Goshen College symposium to celebrate Black history and community via hairstyling, barbering, mental health and cultural analysis

Event: Rooted Connections: Centering Wellness
Date & Time: Saturday, April 20, 1-4 p.m.
Location: Goshen College Newcomer Center 19
Cost: Free and open to the public; Registration required for hair and nail services (Open to GC students only)

Aja Ellington

Goshen College’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is set to host “Rooted Connections: Centering Wellness” from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, featuring discussions and activities led by community leaders from barbershops and hair salons, mental health professionals and community advocates. The interactive symposium will take place in Goshen College’s Newcomer Center 19 and is free and open to the public. Registration is required for GC students looking to access hair and nail services, as slots are limited.

“As a Black woman, I believe that our hairstyles are more than just fashion statements – they’re reflections of our strength, heritage and journey towards self-love,” said Aja Ellington, Goshen College’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Through embracing our roots, we empower ourselves and others to celebrate every curl, kink and twist as a testament to our resilience and commitment to authenticity.”

The agenda for the symposium includes three dynamic sessions which will all take place as students are styled:

1-2 p.m. – Hair and life: Stories from the chair

  • Experienced barbers and hair stylists will lead a facilitated discussion on the significance of barbershops and hair salons as community spaces.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to share personal stories and experiences while receiving hair styling or trimming.

2:15-3 p.m. – Mental health and wellness in the Black community

  • Mental health professionals and community leaders will engage in a panel discussion, highlighting resources and support available to individuals from the Black community.
  • Attendees will have the chance to participate in a Q&A session to seek guidance and support.

3:15-4 p.m. – Cultural and historical perspectives

  • Community organizations will explore themes of Black history, culture and identity through interactive activities and presentations.
  • Participants will reflect on heritage and traditions, further enriching the dialogue on wellness and self-care.

Throughout the afternoon, attendees will have the opportunity to network and connect with each other and with community partners. Refreshments will be provided, courtesy of Southern Aroma and Tazty Treatz.

For additional information, contact Aja Ellington, Goshen College’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, at aellington@goshen.edu.