Solidarity Statement

BAY AREA OPEN MINDS SOLIDARITY STATEMENT

In the wake of the most recent murders of Black people by White police officers and the protests that have followed, the Bay Area Open Minds Board stands in solidarity with protestors, Black Lives Matter, and the Movement for Black Lives. We support the demands of the protestors and the platform of the Movement for Black Lives to end the war on Black people. A full list of the policy platform can be found here:

https://m4bl.org/policy-platforms/end-the-war-on-black-people/ 

We recognize the need for both Black therapists and Black clients to live in a safe, just, and equitable world. We witness the profound and traumatic impact that systemic and interpersonal racism have on our Black clients. We acknowledge the impact of working during this time is greatest on our Black colleagues.

Among many other goals, we aim for all of our communities and clients to have psychological health, agency in their lives, bodily autonomy, a sense of safety, freedom of emotional expression, a sense of connectedness with others, and actualization of their full human potential.  Systemic racism and the threat of violence against Black people stand in opposition to our goals and places unjust and unnecessary impediments to our Black clients’ growth. In our consulting rooms we witness the negative impact of these influences on our clients and understand them as contributors to psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and other expressions of psychological suffering.  We also witness our Black clients’ strength, resilience, and ability to overcome extraordinary circumstances. But the existence of Black resilience will not reduce our urgency to do everything in our power to create a safer and more just world. 

 White silence perpetuates the existence of systemic racism and violence against Black people. Therefore, we call upon our White colleagues to engage in antiracist practices including, but not limited to:  beginning and/or deepening one’s own understanding of their own implicit biases, developing an understanding of Whiteness and its functions in American culture, seeking out the writings of people of color for their perspectives on race and racism, and demanding curricula in our graduate schools, training programs, and continuing education programs that are explicitly antiracist and representative of racially diverse, postcolonial perspectives. 

 In addition to these practices, we support our colleagues engaging in protests led by Black people and organizations, and respect the guidance of Black leadership while at these protests. We also encourage donating to relevant organizations, such as Black Lives Matter, Movement for Black Lives, Mothers of the Movement, the Blackout Collective, and bail fund organizations.  We commit to community action, and call on our colleagues to do the same, by contacting our representatives and supporting police and criminal justice reform.

We demand justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, and all other Black people who have been murdered at the hands of police or White vigilantes.