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posticon Racism and Colorblindness 101 -- posted June 27, 2020

I'm posting to share some information I put together for a client, who asked me on June 2 what drove people to react as they did to the killing of George Floyd. As I told her, it's a big complex issue with no quick answer. I compiled a list of books and podcasts, as well as some briefer videos that are quick to watch and very informative and eloquent.

Videos and Articles:

Brief (5 minute) video helpful for understanding systemic racism and implicit bias: https://youtu.be/YrHIQIO_bdQ

This short article in the Psychology Today blog “Culturally Speaking” by Monnica T Williams Ph.D. explains why using a racial colorblind approach, which allows us to deny uncomfortable cultural differences, is actually problematic: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culturally-speaking/201112/colorblind-ideology-is-form-racism.

Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show (during COVID pandemic being called “The Daily Social Distancing Show”) shared insights about George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper in this 18-minute video released on May 29, 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4amCfVbA_c

Activist, author, and filmmaker Kimberly Jones gave a powerful, eloquent, 7-minute speech, in which she explains in detail why this is happening (racism across 450 years) and the difference between protesting, rioting and looting in 2020. Fellow filmmaker David Jones captured her speech in the video “How Can We Win” which premiered June 1, 2020 and went viral. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb9_qGOa9Go

And you can watch this 12-minute interview of Kimberly Jones by Trevor Noah, released on June 19, 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1k9APedIUY&t=603s. In this video, Kimberly Jones unpacks her emotional viral video on the state of race in America, the injustices Black people face beyond the headlines, and her novel “I’m Not Dying with You Tonight.” 

Books:

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo. https://robindiangelo.com/publications/ has a free downloadable Reader’s Guide.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, by Ibram X. Kendi. https://www.ibramxkendi.com/stamped-from-the-beginning has a link to listen to an audio excerpt.

How to be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi. https://www.ibramxkendi.com/how-to-be-an-antiracist-1 has a free downloadable Discussion Guide.

Podcasts:

“1619” is a 5-episode audio series from the New York Times that examines the long shadow of American slavery; how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling. Can listen to the episodes and read the transcripts at the website: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/podcasts/1619-podcast.html or use podcast app on your smart phone to listen to the episodes.

“White Lies” is a 7-episode audio series from NPR: https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510343/white-lies. Description from that website: “In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened, expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncover a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past.”

“Scene on Radio” is the Peabody-nominated podcast from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, at https://www.sceneonradio.org/.
  • Season 2, “Seeing White” Just what is going on with white people? Police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. The renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics. Unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring. Some of this feels new, but in truth it’s an old story. Why? Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for? Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into these questions, along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this fourteen-part documentary series, released between February and August 2017. The series editor is Loretta Williams.
  • Season 3, “Men” What’s up with this male-dominated world? How did we get sexism, patriarchy, misogyny in the first place? How can we get better at seeing it, and what can we do about it? Co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee explore those questions and more.
  • Season 4, “The land that never has been yet” As the 2020 election approaches, the survival of the United States as a democratic republic is a topic of national conversation—Trumpian authoritarianism; voter suppression and gerrymandering; concerns about foreign intervention, election security, and the role of money in politics. Our twelve-part Season 4 series on democracy touches on those concerns but goes much deeper, effectively retelling the story of the United States from its beginnings up to the present as we complicate, maybe upend, our listeners’ understanding of American history. Our series title, The Land That Never Has Been Yet, is borrowed from the Langston Hughes poem, “Let America Be America Again.” The Land reunites the Seeing White series team: host and producer John Biewen with his collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika, journalism and media studies professor at Rutgers University, and their editor, the public radio veteran Loretta Williams.
“Code Switch” from NPR, at https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510312/codeswitch. From the website: “What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story.”

posticon Building Emotional Resilience in Time of Crisis--May 17, 2020

If you're wondering how to "ride the emotional roller coaster of difficult times" by building emotional resilience, you might enjoy listening to (or reading the transcript of) an interview with psychologist Marthinus Bekker that was aired on the May 17, 2020 episode of the radio program called Scholar's Circle. Here's where you can find it: http://www.armoudian.com/scholars-circle-building-emotional-resilience-in-time-of-crisis-how-our-ancestors-dealt-with-climate-and-environment-changes-may-17-2020/. Dr. Bekker is an expert in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), and provides lovely explanations of emotions, mindfulness, and DBT.

posticon "COVID Coach" App for Self-Care Available Now as of April 23, 2020

The Mobile Mental Health Team at the National Center for PTSD just released COVID Coach, a new app for Veterans, Servicemembers, and the general public. COVID Coach is designed to help build resilience, manage stress, and increase well-being during this crisis. The app is free and secure, and it helps connect users to important resources for coping and adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customized tools are available to help cope with stress, stay well, stay safe, stay healthy, stay connected, and navigate parenting, caregiving, and working from home while social distancing, quarantined, or sheltered in place. Users can track their mood, visualize their progress, and find resources to seek additional help and support. No account or password is required and user data is not collected. For more information:

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/COVID_coach_app.asp

Download from the App Store today. COVID Coach was released first on iOS, but is now also available on Android.

posticon How to Respond Effectively to the Corona Crisis

Psychologist and author Russ Harris has generously shared a set of practical steps for responding effectively to the Corona crisis (rather than getting caught up in constant worrying or other unhelpful behaviors). He's made it both a free "e-book" (actually, just a 12-page pamphlet) and a 5-minute video. You can read or download the pamphlet here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/117HY4z4mY5izJpR44ejuZ8rhTyoWEGEG/view
and watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmvNCdpHUYM

In addition, the WeConnect online recovery website is now offering free virtual support groups during COVID-19. There are multiple support groups daily, open to anyone who is dealing with substance use, mental health concerns, disordered eating, as well as any other quality of life concerns. Click here to learn more: https://www.weconnectrecovery.com/free-online-support-meetings

posticon March 2020: Free Online Course on How to Be Happier ("The Science of Well-Being") by Professor Laurie Santos

While you're confined to home during the COVID-19 crisis (or even any time), you might find it useful to sign up for free for Yale's most popular course ever. It's called The Science of Well-Being, it's by Professor Laurie Santos, and it's about how to be happier in your daily life. Here's an interesting article about it at Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/coursera-yale-science-of-wellbeing-free-course-review-overview
Sign up here for free: https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being

posticon Upcoming Pride Events (June 2019)

Finger Lakes Pulse has two events coming up:
  • Pride Not Prejudice, Saturday, June 22, 7:00 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn
  • PRIDE Family Picnic, Sunday, June 23, 12:00 noon - 4:00 p.m., Cass Park
See their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/FLPULSE/

The 5th Annual FLX Pride Festival will be held in Geneva, NY on Saturday, June 8 from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. For more info, read this article in the Ithaca Voice: https://ithacavoice.com/2019/05/annual-flx-pride-festival-in-geneva-will-celebrate-lgbtq-community/

posticon Transgender Conferences This Year

For anyone within the transgender spectrum, along with their families, friends, and loved ones, here are two conferences I know about where you can celebrate your identity, learn, and meet others in the transgender community:
  • The Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference bills itself as the largest free trans-specific conference in the world. It's taking place Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27, 2019. Here's the website: https://www.mazzonicenter.org/trans-wellness. I attended this conference in 2017 and thought it was fantastic!
  • New York Coming Out International Transgender Conference is taking place Wednesday, October 30 through Sunday, November 3, 2019 in New York City. Here's the website: https://newyorkcomingout.org/. I just learned about this conference for the first time yesterday. It looks interesting, although I see there is a registration fee to attend.

posticon Interesting Opinion Column about Mental Illness from New York Times, March 15, 2019

A mental health diagnosis is just a label but doesn't really explain all of the biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors which contribute to the suffering described as a "mental illness." In this New York Times column (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/15/opinion/preventing-mental-illness.html), author Lisa Pryor writes "when something is wrong we would do well to ask not just, 'What is my diagnosis?' but instead, 'What is my formulation?'" A case formulation reframes the diagnostic label as a story that explains the unique "predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating and protective factors" and points to what kind of treatment can be helpful to alleviate the suffering.

posticon We won GENDA in New York!

Great news just out on January 15, 2019: the New York State Legislature passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) as well as legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called "conversion therapy." You can read more about this in an article on the Human Rights Campaign's website here: https://www.hrc.org/blog/historic-ny-legislature-passes-gender-expression-non-discrimination-act-ban?link_id=0&can_id=de48490b5d8d8145035a6faecc9e5c84&source=email-update-we-won-genda-in-new-york&email_referrer=email_481175&email_subject=update-we-won-genda-in-new-york

posticon Statement of APA President in Response to Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

Following is a statement by Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD, president of the American Psychological Association, in response to the shooting on October 27, 2018 at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh.

“We are horrified and heartbroken by this terrible crime and send our thoughts of compassion to the victims, their families and first responders, several of whom were also injured, and to the larger Jewish community.

“Hate crimes are the most extreme expression of prejudice. Compared to other crimes, hate crimes have a more destructive impact on victims and communities because they target core aspects of our identity as human beings. 

“People victimized by violent hate crimes are likely to experience more intense psychological distress than victims of other violent crimes. These can take the form of post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and anger.

“Hate crimes also send the message to members of the victim’s group that they are unwelcome in the community, decreasing feelings of safety and security. Furthermore, witnessing discrimination against one’s own group can lead to psychological distress and lower self-esteem.

“The American Psychological Association urges those who are experiencing trauma in the aftermath of this tragedy to take care of yourselves. Connect with family and friends, talk about your feelings and limit your exposure and that of your children to news media. Remember that professional help is available.

“As always, APA supports the efforts of researchers, law enforcement, clinicians, teachers and policymakers to reduce the prevalence of hate crimes and to alleviate their effects upon victims.”

posticon Trans people #WontBeErased

Today is October 29, 2018, so it's already over a week since the U.S. presidential administration released its proposed rule for legally defining sex as biological under Title IX. I know this has many trans people and allies worried, and for good reason--but I also want to share some hope from Mara Kiesling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
"In the name of preempting some misinformation, let’s talk about what this proposed rule would not do. It would not eliminate the precedents set by dozens of federal courts over the last two decades affirming the full rights and identities of transgender people. It would not undo the consensus of the medical providers and scientists across the globe who see transgender people, know transgender people, and urge everyone to accept us for who we are. And no rule—no administration—can erase the experiences of transgender people and our families. While foolish, this proposed rule deflates itself in the face of the facts, and the facts don’t care how the Trump administration feels."
Here's a link to her full statement: https://transequality.org/press/releases/in-response-to-the-new-york-times-october-21-story-trump-administration-eyes-defining?fbclid=IwAR3dDuK5mEVMv-STijY2jqOFRA4rBCoMFqEMO3W9ODeI9BeLfijkVpwlT3M

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