Barbara Smith Coleman: Exploring Meaning and Contribution
October 15, 2019
Barbara Smith Coleman, the founder of Commonweal’s sister program, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer when she called Commonweal Director Michael Lerner. She said, “Michael, the doctors say I have, at best, six months to live. Now is the time for me to put my resources into starting a Cancer Help Program on the East Coast.” With Michael’s guidance, Barbara got the Smith Center Cancer Help Programs up and running and lived seven more years to grow the program and serve as sand-tray facilitator at the retreats. With absolute certainty, Barbara claimed that the purpose and meaning she found in doing this work was what helped her outlive her prognosis and truly live until she died.