To say that this has been a challenging year is an understatement. Most of us are learning how to experience life differently by adhering to Stay-At-Home orders and working remotely. When we celebrated the dawn of 2020, who among us could have imagined that this would be our new reality just a few months later? Our days are filled with conference calls, Zoom meetings, Google Meets, teaching online, working through technology glitches, while responding via email to the various concerns of our students and colleagues. Some folks are having to homeschool their children for the first time and are learning to have a renewed appreciation for K-12 teachers. Coaxing our parents and older family members out of making unnecessary trips to the store has become a thing. Concern is high for our students, family members, and community members who are suffering financially due to the shutting down of many workplaces and industries in order to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Sadly, this epidemic has shined a national spotlight on what many of us already knew about health and economic disparities within our Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.
Then there are those heartbreaking instances that are becoming more regular when you receive a text, email, or read a social media posting from someone you know whose family member has tested positive for COVID-19 or has died. The words, “Please pray for…” is now a regular request. Yes, these are uncertain times. On the other hand, there are instances of joy in our attempts to practice social distancing while not being socially isolated by virtually staying in touch with family, friends, and colleagues, attending virtual parties, online gym workouts, streaming faith based worship services, and etc. Folks are so creative. For ABWHE, we have embraced the opportunity to use technology in order to stay connected by hosting a “Virtual Tea & Talk” and the webinar, “Podcasting and Social Media for Professional Growth.” We have plans to host additional webinars during the coming weeks as a way to enhance our professional development and to keep members connected.
In the midst of it all I hope that you are also taking care of yourselves. During the beginning of our transition to remote working, my supervisor reminded our team to not be so hard on ourselves and to remember that we are doing the best that we can with the present exceptional circumstances. Whether you are now working from home or are still required to report for work at your campuses, remember to take care of your physical and mental health.
As the Stay-At-Home orders begin to lift and states “open up” there is still anxiety and uncertainty related to how we will attempt to live our lives and how this will impact the ways we operate and serve in our roles at our respective institutions. Remember to stay informed and ask questions. Lastly, stay encouraged and continue to do the things that bring you peace and joy. Most importantly, may you be safe and well.
Onward and upward,
Michelle D. Morrow, Ed.D.
ABWHE National Board President
Please find below links to resources:
- Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-ihe-response.html
- World Health Organization: who.int
- Inside Higher Ed: insiderhighered.com
- Diverse Issues in Higher Education COVID-19 related webinars: diverseeducation.com
- American Council on Education: https://www.acenet.edu/pages/covid-19-information.aspx
- Association of Black Psychologists (community resources and webinars): https://www.abpsi.org/
- Therapy for Black Girls Podcast: https://therapyforblackgirls.com/podcast/
Podcast also available on Apple and Android Podcast apps