The Commons will offer new series on care, well-being

Monday, August 26, 2019

LAWRENCE – How do we practice care? This question is at the heart of a new series of programs offered at The Commons in collaboration with the new Center for Compassionate and Sustainable Communities and other University of Kansas partners.

At noon Wednesdays at The Commons, the series will feature a different topic related to well-being and care, and it will include a component of guided practice. The series aims to devote time to considering the ways people practice care as individuals, in communities and as a campus, full of resources to broaden understanding. It will highlight a variety of aspects of well-being, with special attention to the expectations of higher education.

Some of the upcoming sessions:

  • Aug. 28: An overview of topics to explore, an opportunity to shape future sessions and a guided exercise
  • Sept. 4: An introduction to the resources for promotion and tenure, for those considering or just beginning a career in the university
  • Sept. 18: A discussion about the importance of self-care, for both personal well-being and support for others
  • Sept. 25: An exploration of ways in which the internet can be used to spread empathy, build communities and increase care in the face of disaster
  • Oct. 2: An introduction to emotional intelligence and how it can link to well-being to support care for oneself and others.

“This series highlights research and resources at KU that are invested in the work of care,” said Emily Ryan, director of The Commons. “By combining research and practice, we hope to demonstrate the importance and priority placed on topics of care across roles and interests at the university, and through opening these conversations, draw focus to the care we give ourselves the ways in which we show up for others.”

“Those of us involved in launching the new Center for Compassionate and Sustainable Communities are so excited to work with The Commons and other KU partners on this important program,” said Ward Lyles, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration. “Research across disciplines increasingly demonstrates that perceptions of hard boundaries between our intellectual pursuits and our emotional and physical well-being are misguided and even counterproductive. Universities need more programs that recognize and treat learning and care as multifaceted, intertwined enterprises.”

This series is supported by a growing list of campus partners, including The Commons and the Center for Sustainable and Compassionate Communities, as well as the Center for Faculty Development & Mentoring, Office of the Provost, the School of Social Welfare, Watkins Health Services, the College Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the School of Public Affairs & Administration, KU Public Management Center and the School of Social Welfare. Events will focus on topics significant to faculty, staff, and students, though all events are free and open to the public.