Laura Monschau, a Counseling and Psychological Services psychologist and wellness counselor, says she hopes a favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote will spark conversation during a Round Table Discussion — Wellness and Social Justice: Community Self-Definition of Emotional Well-being and Resiliency.
The King quote is, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” Monschau says she also will present a quote by noted writer and lecturer J. Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
“I am hoping that the quotes will be a springboard of discussion,” says Monschau. She is organizing the MLK Symposium event, set for 2 p.m. Jan. 16 in Room 3909, Michigan Union.
Monschau adds that both quotes speak to the spirit of human interconnection, and the idea that what happens to one happens to all.
“Wellness initiatives run the risk of being so individualized, that our community embeddedness can get lost in the process. Our individual pathways to wellness are influenced by the cultures in which we live. Martin Luther King’s quote, in particular, implies to me the energy of activism and that the fight for social justice is critical to community well-being even when the path is perilous. This, in turn, affects our individual experiences of emotional well-being,” she says.
Monschau says she hopes the program will inspire examination of the link between wellness and social justice and what this means to various groups. “The discussion will be centered around the idea of how inextricably linked wellness is with social justice,” she says. Examples, she adds, include how we are targeted by micro-agressions (experiences of “isms” on a regular basis), how larger societal dynamics of power and privilege affects society, and how multiple communities have developed psychological resilience and wellness in the face of adversity.
Jeremy Towler, inventory control clerk, School of Dentistry, volunteer firefighter, on performing his day job: “There’s a lot of people to keep track of. Students tell me they couldn’t do it without me.”