On a campus where students are surrounded by various academic, social and mental health stressors, the options for those seeking an inclusive, non-judgmental, ecumenical, spiritual support network are sorely lacking. Therefore, Dr. Sherrá Watkins, associate vice president of Student Health and Wellness, and Student Affairs are hosting a roundtable discussion requesting various interfaith panelists, wellness professionals and student leaders to discuss various well-being topics.
“This powerful and necessary event is the result of student voices being heard,” said Dr. Watkins. “We in Student Affairs are grateful to the students who brought the lack of faith-based support on campus to our attention and are looking forward to learning more at this event so we can continue taking action to grow community and support in this area.”
Addressing the lived experiences of our diverse student population, this program aims to center the questioning, inquiry, and holistic practices students engage in around their health and wellness. Some topics of discussion will include access to care, students with disabilities, LGBTQIA health/wellness, chronic diseases, mental health, stress, body image, recovery/substance use and financial and food insecurity, highlighting that disparities cannot be solved without a community-centered approach.
This roundtable discussion will:
- Uncover how students interact with spirituality and/or religion and the transformative nature of community, the internet, and space.
- Amplify voices including student leaders, community activists, academicians, religious leaders, and politicians within the local community and state by creating a space for their experiences to be shared and documented.
- Create an opportunity for health, wellness, spiritual, religious organizations and leaders, researchers, and engaged citizens to better understand the dynamic ways students engage around their health and wellness and how inequity affects it.
The roundtable discussion will be moderated by (Rev.) Dr. Teddy Reeves, a sought-after public speaker, teacher, facilitator, and preacher. He serves as the curator and specialist of religion at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
For those unable to attend in person, the event will be livestreamed here.