Racial & Social Equity Matter
Bell Hooks once wrote, “There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.” As a Black woman and mental health practitioner, I understand firsthand that racism and inequality are hurtful, toxic, and detrimental for one’s health—physically, mentally, and spiritually poisonous. Racial and social equity are important to me because I assist and care for people struggling with their emotional health and interpersonal relationships on a daily basis. Systemic racism coupled with micro-and macro-level injustices plague and essentially overwhelms the psyche and self-esteem of so many men and women of color. As a clinician, I want all people from every walk of life to feel seen, heard, appreciated, and valued. I firmly believe that diversity is the invaluable thread of the unique tapestry that makes our world such a beautifully vibrant place.
This summer, I completed the Lion’s Story Racial Literacy Virtual Institute under the tutelage of founder Dr. Howard C. Stevenson. Dr. Stevenson is a licensed psychologist and Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Stevenson is also the brother of famed attorney and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy. Lion’s Story is compiled of licensed clinicians and educators that assist individuals and organizations build racial literacy skills through three main services: training, consulting, and assessments. This training was incredibly relevant as it taught mindfulness, cognitive behavioral techniques, in addition to relationship building strategies that are racially relevant and culturally competent.
While our differences are something to be acknowledged, respected, and embraced, I believe that each of us has more in common than we realize. I invite all of us to do the work. Whether you are called to rise up and become an anti-racist ally or it is your lot to advocate and champion for civil rights, the time is now and we must collectively run toward love and justice.
For more information pertaining to the Lion’s Story Racial Literacy Virtual Institute, please visit http://www.thelionsstory.org.