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Caring for Ourselves and Others As We Navigate Change

A New Dialogue Series for Staff

Are you learning or seeking new ways of caring for yourself and your loved ones during this time? Are you interested in being in community with others at Northwestern who are navigating this changing moment, to share strategies, thoughts, and caring space? The Women's Center, HR Wellbeing, Learning and Organization Development, and the Office of Equity are sponsoring a new dialogue series specifically designed to support and provide space for Northwestern staff during the remote work period. 
Join us every other Thursday, from 3:30-4:30, for a facilitated conversation with staff from across the University. Topics will rotate each session, and may include: complex concerns for caregivers; managing vicarious trauma; care-based approaches to remote work; and more.
Interested in being a part of the conversation? Please check back for an updated method of registration. 

Questions? Please contact Shá Norman in the Office of Equity at


Session 4:
Storytelling as Reflection. Storytelling as a Tool

Personal reflection through storytelling is a way to practice self-care and a way to explore the interconnectedness of ourselves and the world around us. In this hour, we will spend our time exploring dialogues asking: What stories are we making and telling? And we’ll spend some time freewriting responses to a selection of writing prompts. Everyone has a story to tell and you do not have to consider yourself a writer to attend this session.

Join us for this session to send some time reflecting while exercising your writing muscles.

Thursday July 9th from 3:30 to 4:30pm.

This session will be led by guest facilitators Jasmine Gurneau, Manager, Native American and Indigenous Initiatives and Mónica Russel y Rodríguez, Assistant Provost for Diversity & Inclusion.

Register here! 



Session 1: The Complexities of Caregiving


This week, we’ll be discussing the many complex dynamics and concerns that have arisen for so many of us who are navigating the dual roles of worker and caregiver in our home space right now. Using the two articles linked below to guide our discussion, we invite you to join us to share about your own experience, to learn from one another, and to be in community.


Discussion moderated by Lesley Lundeen, HR Well-being and Kate Harrington-Rosen, Office of Equity


Session Two: Navigating Vicarious Trauma / Compassion Fatigue
*Postponed until June 4th*


Members of our community are navigating personal stress and trauma, while supporting students, co-workers, friends, and family undergoing their own trauma responses. It is a lot to handle. Giving a name to the things we are struggling with can be helpful.  Burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma are different forms of holding the pain of others without sufficient support or care for the self. While people working in emergency, health, and social work fields are often familiar with these concepts, Covid-19 has made self and secondary trauma a shared experience--reaching positions and people who may not have received formal training in recognizing and responding it.


In this one-hour session we will discuss the different terms and experiences, highlight some additional resources beyond the scope of our dialogue, and imagine together what a community prepared to address the mental health toll of this pandemic might look like.


This discussion will include a special presentation by Carrie Wachter from the Center for Awareness, Response, and Education. A counselor from the Employee Assistance Program will also be present for the conversation.  


view the event flyer