BYU hosts first Racial Stress Awareness Week

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BYU is hosting its first Racial Stress Awareness Week to bring campus awareness to “the impact of racial stress on the BYU community.” (Nate Edwards/BYU)

BYU is sponsoring a series of events Oct. 12 through Oct. 15 to address racial stress on campus.

This week, titled Racial Stress Awareness Week, will include a variety of events will be held via Zoom and is hosted by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Dean of Students Office, which focuses on out-of-classroom experiences for students, and Career Services.

These events are “aimed at increasing awareness of the impact of racial stress on the BYU community and providing resources to promote justice and equity on campus,” according to an event flyer. A seminar will be held every day via Zoom and are open to all students.

Monday’s speaker was Dr. Louise F. Wheeler of BYU CAPS. She focused on “Understanding and Coping with Race-related Stress”. Students and faculty can tune in to three more seminars this week.

The topics of the seminars include, “Singing the song of survivance: Racial stress and Indigenous identities” with Dr. Roni Jo Draper of the Department of Teacher Education, “Allyship in the workplace” with Natalie Hansen and Savannah Gow of MSW and Career Services, and “Separating the Chaffe from the Wheat and Making the Y Better: BIPOC Saints — and Proud of it! — Because God Wanted it that Way” with Dr. Ignacio Garcia of the History Department.

These presentations will all focus on, “coping with racial stress, understanding racial stress and indigenous identities, how to be an ally in the workplace and how BYU is better because of our BIPOC community.” This is the first year BYU has hosted a Racial Stress Awareness Week.

According to Jodi Chowen, managing director in Careers and Experiential Learning, Career Services have already hosted three events this semester regarding diversity and inclusion at BYU. “There’s a really good energy right now with all these events,” she said.

Students across campus have been more than supportive about new events and committees throughout the different colleges.

“I think it’s really cool that BYU is hosting so many events centered on inclusion and addressing diversity. If we keep trying to eliminate any type of division, it will make us stronger and happier as a campus,” said Izzie Davis, a senior at BYU. “These events just help bring us together and make people feel like they have a home at BYU. We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

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