In her presentation, Imad argued for a culture shift in higher education and invited participants to explore potential solutions to the burnout epidemic that is affecting institutions across the country. The central theme of her speech was the creation of “resilient spaces” where colleagues and students, particularly those from historically underserved and marginalized backgrounds, can receive the necessary skills, resources, and support to navigate challenges they encounter and grow from their experiences.
Throughout her presentation, Imad paused several times to ask attendees to form small groups at their tables to discuss concepts such as intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism – which emphasizes healing historical harms caused by systemic oppression – and how these concepts can be implemented in their work.
After each small group discussion, Imad asked for volunteers who were willing to share their takeaways with the entire room. Among the ideas brought up were ways to help students better navigate campus resources, challenging entrenched inequalities in higher education, examining unspoken “agreements” in higher education that may be harmful.
Ultimately, participants left the event feeling empowered to make their courses more “burnout-proof,” by checking in with students about their feelings about the course and being willing to make adjustments if necessary while still meeting learning objectives. As she concluded her presentation, Imad reminded them that resilience is not a one-size-fits-all solution but rather our ability to bounce back when we experience 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 as details are finalized.