Argosy University, Northern Virginia spearheaded campus-wide community forums intended to provide students an opportunity to bear witness, express reactions, facilitate critical thinking, and provide support regarding continued cases of police killings of unarmed African Americans in the United States.
The forums are based on the premise that campus-wide acknowledgement of such tragedies is an appropriate framework for coping with the losses many students, their families, and their communities face. The first event was held during the summer of 2016 following the Orlando shooting and, following it, members of the campus community expressed the need for continued community outlets to process such losses as mental health professionals, students, staff, faculty, and community members of all races, gender, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation.
Additional “Campus Conversations” were held in September and October of 2016 and were facilitated by faculty in clinical psychology and counseling programs at the campus; the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Washington DC Forensic and Diversity interest groups; National Black Graduate Students Association (NBGSA) and student chapter of Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PSYSR). Prior to facilitators sharing of their lived experiences as faculty and members of communities of color, a statement of ground rules that included respect for one another, making space for the other’s voice, and staying in the moment and processing purposefully were articulated. The group was then invited to process which resulted in meaningful and purposeful dialogue about each person’s lived experiences.
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Argosy University, Northern Virginia is certified to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Title 23, Chapter 21.1, §23-276.4 of the Code of Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (James Monroe Building, 101 North 14th St; Richmond, VA 23219; 804-225-2600;www.schev.edu).