In her presentation, Imad advocated for a shift in culture within higher education to address the burnout epidemic affecting institutions across the country. She emphasized the importance of creating “resilient spaces” where colleagues and students, particularly those from historically underserved and marginalized backgrounds, can develop the necessary skills, resources, and support to navigate challenges and learn from them.
Imad paused throughout her presentation to ask attendees to form small groups at their tables to discuss concepts such as intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism. These discussions focused on how these concepts could be implemented in the work of higher education.
After each small group discussion, Imad invited volunteers to share their takeaways with the entire room. Among the ideas presented were ways to help students better access resources on campus and challenge the inequalities still present in higher education. Attendees also examined unspoken “agreements” in higher education that may be harmful.
Upon conclusion of the event, participants felt empowered to make their courses more resilient by checking in with students about their feelings about the course and being willing to make adjustments, including reducing content if necessary, while still meeting learning objectives. Imad emphasized that resilience is not a one-size-fits-all concept and requires individual adaptation.
Future sessions will take place during Winter and Spring Quarters. Information about registration for future events will be posted on the Equity in Mental Health series website as details are finalized.