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Elders Speak


Elder Atum Azzahir Speaks on Uplifting & Memorializing our Culture before and after the Murder of George Floyd

In consideration of the powerful shadows hanging over the “Squared” intersection of Chicago Ave. and 38th Street in Minneapolis.   It is always a rich rewarding experience to offer a view from the aging organizers’ corner of the room. Culture, Spirituality, Life and Breath are unseen resources begging to become visible in the actions of the keepers of this now world renowned “George Floyd Square”.

The question is, how do the forces of Health & Healing, the memories of people who watched the filming of Derek Chavin carrying out his people’s incomprehensible hate for humankind, function side by side, without destroying all harmonic potentiality.  Many hundreds of thousands of people across the world watched this man’s actions in horror and disbelief, while millions of us who have seen this act repeated in public as an entertaining ritual for all our natural lives watched this time not the act but, this act being watched.

From watching the watchers explode from a point of open disgust, we exploded with determination and dedicated will power to take the lead in singing the songs and dancing the dance of “We Are the World”. As choreographers of the dance between Rage and Resiliency, we saw movements of physical bodies across the world that were specifically informed, intolerant, and courageous. We saw dancers of a coherent Jam of cultural futures in “Justice Squared”  

Culture “is something that is transmitted from the past, passed on from generation to generation, and has established itself as ‘tradition’. Tradition is the process through which culture maintains its continuity.”  

 Ahmad A. Azzahir from Time Dimensions and Community Development, Cultural Wellness Center’s Organizers Manual 



Cultural Wellness Center launches GRAB-N-GO at CWC's Community Health Hub Kitchen inside of The Midtown Global Market

On June 1st, the Cultural Wellness Center proudly unveiled its Community Health Hub Kitchen at the Midtown Global Market with a soft launch that highlighted the benefits of ancient grains. This new initiative offers a tantalizing array of Grab-N-Go meals designed to nourish both body and soul, promising a deliciously healthy addition to the market’s vibrant culinary scene.


The Health Hub Kitchen is more than just a spot to pick up a quick bite; it represents a holistic approach to wellness, integrating nutritious food with comprehensive health services. At the soft launch, visitors were treated to an array of meals featuring ancient grains like quinoa, farro, and amaranth, each dish bursting with flavors and packed with nutrients. These grains, revered for their health benefits, formed the cornerstone of the menu, offering patrons a taste of traditional wisdom blended with modern culinary innovation.


In addition to its delectable food offerings, the Health Hub Kitchen provides a range of free health services aimed at promoting overall well-being. Throughout the day, attendees could take advantage of complimentary blood pressure checks, ensuring they stay on top of their cardiovascular health. Free take-home rapid COVID-19 tests were also available, emphasizing the Center’s commitment to public health and safety.


The event wasn’t just about physical health. The Cultural Wellness Center recognizes the importance of mental and emotional wellness, incorporating a variety of therapeutic activities. Guests had the opportunity to experience Somatic Yoga and Somatic Zumba sessions, blending physical movement with mindfulness to foster a deeper connection between body and mind. The soothing practices of Craniosacral Therapy and Meditation offered attendees a chance to unwind and rejuvenate, while Sound Therapy sessions provided a unique auditory experience designed to promote relaxation and stress relief.


The soft launch was a resounding success, drawing a diverse crowd eager to explore the Health Hub Kitchen’s offerings. As the Midtown Global Market’s latest attraction, the Health Hub Kitchen is poised to become a cornerstone of community wellness, providing easy access to nutritious meals and health services in a welcoming environment.


Whether you’re looking for a quick, healthy meal on the go, or seeking ways to enhance your overall well-being, the Cultural Wellness Center’s Health Hub Kitchen has something to offer. Visit the Midtown Global Market today to discover the delicious and vibrant meals and take part in the variety of wellness services designed to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.



The Cultural Wellness Center/Ramsey County Partnership wins RWJF Cultural of Health Prize 2024

We’re experiencing a full-circle moment today at the Cultural Wellness Centerand on Give to the Max Day!

 In 1996, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) honored me with a RWJF Community Health Leadership Award that we used to create and operate the Cultural Wellness Center.

Now, 27 years later, RWJF is recognizing our work with Ramsey County.

We are thrilled to share that Ramsey County — through its partnership with the Cultural Wellness Center — has won the 2023 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize! We could not be prouder of our collective efforts and the partnership that has gotten us here today.

Why were we selected? The prize announcement said, “Located in the heart of Saint Paul’s Twin Cities region, Ramsey County is home to communities that are proactive in building their own future to heal the wrongs of the past. The strong foundation of on-the-ground community partnerships was built out of a desire to regain Kujichagulia (self-determination). Kujichagulia 2.0 is a unique effort between the community-based nonprofit Cultural Wellness Center, Ramsey County, and the Black Community Commission on Health. Making Black community members integral to county decision-making—while keeping the responsibility to policymakers—is central to their goal of eliminating systematized racist practices related to health, housing, education, career opportunities, and other issues that disproportionately affect the Black community. 

 The RWJF Culture of Health Prize includes:

  • A $250,000 prize. ​ 
  • National and local promotion of communities’ stories to inspire other communities and policymakers across the country to take action to create a healthier future for all.  
  • Opportunities to expand networks by connecting with other Prize communities as well as national and local leaders working to improve health equity. 
  • Access to technical assistance, coaching, and workshops to enable us to accelerate our progress.  


In the 10 years since it was launched, the RWJF Culture of Health Prize has celebrated more than 50 communities across the country that are at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all. The 2023 Prize celebrates solutions led by communities like ours that are breaking down the barriers to health and well-being caused by structural racism and other forms of systemic discrimination. We are proud, along with the eight other winning communities, to join the ranks of Prize alumni who are improving health equity across the country. 

Our work has always been by us and for us. This is our win, and we cannot wait for what lies ahead. Thank you for being a part of this journey! 


 In community,

Elder Atum

Cultural Wellness Center 



Statement From the Executive Director

Cultural Wellness Center

Community Health

The Health Institute helps residents interact more knowledgeably with biomedical practitioners, provides referrals, assists in bridging cultural traditions, and provides quality assurance and accreditation for cultural health practices. We serve our community through classes, coaching, consulting, and certifications for people, for families, for communities, and for organizations and institutions.

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Cultural Solutions

The Invisible College provides consultation and educational services on the impact of culture on health as well as ways to interface with the constituent cultures of the community.  The students of the college will learn how to make use of the continuum of medicine in their choices of healing.

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About the Center

Claiming African Systems of Thought

The Cultural Wellness Center is a transformative space that incubates culturally-based solutions to real world problems. Our work at the Cultural Wellness Center is to move from race to culture. By engaging the generative practice of moving from race to culture, one engages the transformative process of being and becoming oneself through the lens of culture. The knowledge produced from this process creates the space for one to heal themselves and build community.

Our Process



Through the stories of our elders and our heritage, we can learn the lessons necessary for a modern life.



The observation of ones-self, and the collective, we can determine the faltering points in our health.



Transform your preconceptions, your understandings, and yourself.



Through these lessons we can learn to contribute to the greater health of the collective.

Community Health Club

The Cultural Wellness Center is a transformative space that engages the process of a healthy lifestyle.

The Invisible College

The Cultural Wellness Center provides cultural immersion experiences for public health and social science researchers who want to strengthen their ability to conduct research alongside cultural communities. We call this cultural approach to knowledge production our Invisible University.

Dreamland on 38th

Dreamland Café Reimagined: The vision is to create a flexible, supportive work space for African-American entrepreneurs to start and expand small businesses focused on the intersection of food and heritage— and to offer a dynamic space to host community gatherings and events.

Culturally Based Economic Development

The Cultural Wellness Center is one of the original partners of the Midtown Global Market, an initiative that gives new and emerging entrepreneurs, many of them low income and recent immigrants, a prime location and support to build a business and a future.

Our Partners

Want to get involved?

Office : 612-721-5745

The Cultural Wellness Center
2025 Portland Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404