Ask the Black Girl: A Conversation Spanning Wellbeing to Improved Programming for Black Students
Recorded On: 02/23/2021
Stigma, inequality, and injustices surrounding human rights persist in our culture today. Sadly, the color of a person’s skin plays a significant role in how people are perceived, respected, and handled. We know that racism, both deliberate and unintentional, affects the health and wellbeing of individuals and groups.
As campus recreations professionals, we must consider how we can each contribute to a culture where all people feel included. Join a conversation between Michele Martin, a white woman working at a predominantly white institution (PWI), and Chavonne Shorter, a Black woman who previously worked at a historically black college &university (HBCU). Listen to their dialogue exchange to hear how they have been able to learn from one another and how their conversation can inform the development of successful programming for people of color on a PWI campus.
1. Describe factors that contribute to avoiding tough conversations on diversity.
2. Identify programming factors to assess in order to provide inclusive programming.
3. List three actions you can take in order to provide more inclusive programming on your campus.
On-site Wellness Coordinator
My name is Chavonne Shorter and I am an Onsite Wellness Coordinator for a Health and Wellness Technology company called Virgin Pulse. The client that I support for Virgin Pulse is the University System of Georgia. I have been a NIRSA member since 2013. Over the years when I attended conferences I was a sponge trying to take in as much information as possible. However, I felt that I could contribute to this association with hopes that individuals could see things through the lens of black students and professionals, particularly black women. Over the years within the association, I have been vocal in wanting to provide insight and perspective into how to better meet the needs of programming and planning for students of color on campus and have been given the opportunity to do so, which I am grateful for.
Associate Director Student Wellness & Health Promotion
Georgia Southern University
Michele Martin has a B.S. and M.S. in Kinesiology, both from Georgia Southern University. Additionally, she completed the Certificate of Public Health program at Georgia Southern University. She began her career in 2006 as a Campus Recreation professional and served as Fitness Director, Assistant Director and Associate Director with Georgia Southern University and University of North Carolina Wilmington. During her career, she has helped two Campus Recreation programs through building expansions, built a successful Peer Educator program, served at the University System of Georgia level for employee wellbeing, served as chair of Staff Council, and completed the Lynda Brannen Williamson Leadership Academy. She has a passion for reducing stigma related to mental health and is involved in Postpartum Support International and National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) where she continues that work in her community. She holds certifications in Health Coaching, Mental Health First Aid, Peer Educator Facilitation, CPR & First Aid Instructor, Sustainability and most recently obtained the CPH, Certified in Public Health, credential.