The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities sits on the traditional homelands of the Dakota People. The Mental Health Collective of Black Indigenous People of Color recognizes the original peoples of this place and acknowledges that it's impossible and harmful to talk about individual mental health without actively working to be in right relationships with the people and the land who have been and will continue to be here. Our collective strives to bring together people from Native Communities and Black/POC Communities and where frequently our communities have been pitted against one-another we know we are stronger when in solidarity. We cannot be together without first acknowledging the broken treaties and displacement of our Indigenous relatives and without continuing to support one another.
-Thanks to Šišókaduta for his support in the creation of this statement
For more information about campus resources please check out: COIN, Dakota and Ojibwe Language Program, American Indian Studies Department, Traditional Medicine Gardens
The Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Collective (MHC) was formed in January 2019 due to a community desire to create a radical healing space to foster conversations around the topic of Mental Health and Wellbeing in our communities. We acknowledge that much of the current resources/services at the University of Minnesota fit within traditional white western mental health framework and our collective strives to disrupt that model. Our group is open to students (undergraduate and graduate), staff, and faculty at the University of Minnesota. This is a space for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Middle Eastern and North African (MENA), Desi, Asian, and/or People of Color voices, experiences, and stories. Mixed race, QTIPOC, and trans-racial adopted folks, we see you and welcome you into the space.
Meeting Information/What to Expect in a Meeting
We meet on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 11:30-1PM. We have new people who come to each meeting, so please feel free to come even if you haven’t before. Folks are welcome to come late/leave early as needed.
11:30-12PM Gather and Eat for In Person Participants (Food is provided)
12-1PM Begin the meeting for Virtual and In Person Participants
- Welcoming/Land Acknowledgement
- Introductions: Name, option for pronouns, and check in
- Small Group Discussions around a specific topic (past topics include: current event stress, coping at work, signs that we are struggling, wellness practices)
- Wellness Activity (past examples include: gratitude journal, guided meditation, progressive muscle relaxation)
Hopes and Dreams
In our January 2019 initial meeting as a group we named some hopes and dreams of hosting events on campus related to our wellness needs, potentially breaking out in racial/ethnic or staff/student specific caucuses, advocating for additional access to traditional healers on-campus, and more! We are excited to pursue these opportunities as our collective continues to grow.
MHC Planning Team
Mai Lee, Academic Advisor
Marquis Taylor, CSE Academic Advisor
Miriam Wood Alameda, PES Assistant Director
Nina Hernandez Beithon, Diversity Liaison Counselor, Student Counseling Services
We are grateful to our sponsors for helping us provide nourishment while we gather:
Recipient of the Gopher Equity Project Micro Grant
Graduate School Diversity Office and Community of Scholars Program
The MHC is thankful for the above programs and offices generous support. If your office is interested in providing funding for the collective, please email [email protected].
We are committed to providing a comfortable, inclusive, and respectful environment for all members of our community. If there is information you feel would be helpful for us to know, including disability or other accommodation needs, please email us at [email protected] to discuss more.
At our December BIPOC Mental Health Collective session, community members created a list of mental health resources, which can be viewed here.