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Courageous Conversations: Race-Based Trauma and its Impact of College Student Persistence


Wednesday, October 09, 2019


Main Campus—Tama Hall Hawse Auditorium

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As part of the Courageous Conversations initiative, Hawkeye's Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host a discussion on Race-Based Trauma and its Impact on College Student Persistence.

Traumatic experiences don’t just come from live encounters. Witnessing, viewing, or experiencing events that occur as a result of the historical, systemic, and sociocultural nature of racism can intensify symptoms of trauma. Repetitive occurrences of these distressing instances can have a profound impact on the mental health of individuals exposed to these events. Events ranging from historical images of ancestral atrocities and current headlines on negative rhetoric and policies toward racial minorities to the constant stream of viral videos of gun-violence and encounters of racial discrimination from everyday citizens.

Research shows Black and Hispanic adults are half as likely as their white counterparts to use mental health services. This can undermine student well-being and affect retention. Thus, there is a need to de-stigmatize the suffering of individuals who’ve experienced racial trauma and schools can develop protocols that encourage them to get the appropriate assistance.

Licensed clinical therapist Bryan Range will discuss the importance of integrating culturally-relevant counseling into the treatment process for individuals suffering from vicarious and race-based trauma.

The goal of the Courageous Conversation series is to have open, honest, relevant discussions with students, faculty, and staff about critical, current, and controversial issues affecting our diverse communities. They are not meant to convince, caution, or champion for any cause. These conversations tend to be challenging and uncomfortable, yet authentic and powerful. To engage, empower, and enlighten our students through different ways of knowing is one of the primary aims of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.


  1. arts and culture
  2. diversity and inclusion
  3. faculty and staff
  4. student activity
  5. students
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