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NJIT's Sherlene Ayala to Discuss Social Justice at Columbia Conference

Sherlene Ayala

Sherlene Ayala, assistant director for Leadership and Diversity, will present the workshop "Moving Beyond Racial Battle Fatigue to Social Justice in Academia" at the 31st Annual Winter Roundtable Conference at Columbia University on Feb. 14 and 15.  Ayala, along with a panel of fellow doctoral students, administrators and faculty, will discuss racism from their perspective within academia.  They will look at the impact of racism on health and wellness and explore "racial battle fatigue," a term coined by William A. Smith, University of Utah, to describe constant exposure to everyday racism and microaggressions.  Ayala states, “The impact has physical and psychological symptoms, and our goal is to bring awareness about these health and wellness impacts and offer ways to provide a supportive network to navigate through it.”

The Winter Roundtable is the longest running continuing professional education program in the U.S. devoted solely to cultural issues in psychology and education.  This year's theme, “From Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall to Wall Street:  Fighting for Social Justice on All Fronts,” will emphasize research and interventions in community, school, and family settings, as well as individual development, regarding a wide range of topics, including language, literacy, access, wellness, cultural values, and experiences with oppression and discrimination.