University of Charleston

University of Charleston

Enlightened Living Week

Enlightened Living Week 2023

Each year, the University of Charleston offers its community a visionary agenda focused on the betterment of society.  It is held to honor the university’s commitment to its mission – particularly its pillar of enlightened living – and offers students and community members an opportunity to participate in workshops, discussions, and other programs to help empower them to become better citizens.

This year, we have expanded to a week long program.  On Monday, January 16, we will honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a plenary session that includes the film From Selma to Stonewall, featuring Rev. Gil Caldwell and Marilyn Bennett, and ending with a student-led conversation.

Enlightened Living Week will continue with a wide range of programs that offer strategies to build productive and empathic communities, promote collaboration, and explore innovative leadership strategies.

Please note: Certain sessions were created for specific audiences – students, faculty, or staff, for example. Some are online, and others are in person. 

Printable PDF Schedule

2023 Schedule

 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

9:00 AM – Dr. King Legacy Breakfast, It Starts with Me: Transforming Unjust Systems 

Golden Eagle Commons, Geary Student Union 2nd Floor

Hosted tables, invited guests, and discussion topics over breakfast.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Documentary Film – From Selma to Stonewall: Are we there yet?

Geary Auditorium, Riggleman Hall

Featuring Rev. Gil Caldwell, a black, straight preacher and Civil Rights Movement foot soldier, and Marilyn Bennett, a white, lesbian author and activist who form an unusual bond as they seek to find the intersection between the Civil Rights and LGBTQ+ Equality movements. They start out exploring the similarities, differences, and conflicts between the two movements and find themselves in the midst of today’s struggles—hate crimes, anti-blackness, police brutality, anti-LGBTQ religious hostility, queer youth homelessness, and white supremacy.

The Discussion Continues – Student Discussion Panel moderated by film collaborator Rebecca York.

Rebecca York (they/them) is a DEI expert based in the Washington, DC area. They have over 10 years of experience in leading conversations about race, gender, equity, and leadership. Rebecca’s work focuses on developing and facilitating intersectional, LGBTQ+ cultural competency and leadership development programming for youth and adults alike. Throughout their career, Rebecca has worked with organizations all over the world to increase acceptance of, and awareness for LGBTQ+ identities and experiences. They have also been a featured voice in a number of local and national events, including Matthew Shepard’s Interment at the National Cathedral, and The White House Convening on Transgender Equality, the first of its kind. In 2020 they were a recipient of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s grant, the Rockstar Fund. They are a graduate of Smith College, with a BA in the Study of Women and Gender.

 

6:00 PM – Unity March and Candlelight Vigil

Innovation Center/Riverbank

The Unity March will begin at the Innovation Center, continue through campus, and end at the Riverbank. The candlelight vigil features a short reflection by UC students and community leaders.

 

Enlightened Living Week Activities

Tuesday, January 17 – Thursday, January 19, 2023

All Week – Sharing Wall, 1st Floor GSU 

Emphasizing the importance of community dialogue and shared understanding, the Sharing Wall is located in the space leading to Riverfront Dining. Walls will be covered in paper with student created art and QR codes for historical and current civil rights leaders and initiatives.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

 

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM* – “Car Smash” – Smash the Stigma

Visitor’s Parking Lot 

Students, faculty, staff are invited to let out frustrations by smashing a car with a sledgehammer. This event provides an opportunity to safely release stress, anxiety, and aggression and share in a fun experience.

*10:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Spray Painting Words, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM – Car Smash

 

10:00 AM – Cultural Intelligence: Leading with More Heart and Less Ego 

Offered online

A timely discussion examining the cultivation of safe, meaningful, and loving relationships to understand how we can connect heart-to-heart, embracing our human interconnectedness and interdependence.

View Session

12:00 PM – Psychological Safety in the Classroom (Faculty and Staff Focus)

Appalachian Room in person, also available online 

Learn about psychological safety in the space of higher education, and especially in our classrooms, with discussions about dismantling barriers, building trust, creating comfortable spaces, and more.

 
2:00 PM – Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter – Bridging the Deep Divide

Erma Byrd Gallery in person, also available online 

This session features a student, law enforcement and community leader panel to talk about issues of race, discrimination, and fear.

View Session

4:00 PM – Question, Persuade, and Refer: Learn to help save a life from suicide

Appalachian Room in person, also available online

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans are saying “Yes” to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor.

View Session

7:00 PM – I Have a Dream Today: Sharing stories of power, justice, and resilience

Golden Eagle Commons 

Opportunities for participants and audience to share in experiences, spoken word, storytelling, and music. Open-mic style format.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

 

9:00 AM – Psychological Safety in Classrooms: Student Perspective

Innovation Center 

Learn about psychological safety in the space of higher education, and especially in our classrooms, with discussions about dismantling barriers, building trust, creating comfortable spaces, and more.

 

10:00 AM – Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Workforce Implications 

Offered Online

Workplace culture and relationships are impacted by childhood experiences. Traumatic experiences may later be replayed in an individual’s adult relationships, including those in the workplace. Uncover what behaviors to look for in yourself and others.

View Session

12:00 PM – “The Race Talk”

Golden Eagle Commons 

The Race Talk exercise is a gamified approach to addressing difficult topics and conversations around such issues as privilege, racism, and inequality.  Via a deck of race cards, individuals and groups are scaffolded to support meaningful discourse about sensitive issues.

 
12:00 PM – LGBTQ+ Inclusion in the Classroom and Beyond (Faculty and Staff Focus)

Appalachian Room in person, also available online

Jenny Williams from the ACLU will lead the discussion about inclusivity and more.

 

2:00 PM – Yoga: Movement and stillness from the inside out

The Ballroom, GSU 

Laotong Yoga offers programs teaching yoga inside of WV’s DCR correctional facilities and state certified recovery housing programs. This session will explore yoga as a pathway to enhance trauma-informed recovery programming. Participants will learn about the work and practice yoga together.

 

4:00 PM – Called to Citizenship: Living Responsibly in “Interesting Times”

Innovation Center  

Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote “in a democracy, the highest office is the office of citizen.” This may seem like a deceptive myth as we note the many ways we feel powerless, and on the “short end” of the inequities in power and resources. It is a challenge on several levels. We are citizens, first and foremost, of the communities where we live, go to school, and work.  What are the challenges of responsibly holding the office of citizen in this context? We will be practicing some of the ways that we can meaningfully exercise our power to positively shape the communities we live in, particularly as it relates to civil rights.

 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

 

9:00 AM – Stress Management Workshop – Understanding and Overcoming

Erma Byrd Gallery in person, also available online

An overview of practices to reduce daily stress. This session offers a conceptual overview as well as an applied practice of deep breathing, meditation, relaxation, and other mindfulness techniques.

View Session

12:00 PM  Called to Citizenship: Teaching Students to Live Responsibly in “Interesting Times” (Faculty and Staff Focus)

Appalachian Room in person, also available online

We are citizens, first and foremost, of the communities where we live, go to school, and work.  We will be practicing some of the ways that we can meaningfully exercise our power to positively shape the communities we live in, particularly as it relates to civil rights.

 

2:00 PM – Mental Health in Appalachia, Substance Use Disorder, and Narcan Training

School of Pharmacy, Classroom 113 

Addressing the unique challenges of mental health and Appalachia, lessons from the field. How can we better understand why Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is highly concentrated in Central Appalachia? Participants will hear stories from field practitioners and be empowered to address the current SUD crisis by becoming trained in opioid overdose response via Narcan.

 

4:00 PM – Stigma Free WV

Appalachian Room 

Stigma is a perceived negative attribute that causes someone to devalue or think less of the whole person. Learn how to combat stigma and practice the techniques… and take the pledge to help ensure a Stigma Free WV.

 

6:00 PM – Civil Rights Scavenger Hunt Hosted by Black Student Union

Meet at the CT/Starbucks

Participants will be grouped in teams to engage in a scavenger hunt packed with fun challenges, interactive learning, and a collaborative experience with peers. Clues will feature civil rights history in Charleston and the state of West Virginia.

 

7:00 PM – Tackling Racism and Inequalities in Sports: Experiences of Othering

Erma Byrd Gallery 

Opening our eyes, ears, and hearts to the experiences of our athletes and particularly international students on our playing fields, arenas, and campuses in West Virginia and beyond. Participate in a student-led discussion surrounding this topic.

 

7:00 PM – The Leadership You Need: An Open Forum

Offered Online

Hosted by panelists from UC students, faculty, and members of Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship, Inc., the first part of the session will discuss what it’s like to be a Golden Eagle, addressing opportunities to create spaces where people feel like they belong. The second part of the forum will be facilitated open mic, where attendees can offer questions, comments, and their own perspective.