Friday, April 12th

Location: BSLC 109


Dinner & Registration

Catering provided by Snail Thai Cuisine. 


Unbroken Glass Screening

When filmmaker Dinesh Das Sabu (AB ’06) was a six-year-old boy growing up in Louisiana, his father died of cancer and his schizophrenic mother committed suicide. Two decades later, Sabu and his four older siblings, who essentially raised themselves, still grapple with memories of their father’s anger, their mother’s mental illness, and the parents’ sudden deaths, not to mention their own identities as Indian Americans.

Through making Unbroken GlassSabu attempts to piece together their story and his own. Uncovering a silenced family history and disturbing truths, Dinesh and his siblings must finally reconcile the past, confronting the trauma of losing their parents and the specter of mental illness.


Workshop: Navigating Intergenerational Conversations on Mental Illness and Sensitive, Stigma-Related Topics


Led by the Center for Asian Health Equity

The aim of this workshop is to have a group discussion on the film Unbroken Glass and relatable themes among emerging Asian American adults. More specifically, the workshop facilitators will discuss the influence mental health issues can have on interpersonal/family relationships and how one can navigate that process. In a safe place, the facilitators hope to ask questions that will help participants understand their identities better, and practice self-kindness and empathy for healthy relationships with parents/relatives.

Participation within the workshop will not be coerced by any means, and the purpose is to not provide therapeutic/counseling services.

Workshop Facilitators


University of Chicago Medical Center

Dr. Seeba Anam is a psychiatrist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at UChicago Medicine (UCM). She is also an affiliated researcher at the University’s Center for Asian Health Equity. Culturally informed psychiatry education and outreach is a primary focus of Dr. Anam’s clinical, educational, and research efforts. She directs her UCM’s institution's Cultural Psychiatry and Social Determinants of Health curriculum. Moreover, her research foci include addressing gaps in cultural psychiatry and global mental health in graduate training, examination of the role of stigma in Asian American mental health care seeking, and assessing mental health needs in Asian American communities.
Dr. Anam is an alumnus of the College and received her medical degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Additionally, she completed her residency and fellowship at New York University.


Center for Asian Health Equity (CAHE)

Jennifer Oh is the Director of Programs and Engagement at the University of Chicago’s Center for Asian Health Equity (CAHE). She oversees multiple state- and federally funded programs, including behavioral health, student programming/training, and the Asian Recruitment and Engagement Core to support the NIH-funded All of Us Research Program.

Jennifer and her team manage CAHE’s Bloom Behavioral Health Program, and strive to promote holistic and culturally tailored behavioral health services in Chicago’s Asian immigrant communities by moving away from the disease-model of healthcare and stigmatizing language. By utilizing community and institutional resources, Bloom builds the capacity of its partners by collaboratively developing community interventions and treatment strategies that are culturally informed and sustainable.

Jennifer received a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Chicago with interests in community psychology, ethnic minority/immigrant populations, and college student
development. She is particularly curious about how socioeconomic and sociocultural factors at the
individual level can impact the health and well-being of a community as a whole.


The Center for Asian Health Equity (CAHE) was established in 2015 in response to the unmet health needs of the diverse Asian American communities living in the Chicago metropolitan area. CAHE is a unique academic and community partnership between the University of Chicago and Asian Health Coalition (AHC), a community-based organization dedicated to the study of Asian American health and disparities. The Center takes a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to addressing gaps in clinical medicine and public health through a comprehensive program for research, health education, training, community engagement, policy, and information dissemination. CAHE is the first center in the Midwest region housed within a university environment, and one of only four in the nation.
The absence of any Asian health research centers in the Midwest coupled with the highest Asian American population growth rate in Illinois provides an immediate opportunity to capitalize on the depth of the University’s institutional reach, and create an infrastructure to address the gap in this body of scholarship and build community partnerships. CAHE’s foundation is built on more than 20 years of community health and prevention work through AHC, which has an extended network of 25 diverse ethnic community-based organizations across Chicago. Concurrently, the Coalition leverages on the Center’s expertise to conduct health disparities and research, and provide clinical care and advocacy for low-income Asian immigrants and other communities of color.

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Saturday, April 13th

Location: BSLC 109


Breakfast & Registration

Catering provided by Au Bon Pain.


Double Take: Graduate Student Story-Sharing Panel

A diverse range of graduate students from the University of Chicago will share their own journeys involving mental health in the realm of storytelling and story-sharing. As they reflect on their undergraduate experiences and grapple with the questions of how their identity has influenced their relationships with mental health, we will ask ourselves: why do these stories matter, why do we tell them, and why do we listen? Together, the panelists will explore the power of connection and support, and the ways in which that power shares the hope towards mental wellness.


Keynote: Saving Our Own Lives - Asian American Student Mental Health


One in five college students thinks of suicide. Students of color and queer students are among the most vulnerable, with Asian Americans having the highest rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. This talk asks why and how life feels unlivable for Asian American students, and what the responsibilities of our institutions might be—both in contributing to our unwellness and being accountable for our health. The session will be interactive, asking participants to co-create a space to reflect on their pains, the forces that shape their suffering, and the kinds of care they might need. Come discover new language for discussing mental health and generate new strategies of care. How might we begin asking and answering, together, how do we live?


Students will have an opportunity through their participation to contribute to and shape a new card in Open in Emergency's Asian American Tarot: The Student.




Catering provided by Bon Appétit at the University of Chicago.

Keynote Speaker


Mimi Khúc, PhD, is a writer, scholar, and teacher of things unwell. She is the managing editor of The Asian American Literary Review and guest editor of Open in Emergency: A Special Issue on Asian American Mental Health, an arts and humanities intervention that works to rethink and decolonize Asian American unwellness. She oversees the Open in Emergency Initiative, a multi-year national project that connects universities and community spaces to think together about the shape and scope of Asian American mental health. She is currently working on a book project on mental health and the university, as well as co-writing a graphic theory/memoir on Asian American
daughterhood and suicide.

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Graduate Student Panel


Pritzker School of Medicine

Aaditi Naik is a first-year medical student at Pritzker School of Medicine. Aaditi double majored in Women's and Gender Studies and Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University and went straight through to medical school. While at Vanderbilt, Aaditi was President of the South Asian Cultural Exchange. She was also heavily involved in the multicultural student community at Vanderbilt.


School of Social Service Administration

Rida is a first-year graduate student at the School of Social Service Administration. She completed her undergrad in Anthropology and Psychology from Pakistan. Post graduation she worked on multiple women empowerment reforms in her home country. These included advocacy for the passage of the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act and implementation of one-stop centres for protection of women against all forms of violence. These centers are the first of their kind in the South Asian region and house police, prosecution, medico-legal, rehabilitation and shelter services all under one roof. She also worked on a female mobility campaign in Pakistan that trained 4000 women to ride motorcycles and reclaim their public space. Currently she does trauma responsive work with youth on the south side of Chicago.


Physical Sciences Division

Po-Chieh is a sixth-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, working on his thesis project on light-harvesting dynamics in photosynthetic organisms. Before coming to The University of Chicago in Fall of 2013, he spent almost his entire life in Taipei (on the beautiful island of Taiwan), pursuing education and pondering life goals. Besides working in his research lab, he often finds himself cooking (and no, mac ‘n cheese does not count), watching movies and dramas, listening to songs in the ‘80s (cheers to the oldie but goodies), traveling (or more often, imagining himself traveling), and learning new stuff from books. As an international student in the States from East Asia, he has become more aware of how differently, yet sometimes similarly, both cultural societies define the way of living and “success” as he stepped longer into his doctoral program, and how it has impacted his mental health and attitude toward life. His self-exploratory journey of searching for meaning, healing, and self-identity has thus begun.


Pritzker School of Medicine

James Zhang is a Chinese-American Floridian transplant just trying to survive these Chicago winters. When he is not checking his fingers for frostbite, he is attempting to eat his body weight in dim sum at Phoenix as he prepares for hibernation. His hobbies include poetry, talking too much, being too loud, and being a first-year medical student at the Pritzker School of Medicine.

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Saturday, April 13th


Breakout Session I


Breakout Session II


Reflection Activity & Collective Art Project



Catering provided by Bon Appétit at the University of Chicago.


From Stress to Resilience: Promoting Mental Health of Asian International Students

Speaker: Yu-Yun Liu, PhD Student Counselling Services at the University of Chicago Location: BSLC 240 Asian international students encounter multiple stressors upon entering the U.S. for higher education, and acculturative stress often put them at risk for compromised mental health. This session aims at understanding challenges facing Asian international students and identifying common mental health issues. Participants will also learn ways to foster resilience and self-care. ---

Yu-Yun Liu, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Student Counseling Service. Yu-Yun is originally from Taiwan where she completed her undergraduate degree at National Central University. She came to the U.S. in 2008 pursuing her master’s degree at Purdue University and doctoral degree at University of Louisville. Yu-Yun’s professional interests include disordered eating and body image, cultural adjustment of international students, intersecting identities of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation, and relationship issues. She aspires to advocate for and empower underrepresented populations within a safe therapeutic relationship.

Fired Up & Burnt Out: Keeping it Together in Uncertain Times

Speaker: Icarus Project, Invisible 2 Invincible Location: BSLC 205 In our current political climate, we’re seeing many new activists and increasing momentum but also increasing burnout and despair. This workshop shares strategies for how to collectively address burnout and make sure our movement work is sustainable. This hands-on workshop will use The Icarus Project resources, group exercises, and role plays to help activists get tools for sustainable resistance. --- The Icarus Project began in 2003 as a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. The Icarus Project advances social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation.

Re-Constructing a Radical South Asian Identity: The Impact of Historical Trauma, Immigration, and Caste Supremacy on Our Mental Health

Speaker: Shipra Parikh, PhD School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago Location: BSLC 218 This breakout session will focus on South Asian mental health as experienced through several lenses - Historical trauma, caste supremacy, and immigration. Race-based tropes, including "Model Minority" and even the term "Asian" have historically been wielded by those in power as ways to build upon embedded caste supremacy, to construct definitions of who South Asians are and who they ought to be. These terms did not originate inside our communities, but play upon embedded caste structure and inequity, and a historical legacy of colonial trauma and immigration that continues to impact health and physical safety today. Strategies will be discussed, to re-construct identities within the South Asian diaspora in its own terms, in pursuit of trauma responsive community healing. Please note that this session is designed for those that self-identify from any country, ethnic origin, caste, language, religion, etc within South Asia, so that we may create a shared community space. --- Shipra Parikh, PhD, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and academician specializing in the areas of trauma, anti-adultist youth work, participatory research, and acculturation and identity development of youth and families. Dr. Parikh also teaches courses in youth trauma treatment, human behavior and development, and participatory research as a lecturer at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She also serves as a clinical consultant for the violence prevention teams at Enlace, a community organization in the Little Village area of Chicago, as well as a trauma responsive social worker, engaging children and families through play and trauma based therapy. Most importantly, Dr. Parikh believes believes activism starts at home, and gets regular practice engaging these ideals with her children every day. She can be contacted at for further communication.


East Asian Toxic Masculinity in America: Developing a Theory of Change through Practice and Reflection

Speaker: Alex Au Surviving Thriving Asians Rising (STAR) Location: 240 What are different ways that people understand the nature of East Asian Toxic Masculinity and its origins and how does that affect their approach to creating positive change in this contentious area of work? In the first part of this workshop, Alex will review both popular and radical theories of East Asian toxic masculinity. In the second part, attendees will begin to identify their own personal theory of change in this area and walk away with an appreciation of how to test their assumptions both in their relationship to East Asian toxic masculinity and to social justice work in general. ---

Although this workshop centers the East Asian experience in America, it is open to all Asians and non-Asians. Topics discussed will definitely resonate with people of all ethnicities and races. Alex engages in the ongoing practice of working through his own toxic masculinity. He has also created space to help folks work through feelings of emasculation and other tensions around masculinity through STAR.

Stigmatization of Mental Health Diagnosis in Domestic Violence

Speakers: Sara Ogawa Heidbreder M.A, LPC, R-DMT, Rini Kaushal M.A, M.S. Apna Ghar Location: BSLC 205 Apna Ghar's team will be sharing information about the agency's overall mission and the program and services offered by them. An in-depth discussion about what is domestic violence, how it may present in different situations and what are the barriers to understanding intimate partner violence will follow. AG team will also be addressing the association between mental health, gender and violence and how mental health diagnoses can impact help seeking behaviors, especially in immigrant survivors. The presentation will be summarized by a brief discussion on the models of counseling that the AG Counselors adapt, and will suggest ways to interact with empathy and cultural responsiveness when working with domestic violence survivors. --- Sara Ogawa Heidbreder M.A, LPC, R-DMT Sara is originally from Japan, and gained M.A in Dance Movement Therapy and Counseling from Columbia College Chicago. She has experiences in working with diverse populations, and has been providing mental health care at educational, local community, and medical settings for 4 years. Sara is currently serving as a counselor at Apna Ghar, providing individual, family, and group services for survivors of gender-based violence in the immigrants community. She is also experienced in providing presentations at variety of conferences, which includes, DCFS Asian American Advisory Council Institute Conference, Loyola Medicine Humanitarian Forum, North Eastern University Arts in Response to Violence Conference, South Asian Trailblazers in Medicine Conference, and Dance/Movement Therapy Association Midwest Conference. Rini has an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Amity University, India and an M.S. in Marriage in Family Therapy from Northwestern University, Evanston. She has been trained in Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) and has over 3 years of experience working with diverse individuals, couples and families. Presently, she is a Counselor at Apna Ghar Inc. (Our Home) and is responsible for providing crisis interventions, case management, short or long-term individual and family counseling services for children and adults who are affected by gender based violence. Rini also represents Apna Ghar as a Medical Advocate at Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago to assess service needs of patients, provide relevant information on rights and available options and connect them with appropriate resources related to domestic violence.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Speaker: Khanh Nghiem, PhD Student Counseling Services at the University of Chicago BSLC 218 Do you ever feel like everyone else is better and has more to contribute than you? That your accomplishment is a fluke? Dismissing you success as luck, believing your achievements are undeserved, and living with a fear of being “found out” as not being as smart, talented, deserving, or experienced is a common occurrence. This is so common, in fact, it has a name: “Impostor Syndrome.” Marginalized/minority individuals are especially impacted and it is important to make sure that we do not give our fears the power to keep us from taking the actions needed to achieve our goals. This session is intended for participants to understand impostor syndrome, specifically how it impacts Asian and Asian-American individuals and learn tools to overcome it. --- Khanh N. Nghiem, PhD is a licensed staff psychologist at the University of Chicago’s Student Counseling Services. She earned her Master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Florida and completed her APA-accredited doctoral internship at Ball State University. She started her career as a staff psychologist and later Assistant Director for Training at Ball State University in 2013 prior to joining UChicago. While she considers herself a generalist, she has clinical interests and expertise in diversity issues, suicide prevention, crisis intervention, trauma, interpersonal difficulties, family of origin issues, transitions/adjustments, and sports performance. She is also actively engaged in supervision, consultation, training, outreach, and research with diversity and suicide prevention. She has several empirically reviewed journal publications and conference presentations, particularly on the topic of diversity.