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Mindful : October 2019
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Victoria Dawson is a freelance writer based in Washington, DC. She regularly contributes to Mindful. T ell me about the words in your title at the Depart- ment of Public Health: mindfulness, trauma, and racial equity. Trauma and stress are chronic public health issues. The department is saying we need to address the ways that trauma and stress affect us in the workforce, so that we don’t end up doing harm to each other and to the very people we seek to help. And mindfulness? We are hoping we can become a more mindful organization and that we can nest our trauma work in being present and conscious and kind. Learning to reset, recognizing unconscious biases, building resilience, helping the lead- ership be more compassionate—these are the things we want to encourage, through mindfulness. What about racial equity? Racism is a form of trauma. To begin to unravel the harm of racism—the historical trauma, the microaggres- sions, the white fragility that often is a barrier to conversation—people need to have a level of self-awareness, to be able to sit, without judgment, with what is uncomfortable, to be present and aware, and to hold this inquiry with curiosity and kindness. 40 mindful October 2019 the mindful interview