Dr. Harvey Hinton III’s vision for a Culture of Health is to make his community better for African Americans using creativity and restorative actions. For Dr. Hinton, a “healing-centered” approach is needed to improve the quality of life for Black people, as a result of the historical traumas from years of exposure to racism and violence. Well noted are the health disparities and social inequities associated with Black people in the United States. Calls for racism and violence to be recognized as national public health concerns are common. In Durham, N.C., like many southern cities, trauma from the historical legacies of racism and violence have robbed the lives and potential of many African American families.
During the 2016 Durham County Community Health Assessment Survey, the most common response (19 percent) to the question, “What one thing would make Durham County or your neighborhood a better place to live?” was “the reduction of crime and violence.” From 2011 to 2015 in Durham County, homicide was the leading cause of death among 20- to 39-year-olds and the second leading cause of death among those from infancy to age 19.
To further complicate the matter, police violence against African American males has gained national attention. Black women face higher rates of intimate partner violence, rape, and homicide. Since 2013, the Human Rights campaign has documented that 85 percent of transgendered or gender nonconforming victims of fatal violence were people of color. The stress of these conditions is manifested in the community, leaving Black people living in fear and on constant alert for the ever-present dangers of violence. Still, despite the negative narratives and realities of the African American lived experience, Dr. Hinton has hope in restoring the greatness of his community.
Through the Culture of Health Leaders program, Dr. Hinton is building a Culture of Health in Durham that leads to collective community healing by not asking “What happened to you?” but affirming “What’s right with you?” Dr. Hinton’s Culture of Health is centered on African American culture, spirituality, and civic action to foster healing that reflects the dreams, interest, and aspirations of the African American community.
MORE ABOUT HARVEY
Dr. Hinton comes from a tradition of Black people who were leaders, educators, athletes, builders, and healers. Throughout his 20-year professional career in leadership and influencing others, he has relied on such traditions in pursuit of his passion of creating change in his community. He is participating in the Culture of Health Leaders program to increase his visibility to direct resources to the healing work that is happening in Durham. More so, Dr. Hinton is excited about the learning, coaching, and connecting with other Culture of Health Leaders.