Dr. Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert
Following a 26-year career in higher education, Dr. Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert, MAPP, PhD became the Founder and Executive Director of a 501(c)3 nonprofit, the Foundation for Family and Community Healing (www.HealingEdu.org). She has published almost 100 journal articles, books, and book chapters, and has written hundreds of blogs for Psychology Today, Brainz Magazine, the Silver Lining blog, and through FFCH. Dr. Calvert is a radio show host, and a consultant (www.SusannaCalvert.com) with a passion for helping individuals and organizations find and pursue their calling and the highest versions of themselves.
Tell us about your life before the venture/ leading up to your venture?
After achieving everything I had ever dreamed of, I was miserable. I went on a quest for meaning and authenticity, leaving academia for leadership and career development. Then I lost both my sister and husband to cancer, then received divine inspiration to quit my dream job and start FFCH to try to bring healing to the world.
Tell us something about your organization. What is it about and how is it helpful for people?
The Foundation for Family and Community Healing realizes that people everywhere are suffering from depression, anxiety, and loneliness despite our knowledge and wealth. What’s missing is our ability to create healthy and rewarding relationships with ourselves, each other, Earth, and the loving force that connects us. Therefore, FFCH offers online skill development in these areas, 24/7, in a beautiful and interactive platform. Pay what you’re able. Do them alone, with a loved one or co-worker, or in a group. Go at our recommended pace or your own. Do the whole module or parts of it. Find it on your smart phone or internet browser. It’s there to fit into your life and provide what you, your loved ones, and your communities need to thrive together.
What has been the response of the consumers towards your venture?
Our platform was built on topics and content that transforms people’s lives. Our educators use empirical evidence to develop and use content, and have been teaching or training for years. Our platform is pretty new and so far we’re receiving so much praise for how enlightening and helpful they are:
For example: “deeper sense of self,….I’ve developed a meditation practice…helping me grow in this new stage of life”; “It gave me convenient methods on how to deal with my mental health and how I could help others as well!”; “The course nicely guided me to make some changes to my lifestyle“; “helped me develop a practice to nurture and grow my relationship with self“; “helped me take a deep look at myself“, “set me on a path of self-reflection… brought an appreciation element into my life…I learned how to better connect and support others…I (also) connect more with nature. It fits with what you knowing and unknowingly are looking for.”
We have also had initial success partnering with organizations who feel our modules are helpful to their community, including government agencies, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations doing youth or adult development, and workforce development.
We’ve also received press coverage from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a cover story on North of the James, an interview on NBC12, Brainz Top 500 Global Award, a blog on Psychology Today, a radio show, and several keynote speeches and sermons.
How has your life changed because of your venture?
I have discovered a deeper level of leadership which is so much easier, more enjoyable, more rewarding, and more effective than my previous style. This quest for authenticity has led here, where my work feels like the playground for me to be my fullest, biggest, most genuine self. I am integrating task and cognitive activities with the emotional and intuitive, in a beautiful yin/yang that feels dynamic and synergistic. I’m not rejecting my feminine side any more and I feel more whole, capable, and stronger than I have ever felt.
I feel others recognize this change in me; when speaking from a place of deep authenticity and passion, it tends to resonate much more with others. I’m at the stage where our work is starting to really take off, and it’s really exciting.
I’m also realizing that part of my path is for mentoring and sharing these more personal lessons with the world. I feel this is applicable to both men and women, because the currency of the feminine – relationships, feelings, intuition, collaboration – are largely lost in the Western world, regardless of gender. This needs to be corrected and this is a path that’s opening up for me now too.
I also have great hope for the future during this time of rampant despair. My life lessons have taught me that big challenges are opportunities to grow our soul. It’s the timeless human quest, and these times are inviting us to be our biggest selves.
Thank you for this interview so I can start sharing these messages.
Give a motivational message for the audience/women who are reading this.
See challenges and setbacks as invitations for learning and growth. Then you will discover gifts, insights, and strength that will take you places you’ve never imagined. It’s all within you but don’t be afraid to ask for help as you embark on this courageous and life-changing journey.