What is Wellness? Consumerism, Community, and Care

2:30 - 3:20 p.m., Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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The wellness industry is thriving, and yet Americans are reporting more challenges to their mental and physical health than ever before. The pandemic has impacted and accelerated new and changing work patterns and behaviors. What is the role of “self-care” in the lives of citizens, and how can “self-care” be performed authentically, with or without pricey consumer goods, the pressures of social media, or medicine? Do consumerist expressions of “wellness” exacerbate or alleviate personal stresses? How might a changing world of wellness affect—or be affected by—behaviors as varied as a spiritual practice, public health, exercise, self-expression, friendship, substance use, or recreational behaviors? How do movements to celebrate the diversity of body shape and size, physical and intellectual ability, and gender play into commercial “wellness” culture? How can we be more conscious consumers of individual “self-care” culture while attending meaningfully to mental and physical health challenges in our communities?

Panel Moderator:  Dr. Shannon Wooden


Professor, Financial Planning, Housing & Consumer Economics Andy Carswell

Andy Carswell

Professor, Financial Planning, Housing & Consumer Economics
University of Georgia

Director of Operations Kyle Cory-Yaeggi

Kyle Cory-Yaeggi

Director of Operations
Retrieving Freedom Inc.

Fashion Designer and Educator Edmund Green Langdell

Edmund Green Langdell

Fashion Designer and Educator

CEO Michelle Poitier

Michelle Poitier

Michelle Speakz