In Support to End Systemic Racism
At this time of pain in America, we are witnessing unprecedented widespread protests. The generational trauma that has plagued our country dating back to 1896, of systemic racial and social injustice of the African American/Black/Brown population has given rise to the current social justice movement.
As mental health professionals, the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd, and the ensuing civil unrest around the world should be an awakening. Each of us must recognize and examine our own implicit biases. We must not pretend that we are without bias, but rather question the extent to which that bias so easily and effectively informs our attitudes, conduct and perspectives. Further, we must seek to better inform ourselves regarding the critical issues we are now being demanded to face.
In order to better serve our clients of color, we must recognize that racial diversity means more than the color of one’s skin. Just as “white privilege” is real, so too is the “underprivilege” that accompanies skin color. If we are to effectively serve our diverse clientele, we must at least admit to the existence of an American caste system and the traumatic effects of being born a person of color and ascribed to the lowest caste. This is also reflected in how COVID-19 has impacted the Black community and its vulnerability to COVID-19 due to systematic economic deprivation and discrimination in access to housing and healthcare.
As an organization comprised of mental health professionals, Gail Yost and Associates (GYA) is committed to addressing trauma, abuse, and adverse life experiences and to purposefully identify, discuss, examine, and challenge issues of race and oppression. It is only through owning our stories and how our white privilege has distorted our understanding of power, culture, and opportunity that we can change because Black Lives Matter.