New Connections recently facilitated a Twitter chat entitled “A Discussion on the Trauma of Inequality.” The chat addressed trauma caused by inequality at the intersections of race, education, economics, and health—both on personal and academic levels. We are delighted to have worked with John Kirby, director of the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, Dr. Bethany M. (bee) Coston, professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards, director of the Health Equity Working Group at Duke University’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. As researchers and practitioners working in the sectors of psychology, racism, gender violence, and trauma, these facilitators offered unique personal and professional perspectives on trauma and inequality.
The Twitter chat focused on two significant issues around inequality and trauma: 1) the vicarious trauma felt by teachers, professors, and professionals who are supporting students, patients, colleagues, etc. struggling with trauma, and 2) the traumas and inequality experienced by minority and first-generation scholars in large institutions. We were inspired to facilitate this chat after reading several articles on these topics in Edutopia and the New York Times, and a report published by Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia. We shared the Edutopia article on the New Connections Twitter feed in the fall, and received significant engagement and responses from our network members, who seemed to be struggling with various traumas as a result of their backgrounds, research, and teaching positions. We integrated that response into this Twitter chat to address some of the hidden emotional and psychological issues faced by people in our network.
To access a collection of tweets from the chat, visit our Twitter moment, “A Discussion on the Trauma of Inequality” Twitter Chat.