About

About Dr. Shanequa Smith

I am a restorative practitioner originally from Harlem, NY, who has lived and worked in West Virginia for the past 20 years.

I became a restorative justice practitioner after realizing that I was gifted to heal. As a parent myself (for my own two children and for many other children in my family and community) it took me many years and a Masters Degree in Counseling to learn the difference between providing and parenting. Later, in doing community research to earn my Doctorate in Human and Community Development at West Virginia University, I came to understand that internal healing is a critical need for breaking the cycle of generational poverty. I came to recognize the disproportionate lack of nurturing spaces and institutions in poor and Black communities. In opening space for myself to unlearn and separate from contextual and generational oppression, and in pursuing healing and freedom for myself, I realized that I was called to open this space for communities as well.

Examples of successful projects

Launched the Black Voter Impact Initiative to recognize what Black voters and elected officials are doing statewide and to open space for Black communities to become politically active. This included running a successful Get Out the Vote canvassing campaign in low-income housing areas, conducting interviews with Black leaders and allies across the state, and opening spaces for conversation about political engagement.

Co-launched the first annual Black Policy Day at the WV legislature, a collaborative effort for Black community members to meet with their legislators, talk about the bills that matter to their community, and become politically engaged.

Created Deltas Building Democracy, a sorority-based initiative in partnership with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. providing political knowledge and action, legislative education, and a platform for Black political leaders to speak with the community through virtual and in-person events.

Created an Annual Community Graduation Celebration for high school students in partnership with the City of Charleston, a public grad party and fair that combines celebration with education and resources for families, graduates and the community.

Created Exploring M.E. (My Energy), a personal and professional development club and community mentorship program that exposes girls to tools that will position them to make better choices. Students will explore their self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-regulation, through student-centered, project-based activities. 

Why is a different approach needed to end the cycle of poverty and generational trauma? — THE PROBLEM

  • Current systems are structured only to deal with crisis after it happens, but not to help people before they reach crisis. It’s easier to raise strong children than to repair broken men.
  • Current system penalizes people for doing better.
  • Current system focuses on numbers of people helped rather than providing quality help to individuals. We need an individual approach.

Dr. Shanequa Smith is a Restorative Practitioner with a focus on assisting in the process of healing the well-being of individuals who have been systematically oppressed. She has a Master’s in School Counseling from Marshall Graduate College and a PhD in Human and Community Development from West Virginia University. Dr. Smith uses transformative techniques to assist in creating liberation within individuals who experienced sociohistorical traumas, generated from systematic oppressions. These transformative techniques are embedded in relational and listening practices that redistribute power back within the people. Dr. Smith also enacts collaborative initiatives to reinforce the strength of community villages.

Dr. Shanequa Smith is a Restorative Practitioner who uses transformative techniques to assist in creating liberation within individuals who experience sociohistorical traumas that are generated from systematic oppressions. These transformative techniques are embedded in relational and listening practices that redistribute power back within the people.

BS in Business Management

BA in Economics – both from West Virginia State University

About Dr. Shanequa Smith

I am a restorative practitioner originally from Harlem, NY, who has lived and worked in West Virginia for the past 20 years.


I became a restorative justice practitioner after realizing that I was gifted to heal. As a parent myself (for my own two children and for many other children in my family and community) it took me many years and a Masters Degree in Counseling to learn the difference between providing and parenting. 


Later, in doing community research to earn my Doctorate in Human and Community Development at West Virginia University, I came to understand that internal healing is a critical need for breaking the cycle of generational poverty.


I came to recognize the disproportionate lack of nurturing spaces and institutions in poor and Black communities. In opening space for myself to unlearn and separate from contextual and generational oppression, and in pursuing healing and freedom for myself, I realized that I was called to open this space for communities as well.

Examples of Successful Projects

  • Launched the Black Voter Impact Initiative to recognize what Black voters and elected officials are doing statewide and to open space for Black communities to become politically active. This included running a successful Get Out the Vote canvassing campaign in low-income housing areas, conducting interviews with Black leaders and allies across the state, and opening spaces for conversation about political engagement.

  • Co-launched the first annual Black Policy Day at the WV legislature, a collaborative effort for Black community members to meet with their legislators, talk about the bills that matter to their community, and become politically engaged.

  • Created Deltas Building Democracy, a sorority-based initiative in partnership with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. providing political knowledge and action, legislative education, and a platform for Black political leaders to speak with the community through virtual and in-person events.

  • Created an Annual Community Graduation Celebration for high school students in partnership with the City of Charleston, a public grad party and fair that combines celebration with education and resources for families, graduates and the community.

  • Created Exploring M.E. (My Energy), a personal and professional development club and community mentorship program that exposes girls to tools that will position them to make better choices. Students will explore their self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-regulation, through student-centered, project-based activities. 

Why is a different approach needed to end the cycle of poverty and generational trauma? — THE PROBLEM

  • Current systems are structured only to deal with crisis after it happens, but not to help people before they reach crisis. It’s easier to raise strong children than to repair broken men.

  • Current system penalizes people for doing better.

  • Current system focuses on numbers of people helped rather than providing quality help to individuals. We need an individual approach.

Dr. Shanequa Smith is a Restorative Practitioner with a focus on assisting in the process of healing the well-being of individuals who have been systematically oppressed. She has a Master’s in School Counseling from Marshall Graduate College and a PhD in Human and Community Development from West Virginia University. 


Dr. Smith uses transformative techniques to assist in creating liberation within individuals who experienced sociohistorical traumas, generated from systematic oppressions. These transformative techniques are embedded in relational and listening practices that redistribute power back within the people. Dr. Smith also enacts collaborative initiatives to reinforce the strength of community villages.


Dr. Shanequa Smith is a Restorative Practitioner who uses transformative techniques to assist in creating liberation within individuals who experience sociohistorical traumas that are generated from systematic oppressions. These transformative techniques are embedded in relational and listening practices that redistribute power back within the people.


BS in Business Management

BA in Economics – both from West Virginia State University

Shanequa Smith

Restorative Practitioner

Dr. Shanequa Smith is a Restorative Practitioner with a focus on assisting in the process of healing the well-being of individuals who have been systematically oppressed. She has a Master’s in School Counseling from Marshall Graduate College and a PhD in Human and Community Development from West Virginia University. Dr. Smith uses transformative techniques to assist in creating liberation within individuals who experienced sociohistorical traumas, generated from systematic oppressions. These transformative techniques are embedded in relational and listening practices that redistribute power back within the people. Dr. Smith also enacts collaborative initiatives to reinforce the strength of community villages.

Dr. Shanequa Smith is a Restorative Practitioner who uses transformative techniques to assist in creating liberation within individuals who experience sociohistorical traumas that are generated from systematic oppressions. These transformative techniques are embedded in relational and listening practices that redistribute power back within the people. BS in Business Management BA in Economics – both from West Virginia State University

Shanequa Smith

Restorative Practitioner

Dr. Shanequa Smith is a Restorative Practitioner with a focus on assisting in the process of healing the well-being of individuals who have been systematically oppressed. 


She has a Master’s in School Counseling from Marshall Graduate College and a PhD in Human and Community Development from West Virginia University. 


Dr. Smith uses transformative techniques to assist in creating liberation within individuals who experienced sociohistorical traumas, generated from systematic oppressions. These transformative techniques are embedded in relational and listening practices that redistribute power back within the people. Dr. Smith also enacts collaborative initiatives to reinforce the strength of community villages.

Dr. Shanequa Smith is a Restorative Practitioner who uses transformative techniques to assist in creating liberation within individuals who experience sociohistorical traumas that are generated from systematic oppressions. These transformative techniques are embedded in relational and listening practices that redistribute power back within the people.

BS in Business Management

BA in Economics – both from West Virginia State University

Examples of successful projects

Launched the Black Voter Impact Initiative to recognize what Black voters and elected officials are doing statewide and to open space for Black communities to become politically active. This included running a successful Get Out the Vote canvassing campaign in low-income housing areas, conducting interviews with Black leaders and allies across the state, and opening spaces for conversation about political engagement.

Created an annual community graduation celebration for high school students in partnership with the City of Charleston, a public grad party and fair that combines celebration with education and resources for families, graduates and the community.

Co-launched the first annual Black Policy Day at the WV legislature, a collaborative effort for Black community members to meet with their legislators, talk about the bills that matter to their community, and become politically engaged.

Created Deltas Building Democracy, a sorority-based initiative in partnership with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. providing political knowledge and action, legislative education, and a platform for Black political leaders to speak with the community through virtual and in-person events.

Created Exploring M.E. (My Energy), a personal and professional development club and community mentorship program that exposes girls to tools that will position them to make better choices. Students will explore their self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-regulation, through student-centered, project-based activities.

Examples of successful projects

Launched the Black Voter Impact Initiative to recognize what Black voters and elected officials are doing statewide and to open space for Black communities to become politically active. This included running a successful Get Out the Vote canvassing campaign in low-income housing areas, conducting interviews with Black leaders and allies across the state, and opening spaces for conversation about political engagement.

Created an annual community graduation celebration for high school students in partnership with the City of Charleston, a public grad party and fair that combines celebration with education and resources for families, graduates and the community.

Co-launched the first annual Black Policy Day at the WV legislature, a collaborative effort for Black community members to meet with their legislators, talk about the bills that matter to their community, and become politically engaged.

Created Deltas Building Democracy, a sorority-based initiative in partnership with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. providing political knowledge and action, legislative education, and a platform for Black political leaders to speak with the community through virtual and in-person events.

Created Exploring M.E. (My Energy), a personal and professional development club and community mentorship program that exposes girls to tools that will position them to make better choices. Students will explore their self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-regulation, through student-centered, project-based activities.