In her presentation, Imad urged for a shift in higher education culture and encouraged participants to explore potential solutions to the burnout epidemic affecting institutions nationwide. The central theme revolved around creating “resilient spaces” where colleagues and students, especially those from marginalized backgrounds, can acquire the necessary skills, resources, and support to overcome challenges and learn from them.
Throughout her speech, Imad paused to ask attendees to form small groups at their tables to discuss concepts such as intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism – emphasizing the importance of healing historical injustices and systemic oppression. After each discussion, she invited volunteers to share their takeaways with the room. Among the ideas brought up were ways to help students better navigate campus resources, challenging entrenched inequalities in higher education, and examining unspoken “agreements” 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. As Imad explained, “You can think of resilience as the opposite of burnout. Resilience is our ability to bounce back when we experience adversity or trauma. It’s important to remember that resilience is not one-size-fits-all.”
Future sessions are scheduled for Winter and Spring Quarters. Information regarding registration for future events will be posted on the Equity in Mental Health series website as details become finalized.