Dr. Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert, MAPP, PhD is a leader, coach, speaker, entrepreneur, educator, and writer who inspires and enables others to make our beautiful future a reality. She is the Founder and Convener for Mission and Vision at The Foundation for Family and Community Healing, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that helps all to develop the skills needed to create healthy, rewarding, and resilient relationships with ourselves, each other, Earth, and the loving force that unites us. She is a blogger for Psychology Today and hosts Finding Our Fit, a radio show on WRWK93.9 FM. Her mission is to help individuals, organizations, and communities to become their highest selves and fulfill their deepest, most authentic purpose – our spark within that creates ripples throughout. Learn more about her at SusannaCalvert.com. Photo credit: Rebecca D'Angelo
Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert, Founder And Executive Director
Who is Susanna?
Dr. Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert, MAPP, PhD believes in turning challenges and loss into opportunities for learning and growth to make the world a better place for us all to live in. Born to Chinese immigrants, refugees of the Communist government, Susanna learned at an early age that hard work and challenges are facts of life. She also discovered early on that learning and growth can be used in a way to help others, especially when done with authenticity.
“The bigger the challenge, the bigger the growth opportunity.”
Calvert had a major encounter with loss in 2018, when both her sister and husband succumbed to cancer. It set into motion a spiritual journey, a search for a deeper meaning in her life, and divine inspiration to quit her dream job at the University of Georgia, thus ending a 26-year career in higher education. She moved back to Richmond, Virginia where she now lives with her two unruly dogs and in close proximity to her two adult sons, and started a 501(c)3 nonprofit called the Foundation for Family and Community Healing (www.HealingEdu.org).
A self-described spiritual and Earth-loving junkie, she has found a peaceful, joyful, meaningful life in the wake of tragedy and is committed to helping others do the same.
What is it that you do for your clients?
Calvert believes the root of many of our modern problems stem from unhealthy relationships with ourselves, each other, Earth, and a lack of sense in our deeper purpose. Therefore, the Foundation for Family and Community Healing’s (FFCH) mission is to help everyone learn to create healthy and rewarding relationships through skill development.
Calvert’s experience with education in schools and workplaces revealed to her that way too much of learning is never applied to our lives. She seeks to change this with her online, interactive, relationship skill education platform designed for individuals and/or groups of learners from youth through adult.
Though the modules are self-guided and self-facilitating, FFCH also offers facilitation for a more hands-on approach, which tends to benefit skill development. The modules are available to the public on a donation basis, to ensure everyone, no matter what their resources are, has access.
“Relationship wellbeing is a human right, and a skill that is usually overlooked by our schools and workplaces. It also is what we need to recreate thriving individuals, families, communities, and Earth, “ says Calvert. FFCH makes it accessible, affordable, and practical for all of the relationship skills we need.
Who should hire/work with you?
Though relationship skill education is potentially for everyone, (“we all have something to learn about ourselves, each other, Earth, and the loving force that connects us,” according to Calvert), it’s the change agents in schools, workplaces, families, and communities that will deeply resonate with FFCH’s work and mission. Change agents that envision what students, adults, families and communities could become, and FFCH provides the tools for learners to move step by step through the change process.
Calvert says that change is never easy; it takes commitment and effort. For the people who are ready to make that change, FFCH helps them to transform their lives.
What is your big goal? Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
Calvert believes that vibrant relationships with everybody and everything are available to all, and can change everything. “Our wellbeing, at its essence, is so dependent on our ability to create positive relationships. But we’ve forgotten how to do that. FFCH is here to change all of that, for everyone, and in doing so, we offer wellbeing to the world.”
Calvert further believes that climate change is, in part, a relationship issue, in which humanity is in a failing relationship with Earth. By restoring humanity’s connection with Earth to a loving, reciprocal relationship, we can tip the balance in our climate change trajectory according to Calvert.
“All of us are dreaming of a more beautiful future. We are here to help make that a reality for current and future generations, with and for Earth.”
What do you want everyone to know?
“For every challenge, loss, and disappointment, there are equal opportunities, gains, and happiness to be found. It doesn’t make the hard side irrelevant or something to ignore; rather the learning and growth is available in equal measure and can lead to healing and beauty.
Our modern lives are full of hardship, even before the pandemic began. Allow yourself to embrace learning and growth for your small and large challenges. It will help you get through the darkest days and you might even be surprised by the new you that emerges.”