Over the last two years, the Players have worked hard to respond to the challenges of the moment: pivoting to online work at the advent of the pandemic, and working to ensure that our sessions are responsive to a number of crises, including mental health challenges and a long overdue reckoning with structural racism in higher education. To this end, we developed two new sessions in AY 2021-2022. The first is called Everything is Fine!: Mentoring to Support Graduate Mental Health, which asks faculty to consider what it means to be a graduate student’s mentor in the midst of a very difficult time. The second is called How Do We Begin: A Reckoning with Anti-Black Racism at U-M, which gives participants a chance to wrestle with U-M’s inequitable past and present in order to pursue a more racially just future. Both sessions are popular choices for AY 2022-2023.
The Players are also developing new, topical work for AY 2022-23. Updating an older Players’ session with new content, we will host a revamped session of Conflict in the Classroom in Fall 2022 meant to help instructors think through how they can plan for and teach about difficult topics in a particularly fraught political moment. Across the entire upcoming year, the Players will be engaged with other campus partners in building an online course designed to help faculty support undergraduate student mental health. In these ways, the Players will continue to deliver relevant content that helps improve equity in our campus community.