By Alicia Lutz
The College of Charleston Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) is hosting its second annual Be Well Expo from 9:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, at Burke High School (244 President Street). With breakout sessions, resource tables and hands-on engagement activities, this year’s daylong wellness event will focus on creating safe spaces to nurture healthy relationships through mind, body and soul.
The event is free and open to the public, although registration is required. Register online here through eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/college-of-charlestons-2nd-annual-be-well-expo-tickets-89979504119. A catered lunch from Panera Bread Co. will be provided. Participants will also receive a T-shirt – and the first 50 registrants will receive yoga mats. High school and college students are especially encouraged to attend.
Designed with communities of color in mind, the Be Well Expo will emphasize the importance of holistic well-being for underrepresented students in academic and medical spaces.
“Be Well encapsulates the work OID has done throughout the academic year to promote access, equity and inclusivity in higher ed, while also advancing the College’s civic mission,” says Kim Gaillliard, the program coordinator for OID. “We intentionally included high school students this year to provide information about college. We also aimed to be inclusive by offering workshops that address safe spaces through four distinctively diverse lenses. Our goal is for students to walk away feeling empowered to seek out resources they need to thrive academically and socially on their respective campuses. We also hope to show the broader community that CofC is a place where students from all backgrounds can find a home away from home.”
Kicking off with a HIIT (high intensity interval training) and Zumba session with Sara Coleman ’17, fitness coordinator for the College’s Campus Recreation Services, and closing with a relaxing yoga session, the Be Well Expo schedule packs a lot in. A full schedule is available on the Be Well Expo website. Workshops will be held throughout the day and will be facilitated by CofC students and wellness/medical professionals in the greater Charleston community, including from the Medical University of South Carolina and the Ryan White Wellness Center. Between sessions, participants are welcome to visit the Wellness Village, which will have community and academic resources as well as health screenings for blood glucose and blood pressure.
Health disparities faced by women of color was the focus of last year’s inaugural Be Well Expo, which was a huge success.
“I was impressed with the first Be Well Expo in 2019 – the gathering of a community excited and interested in discussing the issues, concerns and solutions for women of color was inspiring,” says Rachael McNamara, health educator in the College’s Counseling Center. “I am thrilled to be able to attend and be part of this year’s Be Well Expo, which maintains a focus on health by targeting holistic well-being for underrepresented students.”
SOURCE: The College Today