Val Tovar is associate director of sexual assault response and prevention for diversity and inclusion for Health Education Services.
I support students in the margins so their voice can be heard at Georgetown. My primary goal is to make sure all students can feel safe and supported on campus (and virtually) through advocacy, education and support tailored specifically for students who hold specific identities. Everyone is different, and our resources must reflect that in order to support students holistically.
I attempt to talk about mental health and self-care regularly because it helps keep me accountable to take care of myself. Whether it is in a staff meeting for HES, the amazing Latinx Staff Community Circle here at Georgetown or facilitating a virtual self-care circle for students, my goal is to engage in these topics constantly because no one is “okay” right now. We tend to find not only comfort but feel less alone when we are transparent about how we are doing in a chaotic world.
As a woman of color, the racial injustices have been a struggle for me to cope with – especially because there is so much education in predominantly white spaces that needs to happen around race and privilege. I have been coping by keeping incredible allies and support systems in my corner. I have a wonderful partner and two spunky cats who keep me grounded at home as well as friends all over the globe who never stop sending me encouragement. Also, I have been trying to laugh at least once a day – you’d be surprised how much better you feel after a good laugh!