Imad’s presentation focused on the need for a culture shift in higher education, with the goal of addressing the burnout epidemic that has affected institutions across the country. The central theme was creating “resilient spaces” where colleagues and students from historically underserved and marginalized backgrounds could be equipped with the necessary skills, resources, and support to navigate challenges and learn from them.
During her presentation, Imad paused multiple times to ask attendees to form small groups at their tables to discuss concepts such as intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism – which emphasizes the importance of healing historical injustices and systemic oppression. After each small group discussion, volunteers were asked to share takeaways with the entire room. Among the ideas brought up were ways to help students better navigate resources available on campus, challenging entrenched inequalities in higher education, and examining unspoken “agreements” that may be harmful.
In conclusion, participants left with a sense of empowerment to make their courses more resilient-proof by checking in with students about their feelings about the course and being willing to make adjustments while still meeting learning objectives. According to Imad, resilience is not a one-size-fits-all concept – it’s our ability to bounce back from adversity or trauma. Future sessions will occur during Winter and Spring Quarters; information about registration for future events will be posted on the Equity in Mental Health series website once details are finalized.