A Holistic Approach to Policy

Evaluation Lab News

Posted: Dec 03, 2019 - 09:00am

Corrine Sanchez, of San Ildefonso Pueblo, started out in Environmental Studies at Clark University, before earning a Master's in American Studies at UNM, and a PhD from the School of Social Transformation and Justice Studies at ASU. She is now the Executive Director of Tewa Women United (TWU), a non-profit that supports and provides space for women from the six Tewa-speaking pueblos to end gender-based violence, as well as protect and uplift the community and the environment.  Dr. Sanchez explained that TWU braids these interrelated issues “with a strand of healing.”  

Dr. Sanchez spoke to the MPP Policy Seminar about promoting a holistic approach to policy that considers mind, body, and spirit, and about the importance of making sure the people you are targeting have a seat at the table. Especially for a policy that is meant to help a specific community, it is vital to get representatives from that community involved and to empower them to imagine the programs and policies that will work for them.

From there, holistic policies that will be beneficial for the mind, the body, and the spirit of the community, can begin to take shape. For example, in current law when someone is arrested for committing violence against another person, they are punished but there is no language in the policy that addresses the healing or the transformation that needs to happen to assure that this crime will not happen again. This is the kind of transformation Dr. Sanchez champions, and the kind of policy change TWU aims to put into practice. Of this kind of policy, Dr. Sanchez said, “When we heal our trauma, we heal ourselves, and we heal our ancestors, and we transform our children's future.”