CoVAC Cares: Sessions for Black Personnel in Higher Ed
Virtual Mutual Help Group for Dealing with Burnout and Race-based Stress
While all college professionals are managing burnout from the pandemic, Black/African American professionals may simultaneously be experiencing race-based trauma. To create a safe space and an environment that allows Black/African American professionals an opportunity to focus on the intersection of these experiences, allies are requested to preserve this space for Black and African American colleagues. There is also a CoVAC Cares series for all campus personnel. Learn more here.
CoVAC recognizes the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and the increased exposure to race-based disparities in our society. As many campus personnel struggle with symptoms of burnout, persons who identify as Black are oftentimes at risk of experiencing burnout compounded by race-based stress. While ongoing activism exists to confront structural inequities, we can all benefit from empowering ourselves with self-care. CoVAC, in conjunction with ACHA's HBCU Coalition, is pleased to offer a unique space for persons who racially identify as Black and/or African American (this includes Afro Caribbean, Afro Latinx, and other members of the African Diaspora). This opportunity is open to all who identify as such.
The CoVAC Cares Sessions for Black Personnel will commence with two virtual drop-in group sessions addressing the common struggles of dealing with burnout, stress, and grief and loss while being Black. You are invited to listen, share openly, and learn/ brainstorm coping strategies in a supportive, safe environment. These groups will be facilitated by a licensed mental health professional with a background in group facilitation. The ground rules will be shared in advance. These sessions do not constitute individual or group therapy but are for connection and support among individuals with similar experiences (mutual help). The groups will incorporate trauma-informed principles to honor inclusion in an equitable space where participants can feel seen and heard by facilitators and peers while learning new ways of coping from each other.
These groups are tailored for audiences who identify as Black in higher education, including student-facing campus personnel, healthcare providers, faculty, and others committed to student and community wellbeing. You are welcome and encouraged to attend both sessions. Sessions will not be recorded.
While all college professionals are managing burnout from the pandemic, Black/African American professionals may simultaneously be experiencing race-based trauma. To create a safe space and an environment that allows Black/African American professionals an opportunity to focus on the intersection of these experiences, allies are requested to preserve this space for Black and African American colleagues.
There is also a CoVAC Cares series for all campus personnel. Learn more here.
Please register with your .edu email address.
About the facilitator: Shena Leverett Brown, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a Master Addiction Counselor (MAC). Dr. Brown has been a social worker for nearly 30 years and has practiced extensively in the area of group facilitation throughout her career, including 18 years in behavioral healthcare settings. She has worked with various populations across levels of care and age groups, including recovering medical professionals. In recent years, Dr. Brown has transitioned to academia and is currently teaching, researching, and serving as an Assistant Professor in the Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University. Providing workshops and presentations on professional wellness and compassion fatigue, her work has consistently highlighted the importance of self-care among helping professionals. Dr. Brown advocates for an integrative and balanced approach to wellness. She earned the Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (2020) and the Master of Social Work (1998) degrees from the University of Georgia and the Bachelor of Social Work from Clark Atlanta University (1993).
Participation indicates your agreement to follow these ground rules:
- By registering, you are affirming that you understand that this event is intended as a safe space for those who identify as Black and/or African American (including Afro Caribbean, Afro Latinx, and other members of the African Diaspora).
- Attending this group session is voluntary, and your participation during the session is voluntary.
- Listening and sharing are both helpful ways of participating. Higher engagement allows the group to benefit more from the mutual help experience.
- For questions or sharing, please raise your hand and unmute yourself, or type in the Zoom Chat window.
- Participants may share examples of challenges and impact, thoughts, feelings, reactions, reflections, coping strategies, and suggestions.
- Please avoid disruptions such as multi-tasking and mute your speaker after sharing.
- Be mindful of equity in allowing time for others to share.
- Listen to understand and not debate; do not interrupt others.
- Be respectful of diversity of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, practices.
- Be understanding that each of us is impacted differently and responds in our own ways.
- The facilitator has the right to remove anyone from the Zoom room if needed.
- If you become significantly distressed, please type a private chat to the facilitator.
- Confidentiality: Please do your part to protect confidentiality by NOT sharing names and other personal identifying details/information about other participants without their permission (names of attendees, IHE name, who said what, or details that would identify others). It is okay to share the focus of the group and what you learned and/or contributed for others in your life to grow with you.
Thursday, April 14
2:00-3:00 pm ET
Tuesday, April 26
1:00-2:00 pm ET