WITS On the (Virtual) Road

Without leaving our bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms or other makeshift offices, Wellness in the Schools has managed to share our expertise and perspective on wellness issues on a national platform – from Florida to New Jersey to New York, directly from our laptops. In an odd way, the challenges of isolating during the pandemic have opened up opportunities nationwide in this winter season.

First stop, the Global Wellness Summit, in Palm Beach, Florida. Thanks to board member and co-founder of Well+Good, Alexia Brue, we had the great opportunity to introduce our work and our recently launched ScratchWorks at the hybrid event in Florida – where 100 participants gathered in person and over 600 more gathered virtually. The Global Wellness Summit brings together top wellness leaders from around the world to this important conference on the multi trillion dollar wellness industry. This year’s focus was on resetting the world of wellness. Wellness in the Schools was fortunate to be zoomed in for a special “announcement” and introduced by Alexia. See full 6-minute interview here.

Next stop, New York, NY. We joined a local partner, Nazareth Housing as a guest panelist at their Virtual Gala in December. Nazareth Housing is a NYC-based nonprofit that supports the city’s most vulnerable families with housing stability and economic mobility, and we were honored to be called upon as an expert in the food space for their panel.  We shared our thoughts on food insecurity, food access and the value of real, whole food during a pandemic (and always). We were joined by moderator Calvin Sims and fellow panelists Judi Kende from Enterprise Community Partners and Christopher Wimer from The Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy.   Enjoy the full panel here.  

Finally, our last stop on this virtual tour brought us to Princeton, NJ, where we designed a wellness panel for the Campus Life employees’ retreat. The participants – all employees of the university – enjoyed a discussion moderated by WITS’ Executive Director and Co-Founder Nancy Easton, and highlighted by an all-star panel of Maya Feller, Marcus Samulesson and Jenna Wolfe. This team was not only full of excellent advice and wisdom on how to be well during a pandemic, but mostly their collective combination of knowledge, passion and humor was educational, inspiring and entertaining all at once.  Or, as described by Jess Deustch, Associate Director of Princeton Campus Life, “ . . .   through the magic of the essence of Nancy, it all [came] together in the most incredible way – you all [found] a way to reflect all of it – the messy, the painful, the funny, the profound. Just all of it.” Enjoy this panel discussion here.

Our travels in the wellness world continue to solidify our leadership and our partnerships with others doing such important work.  The pandemic has taught us many things, one of which is the reminder that we are all in this together.  Lending our expertise and support to those doing this good work is both a rewarding and important part of driving change.