By: Annette Quijada
Dr. Farima Pour-Khorshid facilitated a workshop discussion about healing called, “Tending to the Wounds of Racial Trauma and Social Toxicity.”
A primary aspect of the workshop was discussing how healing is a vital part of education. “Healing in education is about grasping things from the root. Healing would mean us having to take capitalism, racism, and ableism from the root in order to be at peace,” Dr. Pour-Khorshid said.
Dr. Pour-Khorshid said that trauma decontextualized in our education system looks like schooling. “We have to really think about the historical and transgenerational trauma that exists and runs through the very systems we are being educated in,” she said.
“Our own bodies also suffer from this trauma, for those who identify in marginalized communities and come from constant oppression like slavery and colonization, those acts of horror affect those beyond in the moment,” she said.
Native Americans are currently being affected by the remains of thousands of children found at former residential schools in Canada. “The trauma echoes for generations. It’s important for us to understand that trauma can compound within and across generations and it results in physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social distress for individuals,” said Pour-Khorshid.
Dr. Pour-Khorshid believes it’s important for people to address what they’re feeling, especially when they’re overwhelmed. “Oftentimes we want to stay in the sense of positivity and not want to address how heavy things may feel. The problem with that is that it can cause more harm. We fall into the cycle of toxic positivity,” she said. Over generalizing being happy turns into denying and minimizing emotional experiences and therefore the current situation one is in becomes worse, she said.
Pour-Khorshid shared multiple tools and resources that can be helpful to students and faculty. She recommends downloading an app called “My Life,” used for one to check in with themselves and assess where they are mentally, physically and emotionally.
Based on the assessment, the app will conjure up a meditation for the user. She also recommends a second app called, “The Tapping Solution,” that has different tapping exercises and anxiety that ranges from fear of flying to the stresses of COVID-19
After sharing resources Dr. Pour-Khorshid encouraged attendees to participate in a 2 minute silent breathing exercise. “We underestimate the medicine of breath, so many of us are always so tense because we’re literally having to deal with assaults on our humanity on a daily basis. And sometimes I just want to remind us that it can take 2 minutes to just recalibrate, to patch your breath again and remember you are here in this present moment,” she said.
“We need to heal from the ideological trauma, the system of beliefs that are built around the superiority of some groups, and the inferiority of others which shape our society,” she said.