Skip navigation Jump to main navigation

Applications for 2024 Columbia Summer Session programs are now open!

Close alert

Who Cares about Care Workers and Educators? Leveraging Wellness to Close the Racial Health Gap

Columbia University Bundles Community Scholars Discussion

Presented by the Columbia School of Professional Studies Community Programs and Office of Government and Community Affairs in collaboration with the Harlem Wellness Center and the Afro.Scholar EdCollective and Harlem is Healing

In this timely, equity-focused discussion on wellness during the twin pandemics of COVID and a nationwide reckoning with systemic racism, three Columbia Bundles Community Scholars will discuss the development of culturally responsive wellness spaces focused on sustaining careworkers and educators.


Vivian Williams-Kurutz (moderator) is a visionary, founder and executive director of Harlem Wellness Center, health activist, community organizer, speaker, yoga and meditation teacher, writer and business owner based in Manhattan, NY. Through her two decades of work at the intersection of racial, health and environmental justice; and as co-owner with her husband, of Plowshares Coffee, she is committed to contributing to the vibrancy, health and stability of her community and the world.

Dr. Andolyn Brown is the co-founder and co-director of the non-profit Afro.Scholar EdCollective developed in partnership with the Columbia Bundles Community Scholars program. Afro.Scholar EdCollective is a wired non-local community of care that provides teachers in large urban school districts across the country with space for critical dialogue, tools and resources to sustain themselves as they engage in the grueling work of teaching for educational equity. In addition, Dr. Brown is currently the Senior Equity Associate for the Innovations for Equity and Systemic Change office of NYU Steinhardt schools’ Metropolitan Center for Research and Equity and the Transformation of Schools.

Janessa Waiters is a Black, queer, disabled, survivor and former nanny with more than 15 years of experience in the domestic care work industry. She will share that care work journey in the forthcoming zine Fussifier (2022). Janessa remains in the care sector, engaging in energy healing work and workshop facilitation. Working toward liberation with organizations such as the National Domestic Workers Alliance, NYC POC Healing Circle, Beyond Identity and Collective Power, Janessa agrees with Toni Morrison that motherhood was “the most liberating thing that ever happened to [her].

About the Columbia University Bundles Community Scholars Program

The Columbia University A’Lelia Bundles Community Scholars Program, administered by the Office of Government and Community Affairs and the School of Professional Studies, enables independent scholars to pursue their lifelong learning aspirations, whether it be completing an independent project or attaining skills in a particular area. The program helps to foster and deepen ties between the University and the many independent members of the cultural and intellectual community surrounding it. The program was named in honor of longtime University Trustee A’Lelia Bundles in 2020.


For questions, please contact George Calderaro at gc2212 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.

For additional information about program offerings at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, please contact an Admissions Counselor at 212-854-9666 or inquire [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu.