NCORE Webinar Series – August 2019 – The Struggle is Too Real

Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us. Thank you so much for joining the Southwest center for human relations Studies at the University of Oklahoma for the for this year’s and this new seasons installment of our monthly webinar series. I’m Asian us communications and project manager and we are excited about the Season of this series. Our hope is that we continue the conferences tradition of working to improve racial and ethnic relations on college campuses by providing virtual learning opportunities. Since August we’ve accumulated over 1500 views on issues ranging from Disability Services to social media and race, all the way to identity formation. This season is sure to be amazing. We have a lineup of scholars who will cover a wide range of issues, including immigration and Docker institutional reform and planning and critical pedagogy. This season. We’ve introduced a new student track that focuses on ideas that speak directly to the experiences of students and is either facilitated or co facilitated by a student Their intended to identify emerging scholars and connect students to the inner core community and to each other our student track webinars are always available at no cost. Make sure your live posting. We want to know where you’re watching so Tweet, Instagram, and Facebook pictures from your office with the hashtag in core and start the conversation online, you may end up in a very special in court video Today we have Dr. Rob, who deep Gill, a native of the Boston area. Dr. Gill earned his Bachelor’s with honors from the University of Rochester, New York. And doctorate from the University of California in Santa Barbara. Dr. Gill helped raise over $1 million as the past director for the Center for equality and justice at California Lutheran University. He’s still a tenured faculty member and campus interface strategist at Cal Lutheran and is the visiting professor of seek studies at the graduate theological union in Berkeley, California. Today, he’ll be discussing how diversity leaders can cultivate a spirit of resilience for the long haul. The center is grateful for DR gills expertise. I’m going to turn it over to Dr. Gill. Hey, thanks. Alright, thanks Asia. That was smooth. We’ve been practicing that for weeks. Hey everybody, welcome to LA welcome from LA. This is Rahul deep guilt. Today we’re talking about resilience It’s not the kind of resilience that people talk about when they’re talking about resilience. These days, a lot of times people are talking about pull yourself up by your bootstraps. As a resilient strategy that’s not what we’re here for today on this webinar you will not learn how to be more efficient, you will not learn How to be a better cog in the wheel of the higher education system, you will learn strategies and techniques and practices. And even if you don’t learn them because you already know them, you will kind of get a sense of how important it is to deepen your practices in the area of resilience and you will, we will talk a lot about community because the way that resilience is talking about, you know, in The larger public discourse, it’s, it’s very much about a solitary human subject that is, you know, Subjected to all kinds of trauma in the face of which she needs to be resilient. That’s not what we’re talking about here. But before we go any further, we need to do something special and important. And that is acknowledge the lands on which we sit, even though we’re coming at each other in the in the cloud somewhere, we’re still sitting in certain places on this magnificent earth and The places that we occupy. There are the traditional homes of the indigenous peoples of what we now call North America. Without them, we wouldn’t have had access to this gathering and to this dialogue. So we take the opportunity here to thank the original caretakers of this land. Okay, with that, let’s get started. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. That’s me looking glamorous out into space in the streets of Los Angeles where I live. I am as Asia told you, Professor of religion, a California Lutheran University. I am affiliated with n core through speak out. Voice is changing lives who are basically my speaking agents and we have a amazing roster of people who you know range from Angela Davis and Cornel West to, you know, smokes like me. My sister Molina Dr Molina Abdullah at Cal State LA, you know, personal Black Lives Matter and a whole range of other of other speakers. And another thing about me is that I’m, I’m tired. I’m really tired and a school year hasn’t even started yet and and and i’m tired and the reason For being tired right isn’t, it isn’t just got to do with me, it doesn’t it doesn’t just have to do with what’s going on in my personal individual life it’s has a lot to do. With the the context in which we all work that is this global context that is this national context with its political chaos. That is, you know, going on right now and it’s a context in which higher education. bears the bears have certain kind of Brunt Of that political context in ways that I don’t think the general public wants to understand and certainly will understand, but for people like you and I who are who are in the academy, we see the ways in which The world in which we live affects our daily lives. And actually, that’s where this webinar comes from. It’s actually my own fatigue and so I I put this together as a gift to my brothers and sisters in this larger community. But you know, I remember a couple years ago had just come back from sabbatical. It was the fall of 2017 and remember it didn’t make it through October before I was like something’s different, you know, maybe it’s just me coming back from sabbatical, maybe, you know, the year started with really hot weather here in Southern California unbelievably hot weather. And that busted up the AC air conditioning system on our campus and I remember we were having class outside in the sun in like 90 degree weather so that we need to sit in 100 degree. Classroom because because that’s how bad it got that was like a weird ominous beginning to the semester because right around that time. Another thing that happened was this, you know, quote unquote unite the right Melee right let’s just call it, you know, a group of grouping of American terrorists in a famous college town, an important college town of these United States. University of Virginia in Charlottesville right and so that had a direct impact on higher ed the event surround. Well, you know, it was built around An institution of higher education. And of course, it had a huge impact on our mental health, our spiritual health, as you know, practitioners in the space of higher education. God knows it affected our students and then affected and and it poisoned the the atmosphere of those days and we know what our supposedly You know President said about, you know, the people who initiated a lot of that that chaos, you know, so. But then it was like a few weeks later, another political crisis emerges when the, the, the policy, known as Dhaka is rescinded right And that affects higher ed communities in a massive, massive way we are in a university in Southern California. We are next to a major metropolis or cosmopolitan place and we have a lot of people from a lot of places. In the world and not all of them are documented, but there are students and we love them and that’s what matters to us more than more than anything, but from a political perspective, from the perspective of the American state. You know, they, they’re they’re being was was in question again in a way that it actually always has been. So, you know, that was extremely painful. Um, and then also being in Southern California. We were literally directly affected by the the shooting. I think it’s an act of terrorism, but whatever in Las Vegas. You know, I had students who were who were at that concert or who new friends who were at that concert Um last academic year. Some of those people really traumatized by another gun shooting at a country western event in the town which the university is Thousand Oaks, California. So it’s just been I don’t have to tell you, and I don’t have to re trigger you but that whole time. It just felt like we’ve been running into fires. You know, over and over and over again. It doesn’t seem like the summers are enough time to relax or enough time to, you know, really prepare for the next year. And so that’s why this, this webinar is because I felt like I’ve been feeling like crap. I’ve been feeling really really fatigued. I haven’t been enjoying my practice, which is my profession. As much as I used to. And I think there’s there’s a strong reason to think that there’s a lot of people you know who are who are in that boat and the fact that you know 500 people registered for this for this webinar kind of speaks to You know quite a bit. So let’s get into it. Right. What does resilience really look like, um, let me show you what the opposite of resilience looks like according to the great United States. Monk Thomas Merton, a Catholic Catholic hermit, who is talking about the need for a more like subtle spiritual life where resilience comes out of Takes a look at the people who are activists in the, you know, circles, in which he runs in his lifetime in the mid 20th century, and he writes this about them. He says to allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns to surrender to too many demands to commit oneself to too many projects to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. Right. And That violence, you know, like I said, we’re running into fires, we are running into and around constantly violent at least rhetoric, if not behavior. In our in our, in our careers and the work that we’re doing. And it’s not like we allow ourselves to be carried away by it feels like we’re called to it. It feels like we have to do it. It feels like if not us, then who right and yeah I resonate with this, though. You know that I am carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns. I do surrender to too many demands. I do commit to too many projects. And I do want to help everyone and everything. And it does feel like I’m succumbing to violence. So who takes care of me who takes care of you. Again, this is the spirit, out of which this webinar has been given. So one more poem, and that’s going to set the tone for the webinar. And then we’re going to get into the meat of it. Then we’re going to get into the weeds, if you will. Let’s talk about grass. This is a poem that was written 101 years ago by Carl Sandburg, and it was written, you know, at the end of the first great war. Of Europe. When you know the Europeans renegotiated the piece of westfalia whatever you want to call it, and Sandberg writing after that writes about the resilience of the grass. And he says, Pile the bodies high and also list and Waterloo shoveled them under and let me work. I am the grass I cover all And pile them high at Gettysburg and pile them high and it pre and we’re doing shovel them under and let me work. Two years 10 years and the passengers asked the conductor, what place is this. Where are we now, I am the grass. Let me work. And that is the spirit in which today’s lecture is structure, we are going to think in terms of the length of time it takes for living beings to actually be resilient. To actually grow and the pace of that is the pace, maybe of grass or other planets or other living beings around which you live. Right, and it’s sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we are living beings, because we don’t treat ourselves as gently as we treat for pets, you know, our friends are lovers. And so what we’re gonna do is we’re going to think about what does grass need to to persist right to exist and grass needs air. So we’re going to breathe together in a few minutes. Grass needs the soil. And the soil is what we’ve prepared and what we are preparing In ourselves. Okay, we’re going to seed our best intentions. And we’re going to seek water for them. And I’m going to talk about how water for me is deeply associated with community. And then we’re going to cultivate something, there’s going to bear some fruit is going to be born right there’s going to be do it’s going to be sweet. Water that’s produced as a result of this, and that’s our self trust and throughout this, I want you to think of the self in an six in its expanded sense In the sense of what our ancestors needed to be which is penetrated by others penetrated by the world in which it exists not alone. Not a single being So with that, let’s Take some air. Okay. One thing before we breathe together. There are worksheets that were made available for this. Workshop. Some of you are sitting in rooms right now freaking out because you’re like there was a worksheet. Where is it, and then you’re going to start checking emails. Just relax. There are worksheets easy. I can get them to you again if you need them. You have my contact information. Here you can email me if you need them. But they’re in your inbox right now if you registered for this webinar okay if you don’t need them. In front of you right now, if you have them use them great if you don’t any piece of paper will will do And then what you can do is then go back print the worksheet and deepen the language of the of the of the webinar. Because this is. What’s up folks, I’m not going to teach you all about this in an hour and 15 minutes. It’s just not going to happen. Right. You’re going to need to practice this and go back to this and visit this hopefully Not alone in community. So the worksheets will be a great tool for that if you have it great use it if you don’t, don’t worry about it. All right, you’re going to get to it at another time. So, With that in mind, let’s breathe. Just do that stretch your shoulders, open up your chest as you are able and stop this hunching over that we’re always dealing hunching over that is the product of trauma hunching over that is exacerbated by our need for technology and screens personal ones. Just notice yourself breathing. You can leave your eyes open. You can close them. You know a lot of people have a meditative tradition with which they are familiar to which they are biased. If you have one great If you’re a Zen practitioner, leave your eyes open. If you practice TM or the past in a tradition, you’re probably got your eyes closed. If you don’t know what I’m talking about. You’re probably laughing right now just relax, just chill out and notice yourself breathing. Why is it that so many of these meditation traditions focus on the breath. Is there something sacred about the breath. Is there something religious about all of this. Um, maybe But maybe the breath is the one thing that is always there. That we can really notice and that is always knew That we can really know Because everything around us is actually always new. But with every breath. There’ll be taken. We remember that we’re alive. We remember We are living beings made of food and air and water from the energy of the sun from this Mother Earth living in this ether copy occupied By this oxygen. So let’s just take 20 SECONDS TO JUST BREATHE together and all these different places now. Just follow your breath. If you do have the worksheet, you will see that there’s a lovely Quote there from tick not Han About feelings and thoughts in relation to breathing. And that quote is feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. Zen master tick not Han In a second. I’m going to go to Asia Asia. Why don’t you bring up your, your Your screen and your microphone. I’m going to ask you how that practice was for you. But just to give a just some time to prepare yourself and fix her glasses. I’m gonna shout out the late, great Toni Morrison, who has her character say in the great novel The Song of Solomon, as he’s making a move to jump. She makes them think if you surrender to the air you can ride it. And there’s something about getting back to the breath that allows us to remember that. That’s all we need, and that that we can ride the air. Asia. I heard that you just started a PhD program. And how is your breathing these days. ragged Tell us about it. It’s just a shift in thinking. So moving from being full time here to being part time and you know the daily grind is very different. Absolutely. And there’s probably a lot of people out there like that, for whom higher ed is one part of their life. Whether it’s being a student or being a professional, they’re also a parent, maybe a single parents right there. Also, you know, a student and a worker and uh you know caretaker. And so it’s really awesome that you brought up. To we are in this professional a professional licensing aspect is just one part of it. And so I hope that when we breathe, we can remember all the things that we are Yeah, how’s your first week booth. Just a transition Yeah. Yeah, the transition And I think that never stops right in higher ed and Higher Ed is a series of transitions. Sometimes, some of them feel the same over and over and over again. But each one is different, like the breath. And so just like the bad breath, being a transition. We’re living into a bunch of transition. And so one of the things that the body needs. Is is breath, but we’re talking about Mother Earth and we’re talking about the soil. The soil is the ground, out of which literally All of what is going to bear fruit in our life is going to come right What is that soil. Um, maybe you can think about that soil as as your body or as your spirit or as your emanation on the combination of all the molecules working together with all these electrons. I don’t know. I’m not a science guy. Okay, I’m a professor But Asia come back on. Because I’m going to ask you some questions about the soil, like I said, soil is what we’re preparing. So if you have the worksheet in front of you. You’re gonna you’re gonna see this as a list of questions as in front of you. When if you don’t have the worksheet in front of you, you can just use the slide to fill in some things we’re going to take a few minutes to fill This part of the sheet out by ourselves. So the soil. I’m calling it the ground on which we stand, it’s the ground of our being right. It’s the ground of where we’re at and a lot of things make up that soil, particularly the people in which we have relationships, particularly the people Were you know, particularly the systems where we’re able to contribute. Were able to lead. Asia, you and I were having a conversation about mentorship and when you looked at this question you initially thought, oh, I didn’t mentor anybody this year. This past year, I mean by this year. I mean, you know, 2018 2019. Tell me about that. What was your first thought. That I haven’t mentor anyone I’ve been mentored but I have a mentor anyone Yeah. And then, what, what did we kind of unpack about the word mentorship and the conversation related to that. Do you remember That mentorship was hierarchical, the word sometimes is inherently hierarchical that there needs to be one person that’s above and one person that’s below. In the typical use of the word right but we can expand man’s mentorship right to mean something a little bit more casual something a little bit more Equitable right I’m more of a horizontal relationship and I was telling Asia that you know we’ve been working on this project together to present this great webinar to y’all. And she’s been mentoring, me and how to how to do a good job on this for four weeks right any success that this that this program has is all you know due to Asia and her team and anything that screws up is totally my fault. But that said, is it does, it does. Do you see something different about mentorship. When we talk about, well, that wasn’t active mentorship. What does it what does it feel different. That it doesn’t have to be that that all the relationships that have been kind of change focus so that it doesn’t necessarily need to be being over someone or me being above someone that I can Seek out these sort of reciprocal learning opportunities from everyone around me. Absolutely. Absolutely. So that higher ed feels more like a high five. Right. That a bunch of siloed offices and and what I want. I mean hive. I mean something with a bus right something where people are doing things and talking to one another. Unfortunately, we’ve given to this, you know, really patriarchal notion of what higher end should be like, and it looks a lot like business right it looks hello neo liberal, but then you can add on to who were the people that you were mentored by What were some of the programs and initiatives, where you chipped in Asia, you talked a lot about the programs and initiatives, where you chipped in for n core last year. Right. And you all have made. big strides in The kinds of programming that you’re able to offer throughout the rest of the year. What was your role in that. I was responsible for doing some expansion projects for in core and some stuff that came out of the center Not necessarily in core. So I was mentored by a few people. Yeah. Um, but then you contributed. You know, you probably took the lead on things in those times right there were probably moments when you felt that you were really Operating at capacity, like you were really like you really felt good about the work that you’re doing right In those moments. What do you remember about it, where they collaborative moments that you feel a particular kind of relaxation. Did you feel moments where someone was mentoring me know when you felt best in that work. So we’re on to one of the questions at the bottom of the towards the middle of the bottom of the of the page. When did you know that’s not work. Yeah, it’s the when you feel like you’re contributing and you see your contribution grow. Any shape and hold absolutely excellent and there’s also times when you probably feel stressed in those moments when you don’t see the stuff coming out in front of you. In those moments I want folks out there to think about what are the resources that they bring Right to that I’m talking about spiritual indigenous traditional or mindfulness resources. And if you don’t have a list of these that you can really come up with. Maybe you know it’s time where you sat down and ask somebody who who you think is, you know, really good at that. What kind of things that they do and We have a question for you from the group. So someone asked, is there a better word for mentorship that this person was just having a conversation with someone about how the word mentorship turns people off. Yes, I think, I think the word itself is a is a little bit of a trap based on how it’s used. So if there’s a better word for you, then definitely use it. I suspect that mentorship is actually like like 10 different words, you know, And and some of it is you know people who just on have some access to something that you can really utilize or develop you professionally in some way or spiritually in some way. I think friendships or mentorship. Right. And I would hope that folks have You know, a working space where they can you know, create larger relationships outside of work, but Yeah. We’re going to talk a little bit about some of the different kinds of relationships that could stand in for mentorship and just a few just a few minutes. But that’s a really, really important point. And thank you for bringing up questions. Do we have any others while we’re while we’re here, or now that’s the only question is okay and I’m glad that person asked it. And what’s the best way to ask the question, is it through the chat box. And the best way to ask questions, is to use the Q AMP a box that way we can keep track of it. We have quite a few people in the session and we don’t want you to lose your question. By scrolling up in the chat box. Yes, we do have one other question, what is quote traditional resource defined as So something that comes from your heritage or something that comes from your religious tradition or your spiritual tradition. Or something that you learned about mindfulness or that’s something that you borrow from another tradition right consciously knowing that you’re borrowing it and being grateful for it. So that’s what I mean right a breathing technique could be a traditional resource. Yoga could be a traditional resource. Having sacred time with your family. Right. There’s religious traditions that totally shut down for one day of the week to spend with family. I think that’s a resource that people can lean on right to build their to build resilience and things like that. So, um, yeah, when I am talking about is more broadly speaking, self care right your resilience is quote unquote your resilience is You can’t separate it from the care that you give to yourself and that care is physical. It can be as basic as getting The requisite sleep for your particular body right there are some bodies out there who can get away with a six hours a night i. This one is not right. It means the nine. Um, I know, I know it. I gotta make up for it. Another ways, but I’m not I’m not fully me if I don’t write get my sleep. Or exercise or nutrition, right, the emotional self care spiritual self care and having partners for accountability in the self care for yourself. One thing that’s, you know, become really important to me as I professionalized is mental health and emotional health and I don’t think people Out there still talk about it enough. I think there’s an incredible amount of stigma right as somebody who suffers with mental illness. I will say that, you know, making sure that I know where I can go for the kind of support that I need for myself, including a therapist, right, including a partner who Checks In on me, including friends and my furry friends right taking stock of all those things is going to be really, really important. And in a few minutes, we’re going to actually list out where some of those things are. We’re going to get more and more specific. As the as the webinar continues, but before we do Asia. How are we doing on questions or does this bring up anything for you. We, we have a comment. Um, what I want to do is I want for us to save some of the questions for the end Sounds good. So that we can have a really rich discussion. After the presentation. Awesome. Um, I wanted to bring up a something that that came up in one of my classes that I was teaching and it was a class for young men, young men of color. first generation college students or people, young men who are low income students were identified for this program in which we Met for a seminar to kind of mentor each other and just have a space to be together in this predominantly white institution in which I work And I asked the, the men about, you know, their self care practices, thinking that they’re all going to talk about how tough they were and you know the you know how their dads taught them just to You know, suck it up and and you know and self care wasn’t really a part of their lives like it had been for me. But they were telling me about freezing masks and all kinds of stuff and I’m like these guys shop at Sephora. You know, like they are way ahead of me. You know, I think maybe the next generation is going to be set. This issue from the, you know, small sample size of students that I had. But ever since then I’m like, I gotta take care of my, my, whatever, you know, part of my face. You can see I need to get myself a mass. So sometimes you learn about, you know, these practices from your own students and they mentor you in that. Okay. One thing that I think that we don’t do enough of is keep track. We talked a lot about about self care but it slips, it’s a slippery. Thing, because we forget how much we’re actually contributing to the work that we’re doing. So one aspect of cultivating your soil right to get back to the metaphor is to keep reminders to yourself that you are contributing a heck of a lot In the work that you’re doing. And so literally what I would say is You know, write up a requisition from your department. If you have the budget. And demand that they buy you a cork board with some pins and put this up in in places where In a place in your office in a physical space in office. I’m not talking about your stickies on your desktop. I’m saying a real space. And on this corkboard make sure that as you receive them, you know, you get you put up the thank you notes from students that you get, you put up the flyers and the programs that you that you helped sponsor. My cork board has drawings for my kids on their right to remind me of what really matters to myself sometimes. I write notes to myself up there. Or images of what success looks like for me and for me that’s an image of the Dalai Lama at the at a podium and there’s a little me in the back somewhere, and I was at a conference and the dialogue was spoken so I took a picture and I put that up there. That’s something that I want to remind myself up. I think of success. I also have, you know, Scripture up there are heritage items any reminder that I have what I do and that it’s important I put up on this cork board. And I call it my wins board. This is an idea that I borrowed from another academic who told me about this mentored me on this. And so, you know, there’s You can start writing down what you would put on your wins board which of these things do you have, what else would you put on there, maybe, you know, a quote from someone like Toni Morrison right or another person has been important in your life. Okay. The another beautiful quote from tick not hon, talking about the soil is that, you know, the soil is messy. Right. And the soil is the thing out of which beautiful things come and In a really simple way and forwards, he has this beautiful saying No mud. No Lotus right the lotus is a thing that transcends that rises above the the The muddy water but it’s deeply rooted in that at the same time. Right, it’s literally drawing upon the richness of the mass In its daily practices. So if we have good soil. What can we do, we would we would seed our Intentions right. What do I mean by that. I’m not talking about setting your intentions for doing the best program right I’m talking about of setting your intentions of teaching the best class in 2019 and 2020 right I’m talking about your intentions for yourself, Asia, when you started this program. Did you take time to sit down and really think about what you wanted to, to accomplish for yourself. This This academic here. No, I did it. Of course not. Yeah. I did give myself space, right. So I gave, I gave myself enough time to create the space necessary to bring that into my life. Does that make sense. Yeah, yeah. Um, were you ever deliberate with writing down some of the things that emerged from that space. Yeah. I mean, you don’t have to write, but do you think it might. It might assist you and say, like, November comes around and you know papers are beginning to be do I think that being intentional has always had the space. Yeah. Whether or not you recognize what needs intentionality is a whole other question, right. Thank you. Thank you. That’s a you know somebody told me that the institution in which I work or, you know, people are well intention. But lack intentionality. And so that’s what we’re trying to avoid and that’s what we’re trying to drive into right now and it’s a part of self care actually Self care isn’t just the products you can buy on Amazon and the you know gift card you get for getting a facial or something right self care requires being intentional and you know entre Lord in her famous quote is saying that Caring for myself is not self indulgence. It is self preservation and that is an active political warfare. The more I think about that, quote, the more I sit with it and the more I think about what people like Arjun Lord, we’re up against in their lives. And what we’re continue to be up against in our own right. So self care is a kind of guerrilla warfare and it requires a certain kind of intentionality so Asia. We’re going to do this on the fly you you took some space to to do this work, but you you didn’t write it down. So let’s practice writing it down. I want you to close your eyes for a second and think back to a time when you feel that there was a really great balance between your work life and your spiritual life and You know all the things that you were part of right. What did it feel like what sounds were there. You remember a time like that. Yes. And what did it. What does it feel like you don’t tell us a lot about that time, in particular, but what does it feel like to think back on that time. Um, it felt Balanced relaxed. The only two words that come to mind right These are massive words. Right. So if you had a worksheet, or if you’re going to go back to where she later, I would say if I was Asia that I felt 100 right operating on full capacity or or just feel 100 when I was balanced and relax. Right and writing that down today and putting it maybe on your wins board so that you can remember it in November when right stuff really begins to hit the fan is going to be important. What does it take to get to balance for you and relaxation What does it require It requires the opposite, right. To be unbalanced and Ah, And to not be relaxed. To recognize that that is what I need. How so I think when you are in a space that is uncomfortable and and and not enjoyable. Do you want you want to feel the opposite. I see, I see. I totally love that. And that’s exactly why I wanted to be intentional about this right and to write it down because when you’re in that moment of not enjoying Right, you’ve gotta remember that there was an outside of that, um, and that falls apart. Really quickly, but at the same time, it is always within us to kind of get back there. Right. And so for me, it falls apart when especially when I feel like I feel, I feel dehumanized for some reason, whether it’s because I’m being worked too hard or because something like a micro aggression or just straight up aggression right based on some I identity group to which I belong, emerges right in the workplace in the new cycle or something like that. Right. Um, And so for you. Am I hearing that to get back to being balanced and relaxed kind of requires some controlling of your time. Does it require some planning or, like, how do you get back Um, it’s a decision. Generally, I think people It just, there’s a there’s a line by which you make the decision that you don’t want to be like this anymore. Got it, got it. And in that moment. Do you feel that it’s kind of easy to To just to decide that and then feel more balanced or relax or is there some practices that you have to do, or some space that you got to take Yeah, there’s there’s space and practices. So, um, you know, I go to the gym and I sleep and I cook and I you know these things that make me feel balanced and focus And for me, it’s actually being out in nature. So, I live around some really great hiking trails and I’m on a few sometimes you can hear my dog barking in the backyard, but He’s, he’s like my best friend and we go out on these trails and we just Get sort of immersed back in nature. Exercise happens out there for me. I get different kinds of, you know, different quality of air in my lungs. Right. And I feel like I can get back writing down how you get back. Right. It’s kind of like leaving, you know, leaving a trail for yourself. In the, in the woods, so that you can get back to you know where you need to go where you came from when you were lost, right, I thought, was popcorn. But that’s not a good, not a good thing to leave in the woods Hansel and Gretel messed that one up that didn’t end well for them so How you get back should not be popcorn. So onto the onto the, the next level. Let’s think about ourselves, not just as individuals in this struggle right in the struggle for balance in this struggle for relaxation in the struggle for getting back to operating at the capacity at which we can and want to operate. We cannot go it alone. Right. And for me the metaphor of water. We’ve talked about air. We’ve talked about soil. We’ve seeded our intentions in the soil. Now we’ve got a water right for me. Water is about community because where I come from, in South Asia and this isn’t an image. From somewhere in India that I got off the web up about a village. Well, those women are looking into that dark hole. Because they’re extracting water out of the earth from that place and they do so together in this communal environment. And so that’s why the watering hole right is a place of community is a place where people gather To refresh themselves, not just individually through water, but through contact with other human beings, so I told you that self care wasn’t just going to be about you self care means getting really, really intentional and really really clear about what your needs are, who you go to to get certain needs met. And what you can offer in Reciprocity not for any individual person, but just what your offerings are for the universe for the world. And so what I’ve done here is On the on the worksheet that you’re going to see in just a second. Right here. I’ve actually put out a bunch of columns. So if you have the worksheet now. You can use those columns. If you don’t, you can go back to that you can just kind of understand what I’m asking you what I’m asking of you, but What I’m asking of you is not to be this lonely sunflower out here in the desert. Okay, you want to be. Well, water, do you want to be around other people who make you feel alive. You want to be around people who have particular things that that that can help you live the kind of life that you want and and that’s what I mean when I say, who are your peeps, or your people. If you’re a higher ed professional. I was just thinking about what are some things that higher ed professionals need to do a lot of them. You know, are implementing other people’s ideas and some of us are coming up with some of our own ideas to add on to those ideas we are participating in programs. When we have on those ideas we’re at the idea stage, who do you go to to challenge your idea or to clarify it right so let’s say there’s a new webinar series that Asia wants to wants to put together. And it’s kind of, you know, she’s free herself to think a little bit Off the off the cuff bounce ideas off the wall. Who does she go to to help you clarify or challenge or ideas, improve them once she gets the logistics stage. Who does she go to to get things done. Before that, even happens with whom does she dream and as she’s doing this, who are a rider die, people who are people who give her unconditional emotional support. Let’s ask her. Asia, which of these four categories that we’ve named so far are easiest to kind of think about people and write names down when you think about who would you go to when you needed somebody to I’m probably logistics planning and how to get it done. Yeah, yeah. And so what kind of goes into what you know professionals do you have to hit up to put a webinar like this on. I think the whole Southwest center staff folks in core. Mm hmm. Clearly are really good at would just take some planning and how to get things done. And so right and you have a tech person is Specialized in there. We have Matthew today who’s doing a great job as a caption. Right. So there’s people who kind of can lead you to those people help you hire those people who are already in place to do that to help you, you know, do your job better right Um, What about some of the other stuff, you know, challenging or ideas or dreaming. Do you ever dream in community. Um, Community in the sense of That’s the question. And now you can think about The setting. So like in higher education or do I have a community of people outside of the space that so yeah there’s communities of folks that I have on both sides, both professionally and personally that I can do all those things. Right. Awesome. So writing down some of those names will be important for down the road. If you get stuck, and you need to remember who you go to But another reason why it’s important to write down some of these names is to look at where the holes are On on your piece of paper right where you can’t think of people that you go to, to help you challenge your ideas. And then you might want to think more creatively of, well, who could I go to if I wanted that. Right. So there’s sort of rallying your peeps. Another thing that anybody needs to know in any kind of field. Is, you know, what is the cutting edge. So in higher ed right we have journals. We have blogs, we have a chronicle and all the things that you know it has under its disposal electronically and and paper and in print and all that. We have professional development opportunities like and poor like webinars like other conferences like Institute’s that are sometimes put on in the summer. And you know there’s opportunities for for networking I hope you have a good network Asia of of Places that you go to be on the cutting edge but you’re also, you know, a first year. doctoral students. So you are in the process of building this list. Isn’t that right, like You know you did a masters in your master’s program, where did you. Where did you see the, sort of, I don’t know the cutting edge. Where did you go to to find out, like what’s popping out there like what is happening in higher ed. Actually in core Yeah yeah and core is absolutely the place to be in on the cutting edge of of diversity, equity inclusion work. Absolutely, absolutely. And for me, and core wasn’t on my radar. I would say more than five years ago right um It took me. It took somebody telling me, and then two per person selling in three persons telling me hey you should check out this thing, encourage you to check out this thing, encourage you to check those things right. And I think not only using the opportunities that you have, but listening out for people in your in your networks to see where can you go what institutions, what Institute’s what conferences. can push you in places that you want to develop and I think being intentional about these things and actually going out and finding people who help you do that. That’s part of building, building a strategy for resilience, that’s part of how you know we have to professionalize in this really sort of high Intensity fast paced world of higher education when the new cycle is constantly hitting us in core is a place I go, not just to learn But just to relax and be myself and to be, you know, a higher end professional of color who was working on social justice issues which I don’t have in my pride. Dominant lead white institution. Right. And it’s also really, really important place to be for a lot of reasons. I have a couple other places like that. But I realized That one of the conferences that I used to go to. I no longer have go to anymore because I don’t feel that anymore. What I didn’t do yet is be intentional about what am I going to replace that with. Do I just want to leave that space in the calendar open for just rest and relaxation, or do I need something as a, you know, 10th year professor To get me to whatever next level or that I want in my particular life. Right. Is there a conference like that. I’ve got to sit down and think about that. So this is a good spot to bring up one of the comments that was made. Thank you. This is not so much a question as a thought some of these points are difficult to do well or grass, because they are not measurable in the business world. We are led to measure everything we do. And so, I admit to feeling a bit lost reading these wondering how to incorporate them successfully at work. We’re only measurable outcomes are considered gold. Yeah, I really, really, really appreciate that. Right. Um, two things. One, qualitative measurement matters, too. Right. I think when we think about measurement. We’re often thinking about quantitative results. Right. Um, but if you Change the way that you think about, you know, assessing what you’re what you’re practicing Then there’s there’s some space there for wiggle room to articulate this right. Secondly, sometimes I think it’s okay to turn off the measurement Instruments. Because what I’m talking about here. Yes. I want you to be really, really successful in your professional life, but remember that for me. You are a human being. First, right. You are like the grass, you were that vulnerable, you are that fragile and I think we’ve got to be more in control of the narrative of what we are producing without necessarily having to rely on productivity to produce more like I said, this is not about being more efficient. Right. The measurable outcomes from some of these things could mean that you increased your arm. Network of supporters right if you increased The people with whom you are in conversation with some of these things. Some of these conferences that I go to. I am representing my institution. Right. And I’m representing my institution in a setting. To help people understand what we’re doing better. So sometimes helping the institution articulate that just for some people showing up in these spaces is really much is really, really important. Right. I mean, I know people who are in places where they have to really work hard to articulate why it’s important to even show up at a thing like and core Right. Why can’t you go to that other conference. Right. So I think one of the things that I’m trying to say here is that it’s really important for us to see ourselves as as Human beings. First, as you know, parts of nature first and then through the relaxation and balance that you know you spoke of that comes with that maybe to be a little bit more clever and how we frame things in relation to what we need in a in a in look, let me put it a different way. In times like this. And dumpster fires and it’s treated like the one that we’re living through right now you know the Amazon is literally burning right Police brutality storms, like, you name it. Right, deep deep deep deep racism in our, in our society trans phobia. What our students need sometimes is the space and resilience to, um, to deal with this trauma. So one of the things that I think people can do is articulate outcomes in terms of the needs In this particular moment right this is not like it was 10 years ago. This is not like it was 20 years ago, something has shifted And I think being able to articulate one’s needs in that context is extremely, extremely important. I hope that helped. That person. If not, I would love to continue that conversation. In the question and answer. Does that sound good to you, or should we think if we’re going to give out contact information you all Have my contact information. So if there’s a separate conversation that we want to have. And we can do that offline I Erica has another question. Is she says she has difficulty with using the term self care because it comes from a very white privilege notion about the care that is individualistic. I usually prefer to use mindfulness rituals or collective care through radical self love. Why do you choose to use self care if it comes from, from a predominantly white culture. Just wondering Oh, just because I’m a flawed individual and I’m still learning. So I like the, the last one that you said radical. Um, what was it, It was rad collective character radical self love Collective character radical self love. Yeah, I think that’s dope. I think that’s beautiful. If I could find a two way two syllable phrase for that. Maybe I’d use it. If not, I learned how to say that. Okay, so, um, yeah, I’m sorry I am deeply, deeply colonized I’m a flawed human being and I’m still trying to try to work through these things myself when I say self. I’m coming. From a South Asian tradition and which lots of religious traditions like the Buddhist tradition have thought about the self as, like I said, inter penetrating so when I said self. Sort of was already Thinking about another another way of thinking it, but I will be more attentive to my language use and and think about what’s the best way To do that. And this next slide that you’re going to see about the you know the sweet fruits of self trust. This is kind of speaking to what exactly you’re talking about Erica, because for me self trust cannot happen alone. So for me, self trust is about our commitments to ourselves, but also our commitment to our community right there is no Subject, there is no individual self that is apart from the context in which that self is functioning. It’s just not possible. That’s why racism sucks. That’s why you know Misogyny is horrible, right, because it cuts us off from Our context and makes us hyper visible. That’s only certain things. We are so much more complex than that. And that’s why I love this phrase from the Aboriginal activists little Watson, I love these words. If you have come to help me, you’re wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine. Then let us work together. Right, I was listening to a scholars interview the other day and he was talking about. And I’m actually going to quote his book in a few minutes. So I’ll tell you exactly who he is in a few minutes. He was talking about, you know, the grounds on with solidarity is built right and the grounds on which solidarity is built according your friend Mon is realizing hey brother, you know, this shit is fucked up for you in ways that it’s also fucked up for me. That solidarity is built on understanding the self in relation to others and understandings and others sufferings in relation to one’s own So for me, being very, very articulate and very, very precise about the commitments that we have not just to ourselves is really, really important. So I am asking you today. To think about as you’re progressing into this new school leader into this new academic year. What are you committing to so that you can blank for your community. And if the word community needs to be floor allies do that if the, you know, pronoun my needs. We pull our allies do that our communities. But what I’m trying to say is you can’t go out for lunch alone. And so you’ve got to be ready to ask for something. What is that thing that you’re going to be asking for So for me, one of the things that I commit to this academic year is taking better care of my body so that I can be a better advocate for my community. I’m working on a series of translations. I’m a scholar of religion and these translations have never been available in a popular book in the United States. They come from my community. I want that. That out there, but I can’t do that if I don’t take deep, deep care of my body because as a translator. I’ve got to get into the being of another poet, right. You can’t do that as a removed subject. When I can’t go for alone, I will ask for a timeout so that me and the person in my life who resets me can can sit down and just breathe together and that is my partner. Asia, do you have anything that you’re thinking about now that you that you think about this in relation to the larger community that you feel that you’re representing what do you commit to in this academic year so that you can blind for your community community. That’s probably something I have to sit down and think about a little bit. I have to give that some thought. Awesome. I think you should do you think that that might that will be fruitful for you. Can Be helpful. Yeah, if we’re talking about intentionality. Um, thinking about what you are committing to and and what you’ll do and what communities are most salient for you. That’s, that’s something I think that you have to be really intentional about And it goes back to that point about, you know, wanting to do everything for everybody right and and sometimes you’ve got to make really, really tough decisions to focus on your own self care right And this brings us back to actually where we started. Um, I want to take you back through that through that poem The grass and remind you That this all takes time. Right, this this academic year is going to be challenging. We know this, right. You are not alone. And it’s going to take time. You’re gonna, it’s going to take time for you to plant the seed is going to take time for you for the soil to get rich. You might want to come back to this again at the beginning of next semester because this poem was written. 100 years ago, right. I’m not going to reread it, I’m just going to reference it This poem was written 101 years ago. Think about these battles. Think about where this space is today. Think about the grass that covers that space. And in doing so, think about what kind of ancestor, are you become Because that’s the pace at which all of this works right that’s the, that’s the big long direct That we were sent here we have launched into this career and in our lives because of people who made it possible for us. And the pace of this work is that slow. It’s just that, because everything feels like it’s coming out of so much more faster. These days it just feels like that were that were never enough. And if nothing else. That’s what I want you to walk away with out of this webinar folks is that you are enough. You are not alone. Um, and Some slow slow work some slow slow work. I don’t want to leave you. Just like that. But I want to leave you with some resources that have been important in my life and helping me learn this stuff. I didn’t just Kind of come up with this, like, people have been mentoring me for four decades, right, and learning this I offer this sort of freely because I offer it as a gift because I know the times that we live in sort of demand more of this. But I got it from other folks. Right. So my friend, rather than his partner Kim and eight on one a really, really amazing website called being lazy slowing down. And if you go to lazy SLOW DOWN. CALM. They have a blog that is sort of their gift to the universe. I’m really, really important. Thinker out of Michigan State University School of Education and sort of he has this kind of D colonial way of looking at the world. And so being lazy slowing down is something that I would ask you to direct yourself to Also the work of somebody who’s kind of super and swagger right now. Right. Adrian Marie Brown is amazing work emergent strategy is a way of thinking about pursuing these you know about framing the social justice. trajectory of our lives through this concept of emergence. That is very much in tune with nature, you see a flock of birds on her cover those are reasons for that. I’ll Ask you to think about and read some of her work pleasure activism for me was, was mind blowing. You know, the politics of feeling good. We need that in our, in our day and you know you can you can follow her on Instagram as well. She’s dope Adrian Marie Brown, we need more people writing this kind of stuff out there and she is. She’s on a vanguard. As a professor. And as somebody who’s interested in critical theory something for that has really Began to shift the way that I think about the Academy has been this book called The under commons fugitive planning and black study by Fred Milton, who I referred to before talking about solidarity and his friends stuff on a Harney Um, it’s actually available online. You can purchase it, but you can also download the PDF because it comes out of an anarchist press and so part of their business model is to, you know, if you love this stuff and you can pay for them pay for. Okay. Other than that I am really excited for questions. I really appreciate you know the 500 people who showed up in the hundreds of people. So the 500 people who registered the hundreds of people who showed up in the hundreds of people who are watch this on thanks to Asia. Great work. And there’s gonna be able to watch it on YouTube. So thank you everybody. I hope you have a good discussion from here on in. Thank you so much, Dr. Do We did have someone respond to Robert be Around the business practices, how do you implement this. In business, and so the communist building practices or resilience is a personal effort. Once we lean in, as individuals, then we can work collectively with our colleagues to create a more balanced environment. I would say the opposite might also be true right in that we can collaborate with our clock colleagues to learn how lean in. Let’s learn how to lean into ourselves better. Um, but it requires right being around different types of people and it requires being humble and being able to learn from each other. But I respect the spirit of that comment. Also Ali says taking care of oneself is crucial because we, in particular as people of color, specifically black women are taught to take care of others and community and we’re selfish. If we take care of self. So we need to push back on that. Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s one of the reasons I mean myself as a as an Asian male wanted to step up and say this because You know, I learned this stuff from black women, right, if you look at, you know, the people who I live find most motivating in my life, and that in the politics it’s it’s the, it’s the radical black tradition and it’s right, it’s, it’s so influenced by by by women and fans and it’s just absolutely So my question for you is how so the so the, the idea behind the webinar was how do you create a spirit of resiliency for the long haul of diversity work. And so my question to you is, where are you in your resilience using what you I teach others. That’s a really great question. That’s a really, really important question. I will tell you that I am on medical this semester from my home institution. Because it’s not bad, right, like it’s it’s that bad, um, My home institution tries, we were Profile in the Chronicle. A few years ago, there’s a huge picture of me talking about diversity and inclusion. But It’s a dumpster fire out there in the world. And you know, I was on the receiving end of some some threatening. Paraphernalia that was left inside my office and it really messed me up and I had to step out and be like, I can’t do this. And so where I’m at, is is taking care of myself and trying to tell others that you know, fuck the business case. Right. We are the people on the backs of whom this business runs and it’s not a production line. It can’t be like an assembly line. It’s not that kind of It’s not that kind of work and we’re not just going to be cogs in the wheel. And so I’m really appreciative that you asked that question I try to give you the most honest answer that I could. And that is, I’m struggling to take care of myself. But what I’m learning is that When things get tough, the people that you can rely on it becomes really, really, really clear as to where in that those grids that I have on those workshops, like where The deep safety is and I still need to keep relations with, you know, my department chair my dean, etc, etc. So, yeah. So be Woodard Had a question. Are you there be watered. If you want to ask a question. If you can use the chat, chat box, that would be great. I’m Meg chain said that There’s so glad that you bring together spirit and social justice. They teach MPs are and it needs this badly. I’m not sure I know what MPs are is do you I probably do, but it’s in. It’s in a file that I can access right now. I’m not, I’m not sure. It sounds exciting, though. So I just want to go back to your point about not being a cog in the wheel. Um, and so, how do you with with wanting to help everyone and wanting to take on all these projects. In an institution that needs someone to help lots of folks who are unsupported. How do you balance, not being the car that keeps this business running and also being supportive of a population that needs support. I give two answers for that. The first comes from a great mentor of mine who I hope a lot of people on the chat are familiar with a. Her name is Carrie and rock more and she is the CEO of the Center for Faculty Development and Diversity and carry on has a teaching that says Not all knows are created equal, right. Or something like that. And I forgot I remembered and then I forgot I was I was talking about it. Which is to say, saying no to some people is way harder than saying no to other people and saying no to my student right Directly. That’s why the last note that I could ever say right to a student, right, who’s asking me something in particular how I respond, though. Matters. Right. Do I take on their, their issue all on to myself or do I go through my list of people who are my mentors, people who are in my network people who I can turn to and say, Let me walk you over to so and so’s office. That’s the best thing I can do right now I’ve watched so many students over in the last 10 years that I’ve taught Actually, before that in grad school had some real traumatic cases walk them over to mental health offices, because I needed care right there. Sometimes I walk them over to multicultural services or something right so you can do a warm handoff. But some knows are harder than others. And the second thing I’ll say is to double down on that in person piece right anything that I can do in person in a room with another human right to, like, help them. That is going to matter so much more than me sending emails and being sort of removed from the action. Because for me, the greatest resistance to this Neil liberal wave that were that we’re seeing in the academy is to double down on humanity. It’s a double down being rooms and rooms with a lot of different people. You know, being together eating together. Joking together. I think that’s the real work of education that happens. And that’s that’s from that book of the under comments and help people read it, I read it five times a month because it hit me right when I needed it. But that’s how I resist that. What other questions do we have So we have an anonymous attendee who says. Best of luck to you during your time off, you have my understanding. I have experienced emotional violence in the workplace and is exhausting. Any suggestions on how one can engage in emotional self care and an emotionally violence workplace. Environment. I’m asking about strategy specific to those using the workplace, rather than those us outside of the workplace. I can’t, I can’t give the HR answer like I mean I have a really good HR person right but like I I think taking things to HR is like the best way or the ombudsperson or whatever, like start escalating certain things and continually documenting Like something happened to me you know year, a year and a half ago where I thought a situation was really sketchy. And I documented and it And it came out being really, really important. So I just sent an email to myself a timestamp. When I sent it um So documenting things. That’s something I learned as an RA actually as a resident advisor and higher and higher ed. Which is you know what something happens just really documented like you are a third person observing it rather than in your emotional tones. That has really helped. Now that’s a kind of defensive strategy, honestly. For me, and I have a lot of privilege first as a man second as a tenured professor for me staying away as much as possible from university right now is really, really important. But if I had to be there really picking where you know where I was going to be. I’m going to have my office moved when I get back. So I think you know this. The most important thing Is your actual physical body and your space and when there’s an electric that’s person said, There’s emotional violence that affects your body and so Articulating you know your office needs your space needs. A you really need to have self articulate, you know, for that. But again, the only way to do that isn’t with others. So that’s why It’s really important for me that people fill out that that form where, you know, who are your people that you go to, where is your unconditional emotional support, who’s going to walk with you over to HR You know, luckily, I had a couple people like that, you know, without them I would be in a much worse place. So this is more of a comment says Dr. Gail, I think many of us feel as you do, especially when at a pw I And I really am grateful that you’re sharing your truth and story, it’s important to name the toxicity and violence, we’re living in. And how this seeps into our space. It is consciousness and bodies as we begin another academic year. We’re holding, so much, for so many while attempting to retain hope and retain ourselves in the process. And, you know, like I said, women of color black women in particular, I’ve been doing this in this country for decades, centuries, what am I saying You know, and so it hurts certain bodies, more than others. And that’s why it’s important for me to step up and step into this space. And more and more I see you know more men more people with privilege doing that. And that’s really heartening to me. So I’m with that person who said that. Thank you. And the last comment is, thank you for sharing your own challenges as you fight to be resilient on it to witness or graceful struggle. We actually just got another question as power dynamics exists between students and faculty Staff and in a workplace where faculty staff are often overburden How can students advocate for themselves and get access to the resources they need and the mentorship and Reciprocal Learning from faculty, staff, I’m thinking specifically in the aftermath of tragedies and violence, like the mass shootings, how can they work collaboratively together without the work being placed on the shoulders of faculty, staff, that’s a really good question. I think that’s a great question because students are always in the position to to have the most say the reason is That in this neo liberal context in this capitalist context. The students are the customers, right, and any corporation needs its customers and when its customers are unhappy. It causes some tension, even if the cat checks are already cashed right and so I think more and more students need to be taking over academic affairs offices and presidents offices and student unions, you know, I think they need to want work across as diverse Coalition’s as they can find right Have in our political context is that when it’s a really hard place to build coalitions right now. I don’t think we need permanent Coalition’s among students right like I don’t think everybody who’s on the left hand side needs to be together for all things at all times. But I think if there’s something on campus that affects people, and that is, you know, like friend Martin says it’s fucked up for you and it’s fucked up for me. So let’s get together. You know, I think one way to do it is like, let’s just look at how expensive meals are on campus for students. Right. Students need to advocate for better contracts with the subjects of the era marks and these other massive corporations that also feed jails, right, that are also prison food makers. I think they need to advocate for better options for, you know, hungry students every campus should have a program for for being able to feed its, its student body right as its customers so Yeah, more power to that person who wants to put the onus on students to do it. I’m with the students. But unfortunately, I’ve been burned out by leading for students not only burnt out, but it just wasn’t my place, sometimes and I think I think faculty What their roles are is to sometimes be more humble right and to make partnerships with staffs Folks, I mean, I’m talking to myself here like I need to be a better. I need to be a better coworker and stopping a prima donna in relation to, well, I have a PhD or I have tenure stuff doesn’t matter. Man, that’s just how they keep us from Being more collaborative with each other. We don’t have any more questions and we have five minutes left. I want to say thank you very much for agreeing to do this first webinar. The first is always the hardest. But we hope that you have enjoyed your experience during our webinar and we hope that all of our participants have enjoyed this experience as well. You can go to and take a look at all of the other webinars are being offered this season, you have a really great lineup and we look forward to hosting. Thank you. You have any comments. It’s been great working with you, Asia, I’m really thinking about all the participants out there. I’m really, I’m praying for a better year I’m I’m I’m You know, but but I’m also I’m also out there with you in solidarity, um, any help that I can be. Please, don’t, don’t hesitate to ask if I can send you you know these slides or whatever. Y’all need I’m in solidarity with folks out there. Someone asked me to repeat the website. I just typed it into the chat box, but it’s Okay. Well, thank you very much and have a wonderful day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *