1:00pm - 2:30pm CT
"Mind, Mindfulness & the 3rd Pandemic of Mental Health"
Presenter: Dr. Mai Nguyen, Associate Professor, Amsterdam University of Applied Science
The COVID19 pandemic is leaving us vulnerable for another kind of pandemic: a mental health pandemic. This crisis is increasing as we are dealing with the consequences of lockdown, isolation, job loss, virtual work, remote schooling and much more. Mindfulness has been increasingly recognized as an effective tool and strategy to build resilience, compassion, open-mindedness, and good decision making – all traits that are needed for personal leadership, especially in a crisis.
This workshop will focus specifically on the neuroscience that underlines the effectiveness of mindfulness, especially in a crisis: why and how mindfulness can change the brain and regulate both its function and structure, and why mindfulness works, from the science point of view.
Dr. Mai Nguyen (Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai) is Associate Professor at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. She is a teacher, researcher, and corporate trainer in intercultural communication, diversity and bias management, and organizational neuroscience. Dr. Mai Nguyen started her career as a journalist with fellowships at World Press Institute, BBC and Reuters. She now freelances for different media outlets, and is a frequent keynote speaker at major events such as Forbes Women's Summit, SIETAR, Culture and Brain Science, ELLTA, and more.
3:00pm - 4:30pm CT
"Community Organizing, COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter: One Minneapolis Neighborhood's Efforts to Speak Up and Keep the Peace"
Basma Ibrahim DeVries, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, Concordia University
Jon DeVries, Trainer & Consultant in Intercultural Competence, Team Building & Leadership Development
Living in a very social-justice-focused Minneapolis neighborhood, community-organizing efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. The initial focus: ‘Noon Noise’ ritual, front-porch picnics, email check-ins. Then, George Floyd was murdered 1 mile away, and organizing/support/advocacy efforts took new turns...Within days, our city was burning and the shift in community efforts was extraordinary, with neighbors at various stages in understanding racism/white-privilege/social-justice-activism, trying to help one another manage the anxiety and fear that came with the surrounding chaos - all while still dealing with the global pandemic.
From an intercultural perspective, it has been fascinating to participate and witness. Layers of complexities, simultaneously working through multiple pandemics, and truly challenging the "walk-the-talk" approach we try to follow as interculturalists.
About Basma and Jon
Basma Ibrahim DeVries, Ph. D., is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and conducts intercultural training workshops for educational and community groups.
Jon DeVries is a Trainer and Consultant specializing in Intercultural Competence, Team Building
and Leadership Development.