Rising From The Margins | Web Series

The Pacific University Student Counseling Center presents Rising from the Margins, an exploration of the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of diversity and inclusion. 

In this weekly web series staff psychologist and EDI Outreach Coordinator Dr. Shirley Ley holds space to support students in drawing on the wisdom of their experiences of living in the margins.

Hello staff, faculty, and student leaders of Pacific University,

What an honor and privilege to introduce myself to you on this web platform and to be a part of your community during this COVID-19 pandemic. My name is Shirley Ley. I’m a staff psychologist and EDI outreach coordinator at the student counseling center. 

I have confession to make. I have an itch to be a rebel, to do things in a different way, but I don’t want to do this without you. I want to check on your interest in becoming a co-conspirator. During this pandemic, we have received an abundance of information on how to act and be. What we should and should not do to live life in a way that is deemed appropriate by society? 

But what if none of those strategies seem to apply to you? What if you have real reasons to be frightened because your ethnic group is being targeted and scapegoated? What if it’s physically, mentally, or spiritually dangerous for you to stay-at-home? What if putting on a face mask means that you will be perceived as threatening or aggressive by others? What if you are pressured to do more, to act in a business-as-usual manner when you just want to pull the covers over your head and hide? What if you can’t stay positive or move on because you are grieving the loss a lot of opportunities like having a grad ceremony, hands-on training, important life events with family and friends, and the ability to find work once you graduate?

This is a weekly web series titled, Rising from the Margins where I hold space to support you in drawing on the wisdom of your experiences of living in the margins. Through deconstructing conversations, story-telling, and interviews with various social justice warriors, I'll be inviting us to express your counter narratives, to deconstruct and decenter dominant perspectives, diversify conversations, and to diminish some voices while magnifying others. This platform dedicated to those who have been perceived as inferior or less worthy because of your ethnocultural background, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, religious affiliation or other identity markers.

For those of you are intrigued or want to respond to my calling, please join forces with me by putting in your ideas/thoughts/opinions on what is interfering with Pacific students’ abilities to live in a dignifying, satisfying, and meaningful way. 

I can’t wait to hear from you.