburgh. Join us on November 11 for a conversation on bridging and healing racial divides. Click below to register!




Only inspired people can inspire people. To Heal America, I pledge to find inspiration from the following principles as I fight racial injustice with love and redemption…
  • COURAGE is going from the sidelines to the frontlines of social change.
  • JUSTICE is respecting the inherent dignity of each person by protecting their rights, equally.
  • LOVE is believing there is good within every person.
  • REDEMPTION is fiercely believing the future will be better than today.




Heal America is a movement to fight racial injustice with love and redemption. We elevate inspiring leaders who are removing legal, cultural, and social barriers to progress, and we provide the tools and networks for more people to become changemakers in their own communities. Everyone has a role to play. Let’s be relentless in our pursuit of solutions. 


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In Case You Missed It: When asked about how we can heal America at the Upswell Summit today Branden Polk said, “Find dignity and a way to humanize one another.” Dr. Buster Soaries, Jr. and Antong Lucky also provided inspiring solutions. 

Branden S. Polk DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. Antong Speaks
“I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.” 
Born into slavery, Booker T. Washington would go on to become a leading voice in America, even advising American presidents on matters of race. 
As Getty Images works to digitize photos of #HBCUs, photos of Washington’s tenure at Tuskegee University in Alabama are becoming increasingly available.
Washington is remembered as one of the best-known civil rights activists in history. Heal America is proud to highlight his work which still inspires people today.
His work would inspire generations to come. 
Known as the “father of Black American art,” Aaron Douglas was an artist whose work was central to the Harlem Renaissance movement. 
In 1930, Douglas served as artist in residence at Fisk University, an HBCU in Nashville, Tennessee, where he painted a collection of murals. Teaching Black students in the segregated south meant that Douglas had a unique perspective that would later be sought out by two American presidents. 
In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt held an exposition meant to aid in the “healing of the nation,” and he asked Douglas to take part. His painting “Aspiration” depicts a progression from slavery to freedom, the Great Migration to northern cities, and hopeful expectation of better things ahead. In 1963, he was invited by President Kennedy for the centennial celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation. 
The world can experience more of Douglas’ art than ever before as Getty Images works to digitize photos of HBCUs.
John Wood, Jr. is a national leader for Braver Angels, a former candidate for Congress, musical artist, writer, speaker, and Heal America Changemaker. 
He’s devoted himself to bridging the gap in today’s fragmented and polarized political environment by promoting love, understanding, and a recognition of every person’s innate human dignity. With today’s conversation on racial justice, the need for open dialogue and reconciliation has never been more important.  
Through his work with Braver Angels he’s spoken and written on the need for a coming together among Americans, for a growing understanding between citizens. We often live in ideological bubbles, which breed inhumanity and anger to our fellow citizens. To solve this, John advocates for an approach imbued with love and charity, aimed at increasing the other’s understanding.
Give a listen to this panel John Wood, Jr. spoke at last year: https://youtu.be/7ozyj6HbKrA
Since its birth, the story of the United States is one of making good on the promises found in the Declaration of Independence – especially the promise that all people are created equal. Be a part of the tradition that seeks to guarantee life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for every single American, no matter their race, gender, creed, or background. https://healamericamovement.org/get-involved/
Tamika Stembridge is the executive director of the DFree Financial Freedom Movement, where she devotes her time to working with Black families facing barriers to financial security. Every day she sees the effects of generational wealth disparities but also the incredible capacity of individuals to overcome the financial barriers standing in their way.
Following stints as a corporate executive and non-profit leader, Tamika wanted to do more. She wanted to use her talents to “represent, advocate for, and advance critical efforts for Black people.” She returned to school as a full-time law and business school student, but faced financial challenges herself during that journey. Thanks to a scholarship that covered her tuition, she was able to graduate from the Rutgers University School of Law while also earning her MBA.
Due to that experience, the dfree® mission deeply resonated with her. The dfree® program is premised on “no debt, no deficits, no delinquencies,” and seeks to empower people to take control of their financial futures despite the barriers that exist.
Listening to people and empowering them to overcome the financial barriers they face is at the center of Tamika’s work. Today, under her leadership, dfree® training programs are distributed by more than 4,000 churches, community groups, service organizations, and employers across the nation.
“We’re at a point in time where everything dfree® stands for is coming to a head,” Tamika says. “We have racial and social injustice. We have the financial implications of Covid-19. When you talk about being built and prepared for a time, I think dfree® really stands at the crossroads of both of those things.”
John Wood, Jr. reminds us how important it is to hear each other’s stories and work to understand each other as we fight racial injustice. “Black lives vary. That matters because what is needed now is an understanding of Black America.” 

Read his WSJ Op-Ed here:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in August 1963, marking a watershed moment in the civil rights movement. As a new generation of our fellow citizens struggles to secure the guarantees of life and liberty, let us remember these words while we work together to make them a reality across our nation.
“There is no divide, 
there is no obstacle, 
there is no challenge we cannot overcome if we work together and arm ourselves with love and redemption.” ~ Dr. Buster Soaries

At our core, Heal America is a movement of Changemakers armed with solutions. Join us: https://healamericamovement.org/
In the span of a few years, Alice Marie Johnson's life was turned upside down. She lost her job, lost her youngest son and husband, became a single mother of four, and lost her house to foreclosure. Out of desperation, she committed a nonviolent criminal offense. 

She had a clean record until then. But none of that mattered to an unmerciful criminal justice system. Alice was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole – despite being a first-time, non-violent offender. “I was given a death sentence without sitting on death row,” Alice recalls. 

Twenty-one years in prison changed her, but it also gave her insight into an often-forgotten world and a new purpose. She dedicated herself to caring for those around her. She became a hospice volunteer to offer companionship to those that needed it in their last moments and organized the first-ever Special Olympics for the incarcerated. 

Alice’s sentence was commuted by the President, and she was released – but her journey has continued ever since. She has since turned her eye toward criminal justice reform. She helped lead the movement that secured the passage of the First Step Act – the most important federal criminal justice reform in 30 years.

But she’s not done, not even close. Through Heal America, Alice is still leading the way toward equal rights and justice for all. She refuses to dwell on the wrongs of the past, whether hers or the system’s. She’s too busy fighting for a brighter future for all – and inspiring millions of others to join her.

Learn more about her story here: https://healamericamovement.org/alice-marie-johnson/alice-marie-johnsons-story/