Students of Color Symposium

socs2023 socs2023

**The Symposium is funded by the Office of the President.**

  • Date | Saturday, February 4, 2023
  • Time | 9:30am - 4:00pm EST
  • Location | Lakeside Village
  • Registration Opens | Friday, January 6, 2023
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The Students of Color Symposium (SOCS) is an educational initiative developed to support the ongoing diversity efforts of the University of Miami. The Symposium provides an opportunity to engage in dialogue on issues that affect the educational, personal and professional growth of students. The Symposium seeks to enhance students’ understanding of diversity, multiculturalism, ethical leadership, and social responsibility associated with living in our global society.

I Choose Me: Mental Health is Mental Wealth 

This year’s theme is "I Choose Me: Mental Health is Mental Wealth." Through workshop sessions, facilitated conversations, and networking opportunities, the Symposium will create a unique environment to destigmatize mental health and promote emotional and physical well-being.

Schedule of Events

Welcome Remarks

To kick off the Symposium, participants will hear opening remarks from the Office of the President, Division of Student Affairs, and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of Miami.


Practioner Panel Discussion

This session brings mental health practitioners together to discuss areas of their work with mental health and how mental health and racial and ethnic identities intersect. 


Interactive Simulation 

In this session, participants will explore several interactive mental health simulations with the goal of reimagining therapy through art, exercise, and reflection activities.


Luncheon Keynote Speaker

During the catered lunch, participants will hear keynote remarks from a special outside guest. This luncheon is aimed at bringing students, faculty, staff, and alumni together to share journeys into self-healing, peace, and prosperity. 


Mental Health Resource Expo

The SOCS 2023 Mental Health Resource Expo is designed to engage students by connecting them to various University of Miami and community mental health and wellness resources, tools, and tips. Students will also have an opportunity to meet mental health professionals to continue career readiness tools and techniques. Students will have the opportunity to network with diverse alumni, learn about emerging small businesses led by their fellow peers, enhance their online presence with professional headshots, and more. 

Meet the SOCS Committee

Open All Tabs
  • Executive Chair

    Cassandra Michel (she/her/hers) | Executive Chair
    Psychology and Community and Applied Psychological Studies
    Class of 2023

    "As a person who is a passionate about advocating for mental health awareness, the SOCS23 theme is a reminder that taking care of your mental health can help increase your wellbeing and help you thrive emotionally and mentally."

  • Guest Experience & Mental Health Expo

    Isaiah Frazier (He/Him) | Chair
    Organizational Leadership and Entrepreneurship
    Class of 2024

    "This year's theme is very timely. The social climate I feel is at a point where mental health is being accepted by the majority as a valid aspect of overall well-being. Being that both of my parents studied psychology and are school counselors now, I have always been taught the importance of mental health. However, after being in college I have met a lot of peers whose parents didn’t have the same views. This conference allows us the platform to educate those students and change their perspective on the subject."


    Dominique Young (she/her) 
    Psychology, Criminology Minor
    Class of 2024

    "The SOCS23 theme ''I Choose Me...Mental Health is Mental Wealth'' resonates with me because it is vital; it encourages us to discuss our vulnerabilities with care and without fear."


    Zoe Major (she/her/hers) 
    Political Science
    Class of 2025

    "I joined SOCs because I have seen firsthand the efforts UM has taken in making all students feel welcome at this the university and I wanted to be able to share my own experiences as a first-generation student, as well as leave a lasting impression amongst those who attended the symposium that it is up to us to continue these efforts for us to grow our intellectual development, unity within the community, and foster relationships built upon respect."

  • Logistics

    Gabrielle Yamar (she/her/hers) 
    Biochemistry & Nutrition; Health Science
    Class of 2023

    "I have always loved working with passionate, like-minded individuals who want to provide opportunities for professional and personal growth for our multicultural community at the University of Miami. I am so excited to be a part of the SOCS23 committee in our mission to bring the conversation of mental health and wellbeing to campus and to create a safe space of compassion and vulnerability."


    Demi Trimm (she/her/hers) 
    Accounting and Finance
    Class of 2023

    "I joined the SOCS23 committee because SOCS is one of the many initiatives on campus that acts as a catalyst to promote multicultural, social, and ethical change. It takes consistent effort to make something impactful, serving on the SOCS committee I can do more for the students on campus rather than watch alongside them. The SOCS23 theme I resonate with because this semester my mental health hit a low point. Mental health is seen as a big stigma in the Caribbean and there aren't as many resources offered. So, talking about issues surrounding mental health is always difficult as we are conditioned to think nothing is "wrong."

  • Marketing & Outreach

    Andaiye Gibson (she/her/hers)
    Interactive Media and Spanish
    Class of 2024

    "I wanted to join SOCS23 Committee because I heard from others about how empowering it felt last year to attend, so I wanted to be involved in creating a space and planning an event for students of colors that everyone can enjoy."


    Kiala Miles (she/her) 
    Health Sciences Pre-Medical
    Class of 2025

    "SOCS23 theme on mental health means a great deal to me as it is a crucial aspect of a person's well-being. It is very important to recognize its impact on our daily lives. Mental health is such an important topic that needs to be addressed. However, all the stigma around mental health is stopping others from getting the help they need. We need to advocate more for mental health and SOCS23 is a great way of doing that. SOCS23 is creating a safe and comfortable place to talk about Mental Health. So, joining the SOCS23 Committee allows me the chance to educate others, increase awareness, and fight against stigma around Mental Health."


    Michael Robinson (They/Them/Theirs) 
    Neuroscience/Political Science
    Class of 2025

    "The SOCS theme of "Mental Health is Mental Wealth" means there is power in choosing to take care of your well-being. Mental health is difficult for me to prioritize, and seeing this theme made me realize that when you care for yourself, the world around becomes more beautiful, and that is a wonderful thing."


    Jasmine Koss (She/Her) 
    Entrepreneurship and Global Business
    Class of 2025

    "I joined the SOCS23 Committee because I believe that a change must be made and that change starts with education. It is vital that we, especially as college students, remain educated during this unprecedented time regarding diversity and our social responsibility. SOCS aims to educate students on diversity and enhance understanding, so that we may be able to bring about this change."

  • Speakers & Sessions

    Alexis Owens (she/her/hers) | Chair
    Psychology; Sociology
    Class of 2025

    "I joined the SOCS23 Committee because I wanted to be involved in the growing change and expansion of inclusion on this campus. It's important to provide spaces for people to learn and grow so that they feel they belong and can make their own difference despite what may be thrown at them. The Students of Color Symposium has shown me that there is a place for everyone on this campus and beyond. Our stories are what we make them, and SOCS is a resource for everyone to learn and recognize the potential that they have in times when it's difficult to find it ourselves. Being a part of that change and providing that resource is something that I'm grateful for always."