Pandemic Reflections:
In the last 7-8 months, my work has both shifted & intensified. The unrealistic expectations re: professionalism/productivity has contributed to burnout & despair. And, the request for a ‘pre-talk’ talk has emerged as one of the top exhausting demands.
Why is the request for ‘pre-talk’ exhausting & frustrating? Well, I had time yesterday because it’s been a constant source of frustration for me and many others.
I wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it go!

10 Questions To Consider Before Requesting A ‘Pre-Talk’ Talk.
By Dr Mama Kam

# 1: Are we still living and coping with a global health crisis, ie. #COVID19?

#2: Is the panelist a subject matter expert in the topic for which they have been invited to speak?

#3: Has the panelist been offered an honorarium commensurate with their time, expertise and knowledge?

#4: Is the panelist an individual with marginalized or minoritized identities, whose labor & expertise is often poorly compensated, under-resourced or underappreciated?

#5: Is the panelist an individual who, because of their identities experiences a ‘wage gap’ compared to their non-minoritized/privileged counterparts?

#6: Was a request for a pre-talk talk includes in the terms and conditions outlined in the invitation and factored into the honorarium?

#7: Is the virtual platform being used [zoom, gotomeeting, streamyard, etc] one which might be wholly unfamiliar to the panelist*?

*panelist has likely been invited to, or have facilitated numerous online presentations since Mar2020.

#8: Is this “academic dress rehearsal” simply a means of providing direction & assurances for the (anxious) organizer who has. It yet fully developed their conceptualization of the goals and objectives of the event/panel?

#9: If the answer to #8 is YES, are you compensating the panelist separately as a *consultant* on this event/panel?

#10: Can the ‘pre-talk’ talk be summarized in a concise but comprehensive email?

Hey look - there’s an ANSWER KEY!
[cuz I’m a nerdy scholar 👩🏽‍🏫]

Lastly, if the panelist is a descendant of enslaved Africans, consider the brutal irony of requesting labor from an individual who isn’t sufficiently compensated... AND hasn’t received reparations for the enslavement, torture & forced labor of their ancestors. ✊🏾

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More from @KameelahRashad

8 Jun
The proliferation of zooms focused on “antiBlackness in the Muslim community” by folks/orgs who have never engaged in any serious introspection or demonstrated ability to discuss this topic without a fragility melt down... is just... mind-boggling.
NBPoC Muslims who are sincere in efforts to understand this moment & your role - this (sub)tweet is not about you. For those who are displaying band-wagon behavior simply to stay relevant, trendy or to capitalize on potential funding/photo, etc. opportunities, this IS about you.
Black Muslims were/are managing antiBlackness, racial violence and Islamophobia - AND leading protests/resistance. @MWFNational established the @BlackMuslimPsyc in 2015 in response to #BlackLivesMatter, murder of Freddie Gray/Baltimore Uprising. We were/are fighting AND hurting.
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This past week, I was blessed to participate in 3 Black Muslim events - 2 organized at UPenn by Penn Sapelo (the 1st Black Muslim student org on campus) & NYU’s Black Muslim Initiative (BMI) - 2nd Annual Black Muslim Symposium.
I described these gatherings as basking in the warm brilliant rays of the sun. As a community navigating so many marginalized intersections (presently & historically), we need & deserve space to uplift and celebrate who we are, and affirm our right to dignity, respect and love.
My talk at NYU yesterday focused on healing & wellness in the Black Muslim community. Inspired by Natasha Marin’s ‘Black Imagination’, my central Q? was: “how & with WHOM do you heal yourself?”
To thrive in the face of oppression, deep/meaningful social connections are essential.
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People of Color searching for a competent therapist: I strongly urge you to ask [at initial intake/consultation] - “can you please share with me your thoughts about the psychological impact of white supremacy/racism/oppression?” Calmly wait for a response. You deserve one.
The feedback that I receive from clients who have never had a Black/POC therapist is heart wrenching. They’re elated and very emotional bc some have been in sessions w/white therapists who never bring up or inquire abt race/racial trauma/identity. This is a glaring omission.
Given how difficult it is to find a therapist [period], folks may think: “well this doesn’t feel great but perhaps bad therapy is better than no therapy at all?🥴”. This leads to being compliant in the therapy room, minimizing ones own discomfort; tolerating microaggressions.
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As a mental health pro in college counseling/advising for the past 6 years - I have too many stories of students who come to therapy for anxiety or depression. And when I ask about the impact of racial trauma, marginalization on their mental health, they look wide eyed; and cry.
Many have had bad experiences w/therapy or their college counseling center specifically. So when I open the door (they may not know I’m a Black Muslim) and call their name, they sigh with relief. “I’m so happy to see you😢”
As part of the triage/intake process, I ROUTINELY ask 2 Qs 1) Is there anything else about you that would be important for me to know, (and I haven’t asked)? 2) Are there any experiences related to your identities (racial/ethnic, religious, etc) which impacted how you’re feeling?
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