I would like to express my deep concern about the state of racism in our country. As a professional counselor, I stand with the American Counseling Association (ACA) and its statement denouncing undue violence against Black Americans. I recognize the complexities of macro-societal systems that create privilege and power for some and that limit the rights and freedoms of others. I also understand that trauma occurs on a daily basis for those members of targeted groups.
Race-based traumatic stress (the psychological and emotional stress reactions to racism and racial discrimination) may present as depression, anger, physical reactions, avoidance, and/or hypervigilance. For those that are experiencing symptoms of racism and discrimination, seek support from your family, friends, and community networks to help you deal with and process how you are feeling. Seek a licensed professional counselor for assistance if necessary.
In keeping with the ACA Code of Ethics, I am dedicated to supporting the human rights and wellness of all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, physical ability, age, sexual or affectional identity, religion, nationality, and socioeconomic status.
Furthermore, as a professor of counseling, I strive to provide training in diversity and in awareness of the impact of diversity on client populations and communities. This includes promoting counselor competence as it relates to addressing individuals and communities who have been negatively affected by racism. I also hope to instill the difficult skills of social justice work in our students so that they may make more positive change in our institutions and communities.
As an advocate, I hope to model social justice practices through my teaching, scholarship, clinical practice, and service. As I have my entire adult life, I will continue to work to improve the cultural climate of the populations I serve and to eliminate conditions that systematically create barriers to the individual development of marginalized populations.