Well-Being for the People

Students walk by the North Plaza at Fairfax campus.
Students walk by the North Plaza at Fairfax campus.

The Well-Being for the People Series is a new initiative that centers the unique well-being needs of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color. Our kick-off event was a collaboration between Mason and George Washington University to host a book club featuring author Dr. Rheeda Walker and her book The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental HealthWe were joined by hip-hop artist Benny Starr to discuss challenges and strategies for Black mental health with the author. Students from both universities were placed in pods and are having ongoing discussions about this important topic.

We also hosted a BIPOC solidarity space for students of color to discuss the impact of this year’s presidential election on their well-being. In a year filled with division and stress, we wanted to offer a space for BIPOC students to process their experiences and heal in the context of community support.

Our last event of the academic year will on BIPOC Spirituality. This event will highlight the important role of spirituality in the lives of People of Color. Spirituality, or being connected to something greater than oneself, directly contributes to thriving in college for students of color. We want to empower our students to connect to this greater meaning and purpose in life. This event is scheduled for April 2021, with more details to come.

The Well-Being for the People Series is not your average well-being initiative. We are dedicated to centering BIPOC needs and resources. If you identify as a Person of Color, we welcome you into these spaces that are intended to acknowledge and support your unique well-being.

For additional resources to support your well-being, check out the Black Lives Matter website from University Life.

If you’re interested in the Well-Being for the People Series, you may also be interested in Rx Racial Healing Circles (RHCs). RHCs are open to all people interested in engaging with racial healing through the power of storytelling. Mason students, faculty, staff, and alumni can all participate to build racial awareness, well-being, and community together. RHCs, created by our center's senior scholar Dr. Gail Christopher while at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, are founded on the principles of jettisoning the hierarchy of human value and narrative change through storytelling. The power of the RHC experience comes from sharing stories – telling personal stories (taking us to the heart space) rather than simply relating to an event (the mind space). Circle participants often can see their own experiences in the stories of others, which helps us to see ourselves in one another.

You can sign up for Spring 2021 open enrollment circles here and choose any of these upcoming dates:

  • Monday, March 29, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 13, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
  • Monday, April 19, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

You can also request an RHC in a closed enrollment format here for a specific Mason department, organization, or unit. RHCs for a department or organization must be optional and voluntary for all participants. We do not host RHCs for groups that mandate attendance. So, please plan to invite participants from your group without requiring attendance.

Please check this page regularly for more upcoming events to be posted. Sign up for our listserv at WBP-L@listserv.gmu.edu to be notified of upcoming events.