Critical Futures

An interview-based podcast by the IHJE. It’s Critical, because the time is now to conjure the world we want to live and thrive in. It’s also Futurity: the intentional imagining and materializing of liberated futures.

6 August 2023

Series 1, Episode 6: "Aligning with Community and for Community"

Featuring Rhonda Belue from University of Texas at San Antonia along with her community partner Michelle Lugalia-Hollon

About Our Guests

Rhonda BeLue

Rhonda BeLue, PhD CQM/OE, is a Professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Texas, San Antonio. She is also the Associate Dean of Community Engagement & Partnership in the College of Health, Community, and Policy. Her work focuses on improving health care access and promoting healthy behaviors in families and organizations in Black/BIPoC communities in the US and global south. She has worked as a local public health practitioner in Nashville, TN where she served as the director of the research and evaluation unit and the liaison between the Nashville Metro Public Health Department and local community and academic institutions. She holds a Master of Statistics and a PhD in Policy Analysis & Management from Cornell University and Graduate Certificates in Organizational Leadership and Development from St. Louis University.


Highlighted Work:

Michelle Lugalia-Hollon

Michelle Lugalia-Hollon has worked in politics, government, philanthropy and with several non-profits focused on addressing maternal and infant HIV/AIDS prevention, violence prevention, homelessness, trauma, youth development, restorative justice, economic, community and workforce development, and public health. She graduated from the Harvard School of Public Health with a master’s in Society, Human Development and Health in 2010 and with a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago in 2007. She has lived in Kenya, Houston, Chicago, Boston and currently lives in San Antonio with her family where, most recently, she was Mayor Nirenberg’s Director of Policy.


Highlighted Work:

Anti-Racism Consortium

The Institute for Healing Justice & Equity (the Institute or IHJE) aims to eliminate disparities caused by systemic oppression and to improve individual and community health and well-being through systems change and deep community partnership. As part of these core goals, IHJE created a panel of content experts, community advocates, and organizations called the Anti-Racism Consortium. Each consortium member has a history of working to:

  • develop and advocate for anti-racist health policy;
  • address the root causes of health inequities; and
  • develop programs and interventions that address multiple levels of medical racism, structural racism in health and the health care system.

In the Critical Futures podcast series, Consortium members describe their work and perspectives related to anti-racist health policy as well as structural racism in the healthcare system. These interviews are also conducted with a community partner that the members have worked alongside — with the goal of highlighting how to deeply work with community in a way that shares power and that moves us all towards liberation.

Additional Credits

This episode was produced as part of the work of the Anti-Racism Consortium. Support for the Consortium was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.

Episode Host: Amber Johnson | Executive Director, IHJE.

Audio Production: KJ Schaeffner | Web Developer + Designer, IHJE.

Podcast Artwork: Wriply M. Bennet.

Theme Music: Future Vision/FineTune Music via Adobe Stock.