June 8, 2020
To all who may read this:
We stand in solidarity with Black individuals, people of color and oppressed peoples and seek to engage in direct, antiracist action to make our world a safer and more equitable place. We are outraged by the recent police treatment and death of George Floyd, as well as by many other racist incidents that have involved violence and oppression against Black individuals this year. Sadly, we know that these recent events are not new, or the only ones that deserve attention, or the only ones that present evidence of institutional racism in our society. Yet, with every racist and violent event, we feel a need to strengthen the collective resolve to end institutional racism and engage in greater efforts to develop awareness in ourselves and others and take direct, antiracist action to improve equality in our society.
At PRESENCE, we are healthcare professionals and therapists, and therefore seek to help achieve a healthy and fair society. That responsibility comes with a need to take a stand against injustices in our society, help educate ourselves and those around us, and assist in healing intergenerational trauma. We care for people of varying belief systems, political persuasions, and cultural backgrounds, and seek to make room for all to feel safe to share themselves, learn, and heal in a supportive environment. We aim to be part of the solution of healing divisions in our society and helping people and social structures understand the value of embracing diversity and dismantling unjust systems of power. We will use our platform to effect whatever social change we can, attempting to improve the lives, social status, and protection of Black individuals in our society as well as those of other marginalized groups.
If you’d like to join us in taking some action to reduce racism in our society, we recommend the following:
- Sign the change.org justice petition for George Floyd
- Donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- Read My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Path to Healing our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
- Watch the Netflix documentary 13th
- Follow the work of Kimberle Crenshaw: https://www.ted.com/speakers/kimberle_crenshaw
- Listen to John Howard’s Ready Set Love podcast episode The Truth About Racism
- Take Harvard’s Implicit Bias Test (IAT)
- Read Dr. Miranda Nadeau’s 5 Action Steps: Anti-Racism Resources for Therapists and Other Helping Professionals
Confused about privilege? Watch these two videos:
Common microaggressions: CNN Health: How to Respond to Microaggressions
We know 2020 has been an extraordinarily challenging year. We are here to listen and help you navigate all the complex feelings arising during this pivotal time in American history. We are here to help you gain clarity, build inner strength, and to support you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
With love and gratitude,
The PRESENCE/Austin Professional Counseling team