Campus dialogue addresses national, global issues

More than 50 trainees, faculty, staff and College leaders recently gathered for a “Compassionate Conversation” about violence in our local and global community and what Baylor College of Medicine can do to promote healing.

Led by Dr. Toi Blakley Harris, associate provost of institutional diversity and inclusion and student services, participants met around tables for facilitated discussions focusing on violent acts involving civilians, law enforcement officers and terrorists that have filled the news this summer. In the small group setting, the diverse crowd listened with compassion and respect to personal reflections on the violence.

The 90-minute session concluded with the groups presenting recommendations for actions the College should take to make a positive difference. All participants favored more opportunities to come together for conversation across roles, disciplines and cultures.

Harris thanked members of the Narrative Medicine Program for serving as facilitators. She said that, based on the feedback, this dialogue will continue in future sessions that will assist with strategic planning for College-wide social justice initiatives. Event planning is underway for Diversity Week, Oct. 3-7.

In closing remarks, Dr. Alicia Monroe, provost and senior vice president for academic and faculty affairs, reminded attendees, “Be gentle with yourself.” She prescribed sleep, exercise and good nutrition, limited media exposure, greater social engagement and faith to “keep body and spirit strong for the work ahead.