This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Julia Rowland, Ph.D.

Caregiving for a loved one or friend with a serious illness is hard enough. Add concern about a pandemic virus to the mix, and the result can be high levels of anxiety, stress, and poor physical well-being. In this conversation we will discuss the burdens and benefits of caregiving, impact of COVID on these, and tools to maximize caregivers’ personal health and resilience.


Wellness in the Time of COVID

The Washington Home

This 6-month integrative wellness series, sponsored by The Washington Home, will be offered to caregivers, those who are critically ill, and those facing cancer-related challenges during this especially difficult time.

Check out the full series program schedule HERE!


About Julia Rowland, Ph.D.

Julia Rowland Senior Strategic Advisor

Julia Rowland, PhD, who joined Smith Center in October 2017, comes to this position as a long-time clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors and their families, and published broadly in psycho-oncology, including co-editing, along with Dr. Jimmie Holland, the ground-breaking text, Handbook of Psychooncology.  She has also been a frequent speaker on cancer survivorship, or life after cancer, for both professional and lay audiences.

Julia received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in psychosocial oncology. While at MSKCC, where she held joint appointments in pediatrics and neurology, Julia helped to develop and was the first Director of the Post-Treatment Resource Program, one of the first non-medical survivorship care programs to be offered by a major cancer center in the U.S. In 1990 she moved with her husband and two young children to Washington, DC to become founding Director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center. There she helped expand services to meet the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and families, launched some of the first quality of life clinical trials, and also introduced a program to enable first-year medical students to learn the art of caring for those living through and beyond cancer from survivors themselves and Lombardi faculty. Nine years later, in September of 1999, she was recruited to the National Cancer Institute to become the first, full-time Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, a position in which she served for 18 years, championing the growth of survivorship research and care, before stepping down in September 2017 to assume her new role at Smith Center. Although new to the team, Julia is no stranger to Smith Center. She knew Smith Center’s founder, Barbara Smith Coleman, and has volunteered her expertise across the years as a speaker, group leader and staff member for both the 1-day and weeklong residential retreats. Julia brings to her new role a passion to translate what research has taught us about healing in the context of cancer to the broader community, in essence, taking the science of survivorship from the lab bench to the park bench.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kiersten Gallagher

Creative expression has often been used in the healing process and it is at the core of Smith Center’s philosophy, but fear of judgment and “not being an artist” can often prevent us from tapping into its healing power. Join us for Outside the Lines, where a facilitator will help you reclaim art-making as a healing tool through guided creative projects. Participants who feel comfortable working on their own projects are also welcome to do so.


Outside the Lines is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • September 16
  • October 14 (Wellness in the Time of COVID Series – with Kunle Adewale)
  • October 28 (Social Hour)
  • November 4 & 18
  • December 2 & 16

Suggested donation: $10 per class

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.


The group is held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month. Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • September 9 & 23
  • October 7 & 21
  • November 4 & 18
  • December 2 & 16

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kiersten Gallagher

Creative expression has often been used in the healing process and it is at the core of Smith Center’s philosophy, but fear of judgment and “not being an artist” can often prevent us from tapping into its healing power. Join us for Outside the Lines, where a facilitator will help you reclaim art-making as a healing tool through guided creative projects. Participants who feel comfortable working on their own projects are also welcome to do so.


Outside the Lines is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • September 2 (Social Hour)
  • September 16
  • October 14 (Wellness in the Time of COVID Series – with Kunle Adewale)
  • October 28 (Social Hour)
  • November 4 & 18
  • December 2 & 16

Suggested donation: $10 per class

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Chef Cathryn Pethick

Nourishing Ourselves in Harmony with Summer, the Season of Pitta: An Aryuveda-inspired Cooking Class with Chef Cathryn Pethick

The fundamental principle of Ayurveda is that our habits, lifestyle routines and dietary choices should ebb and flow with the seasons, in harmony with the cycles of Nature. Our bright, hot and humid summer climate is the time to stay cool and hydrated with appropriate food and preparation choices, and support our energy in being relaxed and grounded. The tastes Ayurveda recommends for summer are those foods that are naturally sweet, bitter and astringent, using fresh, local produce, and just lightly seasoning to allow their wonderful natural flavors to shine through.

Join us in creating a summer menu that features all the farmers’ markets best offerings at the height of the season! We will talk about Ayurveda, provide a dosha quiz for you, and demo some beautiful food and cooking technique for you to put to good use at home!

Suggested Donation: $25


About Cathryn Pethick

Cathryn Pethick, AYS, teaches yoga and Ayurveda in the Washington, DC metro area, and is a long-time professional chef. She is an Ayurveda Yoga Specialist through the Himalayan Institute, teaching the self-care basics of the traditional Indian science of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic cooking to groups and private clients. Since 1997, she has taught both traditional and gentle hatha yoga classes for adults and children, therapeutic classes for seniors and special-needs students, and restorative yoga. It is her deepest desire to offer tools that bring balance and well-being into the lives of those she touches.

Registration for this program is now full. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email kiersten@smithcenter.org.

with Brandel France de Bravo

Compassion Cultivation Training©, Thursday evenings (6:30 pm to 8:30 pm) on Zoom from July 9 through August 27th. Would you like to start or deepen a meditation practice and also help support the Smith Center? One hundred percent of course fees will be donated to the Center. And for those experiencing financial difficulties, please don’t let course fees keep you away! Tuition reductions and waivers are available by emailing the instructor (see below).

Thanks to Covid-19 and its economic and emotional aftermath, we are facing challenges never experienced before, individually and as a society. By strengthening our natural capacity for compassion, empathy and kindness—for ourselves and others—we can become more resilient and better able to cope with the uncertainties of life during a pandemic.

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an eight-week course developed over a decade ago by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers at Stanford University. Many who have taken the course say that it has given them a sense of balance and allowed them to live with greater joy and intention. When we become more aware, open, and curious about the world and the people around us, we can tap into the compassion inside of us to connect with others and be gentler on ourselves.  Practicing compassion can alleviate our worries and fears so we can become powerful forces for good — in our relationships, families, workplaces, and communities.

Classes will be held weekly on Thursdays via Zoom (6:30 pm to 8:30 pm) from July 9 through August 27th. Each class builds upon the previous but if you have to miss a class one week, that’s okay. Each week includes:

  • In-class guided meditations and online recordings for use at home
  • Group discussions and in-class exercises relevant to each week’s theme
  • Optional readings, videos, and practices for outside the classroom to enhance learning and support a daily meditation and compassion practice

Cost of course: $325 before June 25th, and $375 after June 25thALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE SMITH CENTER FOR HEALING AND THE ARTS. To request that the course fee be reduced or waived due to financial hardship, kindly email Brandel France de Bravo and let her know what amount is comfortable for you to pay. Write to: bravofrance@gmail.com


About Brandel France de Bravo

Brandel France de Bravo holds a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and is a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She has two decades of experience researching and designing health interventions in the U.S. and abroad. She has run an HIV prevention program in Africa, designed harm reduction strategies for intravenous drug users in Central Asia, and developed materials to help cancer patients in the U.S. make informed decisions about their treatment. She is co-author of a parenting book influenced by the RIE philosophy of infant-toddler care and is a published poet and essayist. She studied Compassion Cultivation Training with founding faculty while a fellow at Stanford University and is honored to be a certified teacher of CCT.

http://www.brandelfrancedebravo.com/

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Thelma D. Jones & Guests

An Evening of Healing with Smith Center and TDJBCF
Whether you are dealing with health challenges, the impact of COVID-19 or the pain of racism, the need for self-care and healing practices has never been greater. Join Smith Center for Healing and the Arts and the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Support Group Fund for an evening focused on healing and self-care resources. During the evening, members will be led through meditation, art/writing and music practices to bring solace and peace of mind during difficult times.
Featuring:
Kiersten Gallagher, Cancer Support Program Director, Smith Center
Lisa Simms Booth, Executive Director, Smith Center
Tamara Wellons, Artist-in-Residence Program Manager, Smith Center
Thelma D. Jones, TDJBCF

About the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund Support Group (TDJBCF Support Group)

Established in April 2010 and modeled after a support group at the World Bank Group, the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Support Group is the signature program of the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund, providing a warm, welcoming, safe and secure environment for participants to discuss their diagnosis and concerns while receiving hope, inspiration and courage during their journey. As someone who has traveled the journey with an extensive support system, Founder Thelma D. Jones strongly believes that no one should travel their cancer journey alone. The highly-acclaimed and three-times nationally recognized support group meets regularly at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in Southwest DC, unless otherwise specified. Approximately 1000 women, men and young girls have attended the meetings since its inception. Most participants are breast cancer survivors who attend on a regular basis and periodically invite other survivors who become regular members as well.

A highlight of the support group is providing a forum for breast cancer survivors as well as a speaking venue for renowned guest speakers.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Ananda Leeke

Come learn about and practice your birthright to mindfulness.


About Ananda Leeke

Ananda Leeke

Ananda Leeke discovered mindfulness, self-care, and wellness when her career as a lawyer, an investment banker, and a digital communications professional stressed her out, caused burnout, and did not produce the level of success she expected. During Ananda’s healing journey, she studied and practiced meditation, yoga, reiki, journaling, art-making, and creative writing. They helped her develop self-care practices and become resilient. As a result, she became a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher, a reiki master practitioner, a sound healer, and an artist-in-residence for the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.

Today, she travels the world helping high achievers and mission-driven companies, organizations, and communities become resilient and thrive with mindfulness, self-care, wellness, and creativity as the Chief Mindfulness Officer of Ananda Leeke Consulting, a wellness company that specializes in personal and professional development. She leads the Thriving Mindfully Academy and hosts and produces the Thriving Mindfully Show on Eaton Radio. In 2019, she was selected by lululemon to serve as a lululemon luminary, received Acquisition International’s Influential Businesswoman in Professional Development – USA Award, and was named a Well-Being Warrior by the Well-Being and Equity Bridging Network.

Her books, Love’s Troubadours, a yoga-inspired novel; That Which Awakens Me, a mindful creativity memoir; and Digital Sisterhood, a mindful technology memoir, are available on Amazon: https://anandaleeke.com/books. She speaks at trainings, conferences, and events sponsored by AT&T, Automattic, BlogHer, Body Connect Health Wellness, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Community Associations Institute, Eaton DC, Howard University, Institute for Medicaid Innovation, lululemon, Keela, Marisla Foundation, Meetup/WeWork, National Association of Corporate Directors, Nonprofit Technology Network, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Spelman College, The Conference Board, and Wonder Women Tech Summit. In addition, she regularly shares her meditation, mindfulness, and social media expertise as a commentator on WHUR 96.3 FM. Learn more at https://anandaleeke.com.

She is a proud alumna of Georgetown University Law Center, Howard University School of Law, Morgan State University, and Elizabeth Seton High School. She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She lives in the historic U Street, NW neighborhood in Washington, DC.