Black History Month: A Q&A with Carmen Session

Carmen Session smiling

This year’s Black History Month highlights Black health and wellness, and the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, spoke with members of the SMHS community about the meaning and spirit behind this theme. In the second part of this series, Carmen Session outlines the importance of mindfulness and knowledge.

What is your role at SMHS?

Session: I serve in two capacities within SMHS. I am the case manager for the Health Careers Opportunity Program, which is a grant-funded initiative based in the Health Sciences Dean’s Office. I also serve as a senior associate for student programs in the Office of Student Support.

What word or phrase would you use to describe the spirit of Black History Month for you?

Session: Knowledge is power.

Why is it important to use Black History Month as a time to reflect, think, and celebrate Black history and culture?

Session: Black History Month is a wonderful time to highlight the countless achievements made by Black Americans. It’s always refreshing to see the various events, specialized programming, and, in recent years, the dedicated sections in some departments and bookstores that focus on Black culture throughout the month. I also think it’s equally important that we acknowledge celebrating Black history should not be reserved for 28 days in February, but 365 days a year.

This year’s national Black History Month theme is Black health and wellness; why do you think this topic is important? How do you take care of your own health and wellness?

Session: Black health and wellness is critical because, in many ways, Black Americans are still playing catch up from decades of health disparities, but I believe things are trending in the right direction, with greater access to adequate health care and more targeted campaigns that make both physical and mental health a priority. In the February 2022 edition of the Office of Student Support’s newsletter, there is a section on Black health and wellness.

I take advantage of the scenic trails in my neighborhood by walking early in the morning, while listening to my '80s playlist. I try to be mindful of the food I eat, and I make it a point to listen to my body. I spend a lot of quality time with my family and friends. Surrounding yourself with laughter and love is healing.

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