During her presentation, Imad advocated for a shift in culture within higher education and urged attendees to explore potential solutions to the burnout crisis affecting institutions nationwide. A key theme was the concept of creating “resilient spaces” where colleagues and students, particularly those from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, can acquire the necessary skills, resources, and support to overcome challenges and learn from them.
At several points, Imad paused the discussion and asked participants to form small groups at their tables to discuss topics such as intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism – which emphasizes the importance of healing historical injustices and systemic oppression – and how they can apply these concepts in their work.
Following 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 campus resources, challenging existing inequalities within higher education, and examining unspoken “agreements” in higher education that may be harmful.
In conclusion, participants left the event with a renewed 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, including reducing content if necessary while still meeting learning objectives. As Imad stated: “Resilience is our ability to bounce back when we experience adversity or trauma. It’s important to remember that resilience is not a one-size-fits-all solution.” Future sessions will take place in Winter and Spring Quarters. Information on registration for future events will be posted on the Equity in Mental Health series website as details are finalized.