Our blog hasn’t been as regular lately. Like many of you, we’ve been feeling the impact of how swirly and uncertain things are around us over the last few months, and we’ve been working to adjust.
At first, that meant offering telehealth services to ongoing and new clients. It meant sitting with folx as we all worked to hold the anxiety, the chaos, and the overwhelm of COVID-19 impacting our country, our state, and our communities.
And, honestly, this process is still ongoing; so much remains unknown.
But in the last month, our country has experienced another significant shift. Black Lives Matter has become central dialogue in our nation. It is long overdue and it is nothing short of tragic that so many deaths were required for us to reach this point.
While Bethaney and I have posted fewer blogs, we have remained active in other spaces. We are committed to implementing anti-racist policies and practices at C.H.E.R.I.I.S.H. Counseling and in our personal lives, and we’re inviting you into this process, as well.
Systemic racism and related inequities directly affect individual and community mental health. We know that people are holistic beings, and to promote wellness, we must examine and respond to not only internal or familial experiences, but also factors in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, housing, policing, and other realms.
If you feel daunted by that statement, it’s because it IS daunting. It is overwhelming to consider the whole of this situation and the ways that we actively harm BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) in our country.
And yet we MUST consider it. And not only that, we must act.
The first step in action is understanding. Through deep listening and honoring the experiences we hear, only then can we take steps as true allies.
Please take some time and explore the resources below to gain more understanding and learn where to take the next step. As allies, we will not always get it right. But we must remain committed to the work.
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
“Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on black, indigenous and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. The book goes beyond the original workbook by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and includes expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.”
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
“Award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge was frustrated with the way that discussions of race and racism are so often led by those blind to it, by those willfully ignorant of its legacy. Her response, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, has transformed the conversation both in Britain and around the world. Examining everything from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, from whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge, and counter racism. Including a new afterword by the author, this is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of color in Britain today, and an essential handbook for anyone looking to understand how structural racism works.”
(You can read an edited excerpt here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/30/why-im-no-longer-talking-to-white-people-about-race)
The difference between being “not racist” and antiracist” with Ibram X. Kendi – Ted Talk
“There is no such thing as being “not racist,” says author and historian Ibram X. Kendi. In this vital conversation, he defines the transformative concept of antiracism to help us more clearly recognize, take responsibility for and reject prejudices in our public policies, workplaces and personal beliefs. Learn how you can actively use this awareness to uproot injustice and inequality in the world — and replace it with love. (This virtual interview, hosted by TED’s current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers and speaker development curator Cloe Shasha, was recorded June 9, 2020.)”
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man – Youtube Video
“Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.”
“Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.”
Scene on Radio Podcast – Season 2: Seeing White
“Just what is going on with white people? Police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. The renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics. Unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring. Some of this feels new, but in truth it’s an old story. Why? Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for? Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into these questions, along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this fourteen-part documentary series, released between February and August 2017. The series editor is Loretta Williams.”
Black in Oregon
“This exhibit uses archival records to illuminate the courage and resilience of black pioneers who built lives for themselves and their families in Oregon despite the many barriers they faced. The exhibit puts their experiences in context with chronologies and related resources before telling their stories augmented by photos and original documents.”
Instagram Accounts to Follow:
Ibram X. Kendi: https://instagram.com/ibramxk?igshid=zcrk64pdywxj
Layla F. Saad: https://www.instagram.com/laylafsaad/
From Privilege to Progress: https://www.instagram.com/privtoprog/
If you’re starting here, welcome!
If you’re adding to your current engagement, keep going!
If you’re looking for what’s next, check out these links for even more resources:
Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
Anti-Racism Resources for White People
Black Lives Matter.