In the past year(s), we've witnessed horrific violence against Black Americans, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others. It’s important to understand that these instances are not new to our country and they continue to occur, despite the recent convictions and outrage. Unless we make a conscious effort to keep raising awareness around the importance of racial justice, no long-lasting change will occur. We must condemn all racism, not just when the camera captures it, otherwise the outrage fades and we become complacent. In order for us to create progress toward racial equity, we must understand our differences, cultural backgrounds, and histories (including valuable contributions). Being anti-racist is ongoing work. Please review the information and resources below to learn more. Then, find ways to help create and maintain positive change!
Image Description: "Celebrate Black History" written above a drawing of a black woman speaking "When I liberate myself, I liberate others. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Nobody's free until everybody's free."
"Every February, the U.S. honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have helped shape the nation. Black History Month celebrates the rich cultural heritage, triumphs and adversities that are an indelible part of our country's history.
This year's theme, Black Health and Wellness, pays homage to medical scholars and health care providers. The theme is especially timely as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected minority communities and placed unique burdens on Black health care professionals." (https://www.npr.org/2022/02/01/1075623826/why-is-february-black-history-month)
What’s Next? Keep Learning!
Below you will find a resource list of recommended videos, books, and websites so you can keep learning about these topics. The foundation of the civil rights/Black Lives Matter and disability rights/Independent Living movements were based on the desire to create a society where everyone is treated equally and provided the same opportunities. Through education and communities joining together, we can do our part to work toward achieving this equality that’s a basic human right for all.
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime...” − Rep. John Lewis
Below are resources focused on intersectionality, black history, and disability rights. We encourage you to explore and learn more about these topics:
For those who work in the behavioral health field, it is important to celebrate the numerous Black people who have made significant contributions to mental health professions in the United States. Black Pioneers in Mental Health
NBC Out honors Black LGBTQ trailblazers of the past and present. From Gladys Bentley to James Baldwin to Marsha P. Johnson, Black LGBTQ Americans have made history with countless contributions to politics, art, medicine and a host of other industries. 16 Queer Black Pioneers who Made History