Samantha Smith, Ph.D., M.P.H., CHES., director of the Office of Health Promotion was recently interviewed for the February 2023 Baltimore Sun Education supplement story, "Health and wellness initiatives create strong sense of community on campus." Smith discussed Community Conversations, a collaboration between the Office of Health Promotion and Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion, and Belonging (i3b). Smith developed the program with Jasmine A. Lee, M.S.W., Ph.D., director of inclusive excellence and of i3b.
Community Conversations advances health equity by embedding mental health prevention efforts within identity-based spaces. An interactive event that helps students understand the role of community in supporting their well-being and mental health, the conversations also highlight what it means to "show up" for others.
"When Smith was working on her doctoral dissertation, she recalled gaining an understanding that people were not getting a lot out of mental health, particularly in marginalized communities. To address that, Smith says she wanted to take the table to places where people were not offered a seat. She worked with i3b to bring deep conversations with 'radical levels of intensity' to students who come from marginalized backgrounds due to race, gender and sexual orientation."
Smith's interview begins on page 7 of the Education supplement.