The American University Counseling Center (AUCC) is deeply saddened and angered by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other Black people who have been targeted and murdered because of their race. We recognize the psychological, social, and emotional impacts of racism, systemic and pervasive oppression, and hate violence on communities of color. As such, we will continue to denounce bigotry and oppression in every form and remain committed to providing trauma informed, culturally aware, affirming, and inclusive services.
We see you, we hear you, and we are here to support you. If you would like to speak with a clinician, please access our Virtual Waiting Room during Drop-In Hours or access the AUCC social media accounts (pinterest, instagram, twitter, and spotify) for resources.
Individuals with certain racial identities experience race-based traumatic stress: an emotional injury that may overwhelm a person’s capacity to cope; causes bodily harm; and/or threaten their life integrity (Bryant-Davis, 2007; Berger & Sarnyai, 2015). The body of research on racial trauma indicates that racism, including perceived racial discrimination, is associated with poorer mental health, such as depression, anxiety, and stress (Paradies et al., 2015). Racism is also linked with poorer physical health. It should be noted that even anticipatory race-based traumatic stress is related to health issues such as hypertension among Black individuals (Hicken et al., 2014). Furthermore, racism and discrimination have detrimental physical and psychological impacts on children and adolescents (Bécares, 2015; English, 2014; Hope, 2015). For instance, research findings indicate that racial discrimination is associated with anxiety and depressive symptoms among adolescents and vicarious racial discrimination has a negative impact on the child’s socioemotional development (Bécares, 2015).
Book: How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibrahim X. Kendi
“Ally” is a verb, not a noun. It is not a static state of being, but an on-going set of practices. If you are interested in acting in allyship, it is helpful to understand that allyship will consist of both internal and external work. If you are interested in taking action, below are some resources that offer information and suggestions.