On Saturday, October 23, the Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted an Intercultural Student Leadership Conference. The theme of the conference was “ Police Brutality: Mental Health.” It was extremely impactful, so I thought it would be beneficial to share some of the most encouraging messages I received with our readers.
Workshop 1: Mental Health during the Pandemic
In the first workshop, faculty and a student named Danielle from the College of Nursing spoke on the struggles students faced amidst the pandemic. Daniella expressed something that we all felt when Zoom/Microsoft Teams classes began: seeing black screens just didn’t hit the same. It is safe to say that “stress” was an adjective we all used to explain our circumstances during this period.
During the Conference, we engaged in a seven-minute de-stressing video. A wide variety of these videos can be found across Youtube, and they are a great way to calm the body. We were instructed to close our eyes, let every corner of our bodies feel the gratitude and thanks we are blessed to give, and just focus on the present. Personally, this time transitioned into a time of prayer and realization for me, and it was truly beneficial. Every breath we breathed in waited in anticipation for the anxiety we breathed out.
Dr. Ruthmae Sears
After lunch, we sat in the MSC Ballroom and listened to Dr. Ruthmae Sears, an Associate Professor who has accomplished so much that I will include the link to her USF biography here. Dr. Sears’ primary message was that we must believe in ourselves. More specifically, we must believe in the value of our work before we sell it to just anyone. Dr. Sears shared that there was a project she created that someone offered to fund for $1,000. However, she knew how valuable her work was, and did not accept it. As a result of this hope in the waiting, she ended up receiving over more than 10 times the amount she was first offered!
Another prominent theme in Dr. Spears’ message was to dream on. Dr. Spears said that a man known as Myles Monroe is one of her biggest heroes. Monroe once said, “The graveyard is the richest place on the surface of the Earth because there you will see the books that were not published, ideas that were not harnessed, songs that were not sung, and drama pieces that were never acted.”
The ISLC was an inspirational and fun-filled event. I anticipate the next one to be great as well and encourage everyone to sign up.