We at The Family Therapy Place feel compelled to address the recent events of social unrest and demonstration that have taken place in our country. It seems as though our society has reached a boiling point that has been hundreds of years in the making. And while we usually view mental health through the lens of individual people and families, we recognize the importance of addressing the collective trauma experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in America.
Where to go from here?
Actively listen to those around you, particularly people with different backgrounds. Hearing about the experiences of people who have previously been silenced is a powerful first step in building empathy.
TED Talks about what white privilege means can be another great place to start: like this talk from Latanya White or this one from Peggy McIntosh.
Grand Rapids Community College also offers workshops aimed at eliminating structural racism.
Reach in and reach out
First, consider some self-reflection on how your past experiences might have shaped some of your thoughts or behaviors. Reflective journaling or meditative walking can be helpful tools while unpacking these potentially challenging memories. These writing prompts from Leesa Renee Hall are a helpful place to start.
This journey toward self-awareness is not expected to be linear, comfortable, or easy, so reaching out is key. Your therapist at The Family Therapy Place is here to help.
Use your voice (at home and in public)
"7 Key Steps to Raising Inclusive Kids", from the Big Life Journal, provides helpful suggestions on talking to your children about diversity and how to model that behavior. Communication starts at home!
Consider speaking out in support of equality within your spheres of influence: your social circle, your family, and your community. Teach others what you have learned about yourself and the world around you.
Can you support BIPOC in the larger community with your time and money? This directory of Black-owned businesses in Grand Rapids can help.
Finally, here is a long list of ways to donate to many different causes within this fight for racial equality.
This issue is complex, deep-seated, and can feel overwhelming to start tackling. Make sure to practice self-compassion in this fight to make our society a safer place. It is ok to make mistakes on this journey; it takes vulnerability and courage to listen to feedback and continually push for better. Together, our small but meaningful efforts can add up to big changes.
Ready to get started? Let's connect!
The first step is often the hardest one. You won't have to do it alone! We're here to answer any questions you might have. Let's connect!