American Artscape Notable Quotable: Dr. David Fakunle

By Paulette Beete
Portrait of Black man with beard and long braided hair wearing a orange flowered shirt and holding a staff.

Dr. David Fakunle. Photo by Schaun Champion

"It's about showing that arts and culture are already present in our health.  We are all using some form of creative energy, and it does have a correlation and sometimes causation with our health and wellbeing.  What if we do that with more intentionality?  What if we do that with more emphasis?  What if we do that with more resources?  And that is the overall aim and goals of my work as a mercenary for change, which is what I call myself, is to just show  that these readily accessible tools, these readily accessible skills, can be cultivated in a way that is beneficial for individuals, families, communities, societies, and it relies above all else on our humanity, something that we already possess."

Dr. David Fakunle is a storyteller who also holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he is now a faculty member. He’s also an assistant professor at Morgan State University in the School of Community Health and Policy, and serves as adjunct assistant professor at the University of Florida Center for Arts and Medicine. Fakunle is also the president of the National Association of Black Storytellers and serves as executive director of Womb Work Productions, a social change performing arts company in Baltimore with a focus on kids. While he wears many hats, all of his work explores the intersection of trauma and the healing power of storytelling and the centrality of the artful life to public health. Find our audio interview with Fakunle in the new issue of American Artscape.