Healing School Communities in the Context of Faith-Based Bullying

About the Conversation Series

How might examining faith-based bullying - both against students and staff - necessitate conversations that can translate to policies that steward belonging for all? How might we center anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish experiences in our commitment to prevent, intervene and unpack bullying in our school communities?

Join the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center’s School Mental Health Initiative this summer for a special two-part conversation series, Healing School Communities in the Context of Faith-Based Bullying, exploring bullying & belonging with attention to faith-based experiences of stigma, contention, conflict and policies and programs that foster religious literacy, thereby enhancing school culture and climate. The series is intended for students, families, educators and school mental health professionals who are navigating the ongoing impact of faith-based bullying on student and staff mental health.

On July 23rd & 25th, 2024, we come together to examine recent data (quantitative and qualitative) that can help us drive school mental health leadership, policies, and programs that foster safety for students and staff, specifically those who are experiencing high levels of xenophobia, exclusion, scapegoating, and more. Please note that these sessions focus specifically on anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish bias/hate; while the violence on October 7, 2023 and subsequent violent aftermath has contributed to the rise, both populations have been experiencing an uptick beforehand (see Learning for Justice’s 2019 Hate At School Report). Unpacking anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish hate and bias as school mental health leaders requires us to approach conversations, programs, and policies in an intersectional manner (across racial and ethnic identities), courageously (confronting our own beliefs, fears, misunderstandings, xenophobias), and thoughtfully (not all Muslims are Arab, not all Jews are white, etc). Experiences of bias, bigotry, and bullying against staff and students threaten belonging and are individual, communal, and systemic issues.

We ask our panelists to hold these questions (and more!): 

  • What are Muslim faculty & students' unique mental health struggles in relation to their faith and cultural identity, both generally and in the context of this moment? 
  • What are Jewish faculty & students' unique mental health struggles in relation to their faith and cultural identity, both generally and in the context of this moment? 
  • What does authentic and lasting support look like, feel like, and sound like? 
  • What large scale community changes have been suggested or implemented in the context of this moment to move us from othering to belonging?

We explore these questions in two sessions through two lenses: What do we know and how might we grow? Each 1.5 hour learning session features a moderator who will engage advocates, leaders and the school mental health workforce in a conversation that focuses on: 

  1. Navigating discussions which are grounded in advancing belonging and preventing/intervening in faith-based bullying both in and out of school;
  2. Elevating strategies for communicating and engaging in the ongoing work to support the mental health of students and school mental health professionals which are grounded in community wisdom and build upon protective factors, both in and out of school; 
  3. Developing spaces which engender opportunities for the field to improve its commitment to fostering a workforce ready, able and willing to hold faith-based bullying as a mental health issue in a way that is founded in community strengths and wisdom while supporting and building protective factors; and
  4. Introducing a set of tools to navigate this moment while minimizing more harm.

Note: These conversations focus on K-12 school environments; while higher education spheres are not the focus, there will inevitably be transferable ideas, suggestions, and takeaways.

Certificates of completion will be made available to viewers of 50% (45 minutes) or more of each live learning session. CEUs are not available for these sessions. If you do not receive a certificate of completion by August 9, please email Ricardo Canelo at [email protected].


Disclaimer


Registration


Speaker Lineup

Check out the moderators and panelists for the series below! You can learn more about them here.


Priming resources:

We have curated a list of MHTTC and external resources that detail strategies to address Islamophobia and antisemitism, the effects of Islamophobia and antisemitism on students and schools, and ways to support affected students and staff.

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