Roundtable #1 – “What do Amanda Gorman’s poetry performance and Kamala Harris’s inauguration mean for mental health?”

Week 1 – January 29th, 2021: “What do Amanda Gorman’s poetry performance  and Kamala Harris’ inauguration mean for mental health?”

Gretel Tassah: Amanda’s poetry and VP Harris’s inauguration are a breath of relief during one of the most tumultuous times within the last decade. To see two women of color standing before us on a national stage reminds people (girls, POC, and the like) to continue: continue working hard, continue exploring, and continue to strive to make a place for yourself in a world that misunderstands and condemns you.

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The Theory of Hope

I believe that almost everyone has seen the power of hope through witnessing someone else find it. I also believe that it is a different question to ask: have you felt hope within yourself? The answers will vary much more, especially now. 

Hope seems to be the seed of miracles. The voices and platforms we follow endorse hope as a necessary component of the next step we take. With that said, one thing I have always felt is missing, is instructions on how to find it – different circumstances, epiphanies, experiences etc. give different people hope. How do we tread these waters? We have seen the stories of people who have found hope, often by chance, but how do we go looking for it when it would seem there is none to find? Or, alternatively, that there is no reason to try to find it anymore. Unfortunately, in this world, it is easy to give up. But this is where I believe there is a complicated relationship between accepting victimhood and fighting for agency and authority in your life. When I started writing this piece, I thought hope could be the bridge.

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