Media & Performances


Where Do We Go From Here?

Excerpts from Urban News, Staff Reports, July 2018

Teacher and healer Meta Commerse leads Story Medicine classes on a weekly basis.

Commerse is a seasoned teacher and healer committed to personal and community transformation. Story Medicine is an ancient indigenous modality; this iteration blends the power of story with the generative written word, in a form Commerse describes as magnetic. Past students have found themselves compelled to tell their untold stories, leaving the experience with fresh, liberating perspectives.

According to Commerse, “racial healing” is a term introduced by veteran healers whose activism exposed the systemic nature of white supremacy on all who live under its influence. “We use a time-tested teaching method engaging the whole person. Our multi-media approach makes for an unforgettable class.”

The class is conducted in West African ritual space where students engage in tough conversations in heart language… and emerge changed.

Womaning: A Memoir

David Rayburn Interviews Meta Commerse About Her Newest book, Womaning, for His Practicing Gospel Podcast

In this episode, David speaks to Meta about her groundbreaking book, Womaning. Click the link below to listen.

Breaking the Silence
The Race Relations Station
Aims for Racial Healing

In 2015, the BBC reported on race relations in the U.S., including survey results that three-quarters of whites don’t have nonwhite friends.  America might be composed of people from everywhere, yet today, as in our early history, we live apart from the “other.”

Americans were first divided by race by the slave codes instituted in Southern colonies in the 1600s.  The BBC reminds us that since that era, no federal legislation has reversed racial segregation.  “Why Are Cities Still So Segregated?” an NPR program, explores this phenomenon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5FBJyqfoLM).

Asheville is promoted as a beautiful vacation destination.   But visitors arrive and find a conspicuous absence of people of color at our city’s desirable spaces.   Our systemic separation is uninterrupted.  It leaves us chronically estranged, ignorant and perhaps even fearful of each other.

Click below to hear part one of David Rayburn’s Racial Healing interviews with Meta Commerse.

The Racial Healing Interviews, Part 2

As Meta said in Part 1, “My work with people takes them to those stories, to those places that they had not told, had not spent time with, but had spent a lot of energy not telling. Working with them, somehow, preparing a way for them to break silence and go ahead and tell it…this is the nature and purpose of story medicine.”

The Racial Healing Interviews, Part 3

This is Part 3 of David Rayburn’s Racial Healing interview with Meta Commerse. In this episode we bring together the threads of Meta’s writing, aesthetic arts and healing arts into the tapestry of racial healing. As David says in the interview, “If we are going to have a better future, especially together as people broken by prejudice, misperception, misunderstanding, and the terrible history of hate, violence, and oppression that is the legacy of white supremacy, we want to know where we are going – a vision of the future and what it looks like – we want a map or guide.”

Performances