As NARACES leaders, we discussed how we would like to respond to the on-going racism present in our society, and specifically directed towards African Americans. With the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, we believe it is very important to send out our own call to action as many of our professional counseling organizations (i.e., ACA, ACES, NBCC) have already done. Though we echo their sentiments, we wanted to take a slightly different approach by offering action items and invite you to: Read, View, and Do.
As counselors and counselor educators, we know about the stages of change. We also know how imperative it is to be advocates and allies, and to teach our students to be oriented toward social justice, and to model our own social justice commitment to our students. We realize that we are not all in the same place of action and responsiveness toward these racist events, and we ask you to think about where you are in relation to racism and your racial development. From there, decide where you need to be and what you can do to show that you will not stand for racism.
Below is a collection of resources for each category of Read, View, and Do. We urge you to ask yourself, particularly if you are White, ‘How am I being an ally?’ Only you know the answer, and we have provided a place to start, as well as suggestions on how you can begin doing something to take a stand against racism and show solidarity to the Black community. Engaging in these actions can be more powerful, and effect greater change, if you have a community in which to do so; please invite in family, friends, colleagues, and/or neighbors to also read, view, or do. Together, we can create positive change. James Baldwin once wrote “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” As a community, we cannot resolve the nation’s problems alone, but we can at least face our own issues that are relevant to the present situation.
A Call to Read
JMCD special edition on counseling African American clients in the era of Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and media stereotypes
American Psychiatric Association. (2017). APA Toolkit for Providers Treating African-Americans: Stress and Trauma Related to the Political and Social Environment.
Aymer, S. R. (2016). “I can’t breathe”: A case study – helping Black men cope with race-related trauma stemming from police killing and brutality. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 26,(3-4), 367-376.
DiAngelo, R. (2018). White fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism. Beacon Press.
Gase, L. N., Glenn, B. A., Gomez, L. M., Kuo, T., Inkelas, M., & Ponce, N. A. (2016). Understanding racial and ethnic disparities in arrest: The role of individual, home, school, and community characteristics. Race and Social Problems, 8(4), 296-312.
Kahn K. B., Steele J. S., McMahon J. M., & Stewart, G. (2017). How suspect race affects police use of force in an interaction over time. Law and Human Behavior, 41(2), 117-126.
Rothstein, R. (2017). The color of law. W.W. Norton & Co.
Saleh, A. Z., Appelbaum, P., Liu, X., Stroup, T. S., & Wall, M. (2018). Deaths of people with mental illness during Interactions with law enforcement. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 58, 110-116.
The Guardian: The Counted Project. January 8, 2017. Young Black Men Again Faced Highest Rate of US Police Killings in 2016.
A Call to View
A Conversation with Obama: Anguish and Action
Yusef Salaam: The Marshall Project
PAMCD webinar: Exploring Barriers and Themes Linked to Racial Distress in The Counseling Relationship
A Call to Do
Facing History: Educator Resources
USA Today: Take Action Against Racism