Many of us who work at the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) are at a loss for words, perhaps because there are no right words. We are deeply anguished by the unabating murderous violence against members of our Black communities. We join others in experiencing this grief and in demanding justice for the inhumane murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many other Black people. We acknowledge the compounding and enraging reality that these murders are not isolated incidents. The systemic nature of these incidents was recently personified by a White woman who called the police alleging she was being threatened by “an African American man,” Christian Cooper, when he asked her to put a leash on her dog as required by law. We recognize the collective intergenerational Trauma that Black people experience due to the current, historical, structural, and systemic realities of racism.
The American Psychological Association (APA) stated that “we are living in a racism pandemic” that significantly affects the lived experiences, as well as the psychological and physical wellbeing of our Black communities. In this critical time when there is so much pain, anger, and sadness; we are joining the call for collective responsibility and accountability, to dismantle our internalized conditioning, support our communities, and in particular, our Black communities in healing from this overwhelming Trauma. We stand against racism and hate and deeply hope that equality and justice do not only exist in statements, laws, or Constitution, but in people’s hearts, minds, and everyday policies and practices.
To our University of Florida students and, particularly, to the student members of our Black communities, we want to say:
We are here! We hear you! We see you! Your pain and your lives matter! We join other campus departments in extending our care and support to you. We support and encourage healing by looking inward at how we have been socialized, practicing self-care, connecting with loved ones, being creative, using our voices, writing emails and letters to elected officials, joining and supporting organizations, and processing emotions individually or with groups, including attending CWC workshops. Find out more about our ASPIRE – DIVERSITY & INCLUSION program.
If you find yourself impacted by the trauma of these atrocious tragedies and would like a supportive space to connect with one of our counselors, please contact us at (352) 392-1575.