In her presentation, Imad advocated for a shift in culture within higher education and encouraged attendees to explore potential solutions to the burnout crisis affecting institutions nationwide. A key theme was the idea of creating “resilient spaces” where colleagues and students, particularly those from historically marginalized backgrounds, can develop the skills, resources, and support needed to overcome challenges and learn from them.
Throughout her talk, Imad paused to facilitate small group discussions on topics such as intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism – the importance of healing historical injustices and systemic oppression. After each session, she asked for volunteers to share their insights with the room. Among the ideas that emerged were ways to better help students access campus resources, challenging entrenched inequalities in higher education, and examining unspoken “agreements” within the field.
The event concluded with participants feeling empowered to make their courses more resilient to burnout by checking in with students about their feelings and being willing to adjust course content while still meeting learning objectives. Imad emphasized that resilience is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather an ability to bounce back from adversity or trauma. Future sessions will take place during Winter and Spring Quarters; information on registration for these events will be posted on the Equity in Mental Health series website as details become available.