PsyD Students: Joy NNadi and Justine Brown
Joy Nnadi and Justine Brown believe BIPOC students at UPEI need a space to discuss their issues and reflect on their mental health.
â€œThere is not even enough support for Canadian students, and then out of all of that, the support for students of colour is even lesser,â€ Nnadi said.
The two doctorate students from UPEIâ€™s Department of Psychology are hosting support sessions to discuss student experiences of vicarious racism and trauma, and how to deal with them healthily.
Like vicarious trauma, vicarious racism comes from witnessing or hearing about racism, and empathetically feeling the trauma of it, Brown said.
â€œYou could consider it as second-hand racism, itâ€™s not something you experience directly yourself.â€
Brown and Nnadi plan to discuss other issues BIPOC students face such as microaggressions, being stereotyped, self-blame, mental exhaustion, and tokenism.
As this month is recognized as Black History Month, tokenism becomes a concern, Brown said.
â€œIt could be focusing on hosting events targeted at black people, or promoting them (in a job) only during that month.â€
Doing such is wrong because the motivations arenâ€™t sincere, Brown said.
â€œThe underlined message is â€˜we would not be doing this otherwiseâ€™.â€
Tokenism is virtue-signalling, and it doesnâ€™t solve real problems, Nnadi said.
“When you put people in the spotlight for a time being, you feel like youâ€™ve fulfilled something and you donâ€™t have to focus on their real issues.â€
Brown and Nnadi held their first support session last Wednesday.
They plan to host more sessions in the SDU main building (Room 213), starting on the 24th.