Election Support Resources

Initiatives for Organizational Inclusion (IOI) has organized events and compiled resources to help employees navigate the polarizing 2020 election. 

Given the violence that occurred during the transition of power, we acknowledge the deep impact it may have on each of you and our campus community. You, your colleagues, and/or your students may be profoundly struggling to process this unprecedented event. There is worry that Inauguration Day may bring more violence and upheaval, and many of us fear for the safety and security of ourselves and others. We want to reach out and support you, particularly because campus community members may turn to you during this time.  

These events may impact our campus members differently. The vastly disparate response to and treatment of the peaceful BLM protestors compared to the Capitol rioters have left many in the movement for racial justice re-traumatized and appalled. Additionally, this happened on top of a global pandemic that has disproportionately impacted Indigenous communities, older adult communities, and communities of color. International and immigrant students and staff who have fled political violence and repressive regimes may be especially triggered by witnessing these events. Thus, some groups may especially need support at this time.    

Until Inauguration Day, we hope that you give yourself, your colleagues, and students the space and time to process feelings and reactions, as well as flexibility in work hours and deadlines. Make time for self-care. We are here to support you as you navigate this unprecedented terrain. Below, we offer specific resources to help you navigate these difficult times. 

15 Minutes of Wildcat Wellness  
During this election cycle, Life & Work Connections and Initiatives for Organizational Inclusion invite you to take a 15-minute break with us to practice self-care, mindfulness, and stress reduction. Upcoming events will be held from 1:00-1:15 p.m. on October 23 & 29 and November 6 & 12.  

Meditation Mondays 
Offered via Zoom by SBS’s Center for Compassion Studies, the group meets Mondays at 6:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required. 

Why vote? How to make a plan! 
Take a deeper look into understanding what goes on the ballot. October 27, 12:00-1:00 p.m. Click here to join the webinar, organized by Global Experiential Learning. 

Campus Health offers a multitude of resources to support well-being and self-care.

5 Absolutely Free Meditation Apps That Are Like an Exhale for Your Brain (04/06/20, Well + Good) 

A Care Package for Uncertain Times is a collection of podcasts, poetry, meditations, and reflections offered by onbeing.org 

Liberate is a subscription-based meditation app that includes practices and talks designed for the Black community. 

The Nap Ministry is an organization that examines the liberating power of naps. They facilitate immersive workshops and curate performance art that examines rest as a radical tool for community healing.   

Employee Assistance Counseling 
Co-pays for counseling are currently being waived by our health insurance providers. Life & Work Connections has information about this benefit and links to providers on their website.  

How to Cope with Election Stress (09/23/20, Psychology Today) 

Letter of Recommendation: Make Your Post-Election Self-Care Plan Now (10/21/20, Self) 

Why You Need a Self-Care Plan: Three reasons to map out your own unique plan. Plus, how to get yourself back on track when you falter. (02/20/19, mindful) 

Bias Education & Support Team (BEST) 
The BEST team fosters a safe and inclusive environment; provides support to impacted individuals; and promotes education, understanding, and healing. 

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Consultation Hours 
IOI hosts weekly DEI drop-in hours between 10:00-1:00 each Wednesday. During this time we provide private consultation about diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, structures, and ideas that will help your organization, area, class, or unit be more equitable and inclusive of our diverse population at the University of Arizona. Pre-registration is required. 

Election Support: Strategies for Finding Peace 
Campus Health’s website, though geared toward students, offers practical tips and advice for coping during the election which applies to everyone. 

Information for Witnesses & Targets of Asian and Pacific Islander Harassment and Hate during COVID-19 
The University of Arizona is determined to meet the rising anti-Asian and Pacific Islander racism due to COVID-19 with compassion and inclusion, while encouraging all members of our community to act with our core values in mind.  

Life & Work Connections: Wellness Ambassadors 
Wellness Ambassadors are employee volunteers who play a key role in promoting workplace wellness and strengthening a culture of well-being at the University of Arizona. Serving as liaisons between individual units and Life & Work Connections, Wellness Ambassadors guide and energize wellness initiatives on the local level. 

Offer students opportunities to talk with you about how current events are impacting them. Teaching the day after a crisis offers suggestions to not rush to intellectualize, validate and offer choices for support, and model not-knowing. 

Open your classes by acknowledging that we are all living through a time of extraordinary transition, and that it is normal to experience anxiety about the impact of this transition. Equity Advisors at UCLA offers these example statements that you could make, which don’t make assumptions about anyone’s political views.  

  • I realize that with everything that is currently happening in the country, it is hard to focus on coursework. Thank you for coming to class. 
  • We live in a challenging time. I acknowledge the anxiety and uncertainty that you are feeling. Know that I am here for anyone who needs to be heard and needs time to process all that is happening now.  

Jane Martin shares 4 choices you can offer during synchronous learning so students may better cope with emotionally charged events. 

Consider structuring your courses so that there are not exams or major project due dates during Inauguration week. Offer more flexible scheduled work hours to student staff.  

Share Initiatives for Organizational Inclusion's Election Support Resources website with students.  

Even if Presidential Candidates Aren’t Civil, Here’s How You Can Be (10/08/20, University of Arizona News) 

Facilitating Challenging Conversations in the Classroom (Washington University in St. Louis, Center for Teaching and Learning) 

Let Freedom (and Respect) Ring: Fostering Civil Discourse and Free Speech in the Classroom and Beyond University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement created a guide to academic discourse, which includes free training videos and literature. 

National Institute for Civil Discourse, The University of Arizona, offers programs, videos, readings, and educator guides that foster civil discourse. 

What’s at Stake for Higher Ed in the Election? Scholars and academic leaders on what matters—and why. (10/14/20, Chronicle of Higher Education) 

Acknowledge that staff may be experiencing anxiety around the transition of power. The Harvard Business Review discusses how to talk to your teams about the violence at the US Capitol using encouraging and inclusive dialogue. 

Avoid saying things like, “Just stay hopeful,” in response to colleagues sharing their anxieties with you. Instead try communication strategies that center the experiences and realities of the colleague talking with you (e.g., “I understand.”, “What can I do to help you feel supported?”, “I’m listening.”). 

Offer opportunities during staff meetings to share their feelings about current events before digging into the agenda for the meeting. You could also start a staff or faculty meeting by offering modified versions of Jane Martin’s 4 Choices for Engagement (see image in previous section). 

Listening spaces and spaces for civil conversations help our community members feel supported, but not all spaces are created equal.