Center for the Advancement of Well-Being
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Brown Bag Series: Activist Well-Being and the Sustainability of Social Change Movements

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Merten Hall (formerly University Hall), #1201

Movements for social change are only as viable as the activists who are participating in them. Unfortunately, research has shown that the attrition rate for social justice and human rights activists is as high as 60%. For years social movement scholars assumed that this attrition rate was the result of wavering commitment. Dr. Gorski's research suggests that the biggest causes of attrition have nothing to do with wavering commitment, but instead can be attributed to the symptoms of activist burnout, when the anxiety and stresses associated with activism wreak such havoc on the emotional and physical health of activists that they are forced to walk away from causes to which they are tremendously committed. In this talk Dr. Gorski will draw on the findings of this research in order to describe a framework for cultivating activist well-being in order to cultivate movement well-being.
** This event is part of Mason’s Well-Being University Initiative. It is also part of Partnership for a Healthier America’s #HealthyCampus Week, which is sponsored by Target. All STUDENT attendees will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Target Gift Card.
About the Presenter: Dr. Paul C. Gorski is an associate professor of Integrative Studies in George Mason University's School of Integrative Studies, where he teaches classes such as Poverty, Wealth, and Inequality; Social Justice Education; Social Justice Consciousness and Personal Transformation; and Contemporary Issues in Social Justice and Human Rights. He recently led the design and development of the new Social Justice and Human Rights undergraduate and graduate programs. Paul is a Senior Research Fellow for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being and is serving his third term on the board of the International Association for Intercultural Education. He has been an active consultant, presenter, and trainer for nearly twenty years, conducting workshops and providing guidance for schools and community organizations committed to equity and diversity. He created and continues to manage the Multicultural Pavilion, an award winning Web site focused on critical multicultural education. He has published more than 50 articles and eight books, focusing most recently on topics like poverty and educational opportunity, racial equity, and activist resiliency. He also has taught for the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland, Hamline University, and the Humane Society University. He lives in Virginia with his cat, Buster.
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