Openspace

Two semi-circles making an open circle with a photograph of a woman in a t-shirt, smiling.

The Openspace

Openspace is a friendly and informal online discussion open to all London Met students. The sessions will explore motivation, personal wellbeing and equality during the global pandemic and beyond.  Openspace is a great opportunity to discover and share tips and tricks for staying well, maintaining a positive mindset, and to stay connected with other students during the campus closure. Openspace will be taking place once every two weeks and they will combine empowerment coaching and Q and A format with expert and relatable guest speakers.

The Openspace: Connect

The Openspace Connect is being run as a cohort of students with five sessions, offering an opportunity to meet with students who may share similar lived experiences; to further develop support networks and to share and learn tips for staying well through coaching techniques. We will announce future cohorts in the new term.

In this Openspace, Vanessa is joined by Chanté Joseph to discuss mental health within the world of journalism and the importance of setting boundaries in the online world. The session focuses on Chante’s background in social media and writing.

Those who attend the session can expect to learn and discuss:

● The process behind setting boundaries online

● The importance of wellbeing and mental health in social media work

● The responsibilities of those who have a platform and navigate the online world

● The importance of setting boundaries in the world of journalism

About Chanté Joseph

Chanté Joseph is a social media creative, host and writer. Chanté is the founder of Bristol’s inaugural BME Power List and has written and presented Channel 4's 'How Not to be Racist'.

Book a place to attend the session on Wednesday 7 September, 3pm - 4pm.

 

In this Openspace, Vanessa is joined by Sharnie Brown to discuss mental health within the world of music, the healing power of music and how Djing has been a life changing skill. The session focuses on Sharnie’s background in Music and Djing.

Those who attend the session can expect to learn and discuss:

● The process behind djing and how music affects wellbeing

● The healing power of music

● How learning a new skill impacts wellbeing

Book a place to attend the session on Wednesday 23 September, 3pm - 4pm.

 

In this special Openspace, hosted by Harleena Jagde, we are going to talk about survivors of different forms of abuse.

In 2017, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that around 20% of women have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16. Studies exploring the prevalence of sexual assault at university reveal the unsettling reality: the incidence of assault is more likely in the student population than the general population. These isolating and difficult times we find ourselves in can present unique challenges for survivors. The Openspace session will explore particular challenges survivors may face at university and coping strategies along with resources for support.

The session will be open to survivors as well as those in the wider student community who would like to learn about issues survivors face at university and ways of being a supportive ally.

Attention will be given to creating a safer space and participation at a level comfortable for each person.

 

Harleena Jagde

Harleena sits within the university’s Centre for Equity and Inclusion and is currently building strategies to challenge the culture of impunity and silence around sexual harassment. She will be joined by psychotherapist and anti-sexual violence campaigner, Sejal Chad, who has worked extensively with universities to provide supportive and healing spaces for survivors.

Sejal Chad

Sejal is an HCPC-registered arts psychotherapist, facilitator, writer and campaigner with long-term experience in the mental health and community support fields.

She is part of the Survivors' Collective and Not the Only One project, offering training and support to university staff and students around issues faced by survivors of sexual violence, including child sexual abuse. She was part of the organising team for the Clear Lines Festival in 2015, the first four-day event of its kind solely focused on issues of sexual violence and consent.

Sejal has experience offering therapeutic support to management in a range of organisations, including Place2be, Maytree Respite Centre, St Mungos, Clean Break and Home-Start Westminster. She also runs a private psychotherapy practice.

 

Book a place to attend the session on Wednesday 7 October, 3pm - 4pm.

 

 

Vanessa Maria Wilson

 

Vanessa Maria Wilson is a Speaker, DJ, Presenter, Producer and Former Mental Health Representative at the Bristol Students Union. While at Bristol University she successfully led campaigns and projects around student mental health as well as executively producing a documentary about black student’s well-being. Vanessa merges her work in media with activism, where she combines her love for music with her drive to explore topics such as identity, race and mental health. Having worked with the BBC, VICE, Notion, Channel 4, gal-dem, and Guap, Vanessa is dedicated to mental health advocacy in music, media and beyond. 

 

Mena Fombo

Dr Mena Fombo is a purposeful coach, facilitator, motivational speaker and a consultant. She is the founder and director of Black Girl Convention, the South West's largest event for women and girls of African and Caribbean Heritage. She has over 15 years experience working within the voluntary sector, community organisations and educational establishments across Europe, the USA, Africa and South Asia.In 2017 she became a TEDxBristol speaker with the thought proving No. You Cannot Touch My Hair campaign and talk of the same name. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration for services to Gender and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic equalities work by the University of the West of England.

 

 

30 June 2020: The Openspace with Tanya Compas 

As part of our Pride celebrations, we were joined by LGBTQ activist and writer, Tanya Compas.

Tanya, was featured in Vogue earlier this year for her work in bringing spaces of joy to young queer folk, including starting a Queer Black Christmas. She was named by Amnesty International as one of the 100 most inspiring women in the UK in 2018, and was also included in the Evening Standard's Progress 1000, which recognised the city's most influential people. She works with UK Black Pride, as well as many other organisations, and focuses on empowering women and girls from marginalised backgrounds.

She explored, with host, Vanessa Maria Wilson, understandings of queer & Black identities. Covering topics from mental health, homelessness and activism in the queer Black community.


Racism and social media: self-care tips for black students

Wednesday 10 June | 7pm - 8pm 

During these heavy times, it can be difficult to know how to look after yourself while seeing extreme visibility of racism within the media. Our next Openspace provides some self-help tips to deal with your social media spaces, whilst staying engaged with what's happening. Join Vanessa Maria Wilson and Nasra Ayub for an Openspace dedicated for Black students.

Vanessa Maria Wilson

Vanessa Maria Wilson is a Speaker, DJ, Presenter, Producer and Former Mental Health Representative at the Bristol Students Union. While at Bristol University she successfully led campaigns and projects around student mental health as well as executively producing a documentary about black student’s well-being. Vanessa merges her work in media with activism, where she combines her love for music with her drive to explore topics such as identity, race and mental health. Having worked with the BBC, VICE, Notion, Channel 4, gal-dem, and Guap, Vanessa is dedicated to mental health advocacy in music, media and beyond.

 

Nasra Ayub

Nasra Ayub is a human rights activist, public speaker and writer. Nasra advocates for the end of gender-based violence including FGM and grooming to become radicalised. Nasra recently wrote a piece on the value of immigrants in the UK which was featured in News. Nasra has also worked with the likes of Emma Watson and has advised former Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May on radicalisation and extremism Nasra has also been featured on BBC One, BBC Three and ITV speaking on issues affecting women and girls. 

 

The Openspace with Mena Fombo

Wednesday 8 July 2020

3pm - 4pm

Join us for an energising Open Space session with coach, motivational speaker and facilitator, Dr Mena Fombo.

Mena will be introducing the power of coaching and some general wellbeing tips and tricks. Topics will include 'What is coaching?' and 'How could it benefit me?' As well as tips for staying motivated and productive during this time.


This Openspace is welcome to everyone. 

 

The Openspace with Nasra Ayub 

Wednesday 15 July 2020:

3pm- 4pm

It can be difficult to know how to look after yourself while seeing extreme visibility of racism within the media. Our next Openspace provides some self-help tips to deal with your social media spaces, whilst staying engaged with what's happening. Join Vanessa Maria Wilson and Nasra Ayub by booking your space.

 

The Openspace with Mena Fombo

Wednesday 22 July 2020

3pm - 4pm

Join us for another energising Open Space session with Dr Mena Fombo! Mena will be facilitating a discussion to explore ways of managing stress. Attendees can expect to find out more about the various symptoms of stress, you'll be encouraged to identify their own sources of stress and receive help in identifying some possible solutions. You can expect to benefit from time with a qualified and experienced coach. The sessions provide a space to find out more about techniques for self-care; and how and where to access additional resources. This is open to all London Met students!


The Openspace with Yannick Yalipende 

Wednesday 29 July 2020

3pm- 4pm

In England, around 1 in 8 men have a common mental health problem. However, men may be reluctant to seek support for their mental health or disclose mental health problems to loved ones. Due to societal expectations, whether that is about gender stereotypes or concepts that strength is being closed, there have been some big barriers to talking about men's mental health. Our next Openspace opens up the discussion around men and their wellbeing and breaks down some of those barriers. Join Vanessa and Yannick by booking your space.

 

The Openspace: with Will Oklok Taylor

Vanessa was joined by Will Taylor to discuss the importance of artistic expression in the search for understanding. The session focuses on Will's production Black Boys Cry that aims to challenge the presentations of Black Men in the media, by creating moving audio stories that paint a fuller picture of the Black Male experience. Presenting the emotional complexities that aren’t often considered when discussing Black Men's wellbeing. This is not only an exercise in learning how to share and explore stories from misrepresented groups, but also an education in learning how to ‘hear’. Those who attend the session can expect to learn and discuss:

The creative process and impetus behind Black Boys Cry

The importance of creativity in communication and understanding

The responsibilities of those who consume creative works in developing their own understanding.

 

 

 

 

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