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Invitation to Training for all Faculty and Staff: Academics for Black Survival and Wellness


Dear FSU Members,

The FSU is writing to encourage faculty and staff to attend the upcoming FREE training "Academics for Black Survival and Wellness" offered by Dr. Della Mosley, Pearis Bellamy and their group, with a group of expert speakers and consultants (e.g. Carlton Green, Helen Neville, Anneliese Singh).  

Here is the link for registration (scroll down to the bottom of the page):

This training was previously offered as an intensive week long training for non-Black academics, with 3-7 hours of training every day. Many UMass faculty participated in addition to (literally) thousands of other academics across the country. It is being offered again (still free) in a less intensive format, spread out on 7 days.  Running simultaneously is events and programming for support and wellness for Black academics.

Here are some thoughts and feedback from UMB colleagues in Psychology who participated in the first offering for non-Black academics.  These highlight the impact not only for individuals, but also for participation of multiple faculty/staff in the same unit:

I've been to (and conducted) a lot of anti-racism trainings.  And this was one of the best. Centering a Black feminist framework, it offered a vision of connection, healing, and hope while keeping it real and not pulling any punches. It was particularly exceptional in its focus on anti-Blackness, educating about Black oppression, and bringing it home how racism actually works in the academy and how anti-Blackness is a central foundation of all racism.  This focus was so important, both generally and at this moment in time, and underscored how well-meaning White and non-Black PoC can oppress or collude without meaning to and can learn to resist and avoid that collusion. I learned and grew from my participation in ways that will directly influence my teaching, my interactions with students, my university service work, and my scholarship. (Karen Suyemoto, Psychology/AsAmSt/CECS).

I participated in both the SpeakOut, and the Academics 4 Black Survival and Wellness. I really valued both, and I think this (Academics 4 Black Survival and Wellness) training provides so much that the SpeakOut didn’t. Academics for Black Survival and Wellness is truly transformative. I think about or discuss something I learned from the training every single day. I’m actually planning to do it again so I can absorb material more deeply and engage in more reflection. I've already seen the impact on the kinds of conversations and planning that those of us who participated are able to do together, and I think that it would make a real difference for our students and our colleagues if there were a critical mass of faculty who engaged in the training. It's a real gift from the organizers and I hope everyone will receive it. (Liz Roemer,Psychology)

The 7 days of Academics 4 Black Survival and Wellness was a transformative experience. Unlike trainings that solely engage the mind, each day of this training challenged me to integrate new knowledge, my emotional reactions to this new learning, and plans for how to use both to combat anti-black racism in my work in the University, as a clinical supervisor, teacher and colleague. Each speaker brought a unique perspective and the additional resources they provided will allow for my continued learning as well as the opportunity to spread important works to my students, supervisees and colleagues.  (Tracey Rogers)

This immersive Academics 4 Black Survival and Wellness experience was the most transformative experience I have had.  Personally, it pushed me to further understand my biases and the ways that anti-Black racism surfaces in my academic and personal roles.  But beyond this increased awareness, it also provided concrete suggestions and a framework for making changes to combat anti-Black racism.  I can already see the impact that it has had on my work.  Because several of the members of our clinical psychology doctoral program did the training, we now have a shared language and understanding that has helped spark ideas for combating racism at the program-level.  (Sarah Hayes-Skelton)

You can also find feedback from national  participants from the first offering here:

Also worth noting is that one of the graduate student contributors (Jeannette Mejia) working with Dr. Mosley is a CECS and Psychology Dept UMass Boston Alum.

Also, the FSU will be asking Administration to allow faculty to include anti-racist trainings as part of their annual AFR.

We hope you will participate. 

Steve Striffler

FSU President

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