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IHDSC’s Collective Care Initiative Brings Together Researchers and Scholars to Reflect on Wellness and Build Community Connections

A group of IHDSC affiliated members standing as a group in front of care packages.

The Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC) has recently launched a new initiative, Nourish & Restore: IHDSC’s Collective Care Initiative, that aims to bring members of the IHDSC community together to reflect on the experience of our workplace culture and find ways to center wellness and nurturing of our “whole selves.” We at IHDSC recognize that our Institute's decentralized model limits opportunities for engagement and interaction with fellow researchers, therefore resulting in a dispersed workplace. We hope to curate space for camaraderie and connection through this initiative and to bring awareness to the value of community wellness practices. The initiative is supported by NYU Work Life’s new Caring Culture Grant.

IHDSC members putting together care packages.

IHDSC launched the initiative on February 9th with a donation drive to collect essential goods to support migrant neighbors in New York City. Many IHDSC members generously purchased essential goods such as duffel bags, hats, gloves, socks, hand warmers, thermal blankets, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, lotion, and Kn95 masks to include in care packages that were distributed at the EarthChxrch and East Village Neighbors Who Care. A total of 96 care packages and an additional assortment of hand warmers, thermal blacks and warm hats were delivered. IHDSC will have more opportunities this Spring to collect donations and contribute to care packages for our migrant neighbors.

On February 21st, IHDSC held its second Nourish and Restore session and led its first Meditation 101 Workshop with Mary Aranas, Health, Life, Transformational Coach and Yoga Therapist. Mary led the group through several exercises to learn the basics of meditation and the science behind its mental and physiological impact. She introduced distinct forms of meditation and offered tips to integrate a meditation practice into participants' lives. Participants walked away with great resources and some yummy smoothies too!

Three IHDSC team members making smoothies

Throughout the Spring and Summer of 2024, IHDSC will continue to host events, workshops and activities on topics such as yoga and healthy eating, as well as facilitated conversations and activities focused on nutrition, stress reduction, mindfulness, compassion, and community engagement and action. The project will include a culminating event that seeks to deepen our connections and practices, launch sustainable programming into future years, and share resources that can be distributed throughout our dispersed network.

We are extremely grateful to the NYU Work Life office for this award. Work Life focuses on improving workplace culture and well-being of faculty and administrators at NYU. The Caring Culture Grants fund projects that seek to advance well-being at the departmental or unit level. 

If you have any questions about Nourish & Restore: IHDSC’s Collective Care Initiative please contact us at

Related Centers and Institutes

The Institute of Human Development and Social Change

IHDSC is the largest interdisciplinary institute on New York University's Washington Square campus supporting rigorous research and training across social, behavioral, educational, policy, and health sciences.

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