Dear Cleveland Psychological Association members and community,
We apologize for not responding sooner to the heinous racial incidents that have been featured in the media the past few weeks. We have been collectively grieving and searching for the right words to say.
First and foremost, in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin and countless others, we want to clearly affirm our opposition to all forms of racism. It is structural, systemic, and institutional racism that has led to the deaths of innocent black people who have been targeted because of their race, frequently by police officers. Similarly, it is this structural racism that has also led to the disproportional impact of COVID-19 on black and indigenous people of color. As psychologists and thus consumers of research, we know the impact of racism and generational racism on physical and mental health. We know that racism is trauma. We wish to add our voice to the growing chorus of voices that highlight the ongoing stress, pain, and emotional anguish felt in the Black community.
As psychologists, it is our duty to do no harm and provide culturally competent care through training, examining our biases, and advocacy. The American Psychological Association is a great starting place for education and information: https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2020/06/action-addressing-inequality. We will continue to post information here as well.
We encourage those who are enduring trauma due to these events to engage in self-care. There are many ways to take care of yourself, including spending time with supportive family, friends, and community individuals. We also encourage people to talk about their emotional reactions, responses, and experiences with others. It is important and okay to take breaks from media consumption. Professional support in Cleveland can be found through our Find a Psychologist page or by emailing us: [email protected]
For those who are seeking additional ways that can support the black community, we suggest making donations to bail out fund programs for protestors, supporting black-owned business in the Cleveland area, and donating to or providing the resources of programs that support people of color such as:
The Loveland Foundation: https://thelovelandfoundation.com
Black Women's Health Imperative: https://bwhi.org/donate/
Therapy for Black Girls: https://donorbox.org/therapyforblackgirls
Black Men Heal: https://blackmenheal.org/donate/
Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective: https://www.beam.community/donation
Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation: https://borislhensonfoundation.org/donate/
The Steve Fund: https://www.stevefund.org/donate/
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute: https://marshap.org/donate/
Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com
We are committed to providing resources as they become available and the CPA Board of Directors will prioritize Continuing Education opportunities to the membership to further attend to our ethical and cultural competencies.
April Sobieralski, Psy.D, President
Chris Bober, Psy.D., Social Responsibility Chair