Ivanka Trump: ‘I Think Healing Needs To Happen In The Country’

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

As people across the United States continue to call for reforms in law enforcement, Ivanka Trump said she believed change will only come when more people begin to listen to the people around them in their communities.

Trump, who recently visited Pittsburgh, told the national political reporter Salena Zito about how she spent time listening to African American pastors and members of the community.

Zito, via a Washington Examiner op-ed, wrote:

Ivanka Trump said she slipped into the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh Tuesday morning unannounced and unnoticed so she could spend the day listening to and meeting with African American pastors and members of the predominantly black community without the glare of the spotlight.

Trump, a senior adviser to the president, said she kept her visit with the faith community, along with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at the Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ, low-key because she wanted no distractions from her mission of listening to the frustrations and concerns of parents and community leaders about their experiences with law enforcement over their lifetimes.

During an interview later with the Washington Examiner, Trump shared why she went to engage the community.

“I have a saying, a personal saying, which is that ‘I never learn anything by talking,’” she said. “And I reflect on that a lot and remind myself of that a lot, including what it is to tell myself to shut up and listen. But it’s true. Nobody, nobody learns anything by talking. So you have to engage, you have to listen. And we did, we for sure did a lot of it that today.”

Trump shared that during her time in Pittsburgh, she also distributed fresh produce and foods to “vulnerable familes,” the op-ed continued.

During the interview, Trump said the trip “gave us a really great opportunity to have a robust and candid dialogue about how we can, how we can work collectively and bring around holistic revitalization and both in Pittsburgh and this particular community I visited and others just like it.”

She continued:

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I think healing needs to happen in the country, spiritual healing is a major catalyst for that and in a very positive way. So I was grateful to have the opportunity to talk with so many people and hear it firsthand. I mean, obviously the church is a great force in so many communities and great contributor to, for, equality and opportunity and ensuring, just like our administration tries each and every day, to make sure no one’s left behind. So there’s a shared goal. It’s a lot of the innovation is also being driven by faith based nonprofit organizations. So there’s a lot to learn as we focus on that, that last mile of need, as we were calling it. So food just on a very basic level is an investment in people.

And it was something that they were really excited to be able to bring such a strong and well-designed program to stand it up so quickly and be so successful in its execution.

We discussed a lot about how church transformation begins at a local level, starting in our families or schools or neighborhoods. And of course in our churches, like the one I visited today. So these are all leaders in the community and they know the challenges and they’re the best to really pray with families and help uplift them.