Rising Above Racism – Resources

Research and Resources on Racism: The American Psychological Association’s We Must Unmute page provides information on the psychology of and research on discrimination, stereotypes, the impact of discrimination on stress, and inequities in mental health treatment.

Police Brutality: The Black Lives Matter website address police brutality, political action, and the global movement to abolish racial violence and promote liberation.

Racial Trauma:

Jernigan, M. M., Green, C. E., Perez-Gualdron, L.; M, Henze, K. T., Chen, C; Helms, J. E. (2015). #racialtraumaisreal.  Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture, Chestnut Hill, MA.  Retrieved from: www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/Lynch School_sites/isprc/pdf/racialtraumaisrealManuscript.pdf

The Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture’s  #racialtraumaisreal  defines racial trauma, the psychological effects of such, and recommended recovery plans.  The full text of the article is also available here – Add attachment entitled “ racialtraumaisreal

Racial Trauma, Microaggressions, and White Supremacy:

Liu, W. M., Liu, R. Z., Garrison, Y. L., Kim, J. Y. C., Chan, L., Ho, Y. C. S., & Yeung, C. W. (2019). Racial trauma, microaggressions, and becoming racially innocuous: The role of acculturation and White supremacist ideology.  American Psychologist, 74(1), 143-155. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000368

This article asserts that people of color learn explicitly through racism, microaggressions, and racial trauma about their racial positionality; white racial space; and how they are supposed to accommodate white people’s needs, status, and emotions to minimize eliciting white fragility and distress.

Research and Resources on Racism: The American Psychological Association’s We Must Unmute page provides information on the psychology of and research on discrimination, stereotypes, the impact of discrimination on stress, and inequities in mental health treatment.

Black Mental Health Resources: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a comprehensive racial trauma and community healing resource page on black mental health, social determinants of health, a variety of mental health and wellness organizations, support groups, and treatment directories.

Health Outcomes:

Jones, C. P. (2000). Levels of racism: A theoretic framework and a gardener’s tale.   American Journal of Public Health, 90(8), 1212–1215.

Dr. Jones identifies three levels of racism – institutionalized, personally mediated,

and internalized. Based on these levels of racism, Dr. Jones raises new hypotheses regarding the race-associated differences in health outcomes.

Mental Health and Racism:

Williams, D. R. & Mohammed, S. A. (2013). Racism and health I: Pathways and scientific evidence. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(8), 1152–1173.

This article reviews empirical research that suggests that racism adversely affects the health of “non-dominant” racial populations in multiple ways. First, institutional racism developed policies and procedures that have reduced access to housing, neighborhood and educational quality, employment opportunities and other desirable resources in society. Second, cultural racism, at the societal and individual levels, negatively affect economic status and health by creating a policy environment that adversely impacts the development of equitable policies, which triggers negative stereotypes and discrimination that foster stereotype threat and internalized racism. Finally, a large and growing body of evidence indicates that experiences of racial discrimination are an important type of psychosocial stressor that can lead to adverse changes in health status and altered behavioral patterns that increase health risks.

Racism and Health:

Jones, C. P. (2000). Levels of racism: A theoretic framework and a gardener’s tale.  American Journal of Public Health, 90(8), 1212–1215.

Dr. Jones identifies three levels of racism – institutionalized, personally mediated,

and internalized. Based on these levels of racism, Dr. Jones raises new hypotheses regarding the race-associated differences in health outcomes.  Available at https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2105/AJPH.90.8.1212

Internalized Racism and Mental Health:

Molina, K.M. & James, D. (2016). Discrimination, internalized racism, and depression: a comparative study of African American and Afro-Caribbean adults in the US. Group  Processes & Intergroup Relations, 19(4), 439-461.

The study examined: (a) the direct effects of everyday discrimination and internalized racism on past-year major depressive disorder (MDD) criteria; (b) the interactive effects of everyday discrimination and internalized racism on risk of past-year MDD; and (c) the indirect effect of everyday discrimination on risk of past-year MDD via internalized racism. Results revealed that experiencing discrimination was associated with increased odds of past-year MDD among the total sample. The findings suggest a need to investigate other potential mechanisms by which discrimination impacts mental health and examine further the underlying factors of internalized racism as a potential self-protective strategy.

Postraumatic Stress Disorder:

Sibrava, N. J., Bjornsson, A. S., Pérez Benítez, A. C. I., Moitra, E., Weisberg, R. B., & Keller, M. B. (2019).  Posttraumatic stress disorder in African American and Latinx adults: Clinical course and the role of racial and ethnic discrimination.  American Psychologist, 74(1), 101–116. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000339

This five-year longitudinal study found that the frequency of discrimination significantly predicted PTSD in African Americans and LatinX adults.

How White Allies can Help: 75 Things White People Can do for Racial Justice Article discusses being a white ally for racial justice.

How White Allies can Help: How Jeff Olivet’s blog post Dear White People. Use Your Actions, Use Your Phone Article discusses being a white ally through word, actions and power.

Microaggressions:

Sue, D. W., Alsaidi, S., Awad, M. N., Glaeser, E., Calle, C. Z., & Mendez, N. (2019). Disarming racial microaggressions: Microintervention strategies for targets, White allies, and bystanders. American Psychologist, 74(1), 128–142. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000296

This article proposes a new strategic framework for white people to respond to microaggressions as opposed to the predominant coping mechanisms of retreating or remaining passive, giving up, striking back, or hurting the aggressor.  More effective strategies that white people can take in response to witnessing microaggressions, such as diminishing or putting an end to the harmful act, educating the perpetrator; validating and supporting the targets; seeking social support and enlisting outside authority or institutional intervention are discussed.

White Friends Supporting Black Friends: the Should you check in on your Black friends? piece in the New Yorker, June 5, 2020 explores various perspectives on how whites can support blacks and how black individuals may experience the reach-out attempts of white individuals.

White Privilege: The concept of White Privilege is identified and explored in this Article on “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”

White Privilege: The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers’ Putting Racism on the Table video series offers a training on White Privilege.

White Privilege and White Supremacy Culture: The center for transformation and change, led by Dr. Kathy O’Bear, offers books and trainings that address white privilege, white racial identity development, and white supremacy culture in programs such as “But, I’m not Racist!”

Meditation: Psychologist Dr. Candice Nicole provides a 17-minute The Ally + Accomplice Meditation for Cultivating an Anti-Racist Mindset.

It is normal to experience a lot of feelings during this challenging time.  Acknowledge your feelings, reflect on your experiences, and express or use your feelings in ways that are helpful to you.  Your feelings are valid.  Your anger is valid.  In many cases, your anger can be healthy if it is non-destructive and fuels you towards positive action and contributing to efforts to change.   Your decision to engage in protests and rallies or not to engage in protests is just that, your decision, which does not require judgement from others.  During times like these, it is important to remember that we all process, reflect, mourn, express ourselves, and contribute to social change in different ways.  Support your friends and loved ones by listening and affirming them.

To keep stress from becoming overwhelming, it can be helpful to take a break from the bombardment of news and social media.  Try to engage in some light-hearted, pleasurable activities, such as taking a walk or a bubble bath, reading a book, coloring, painting, viewing sports reruns 😊 during the COVID-19 pandemic or watching a funny movie.  Relaxation techniques, meditation, and faith-based activities can be instrumental to your well-being.  Stay connected with friends and family members, even if you must connect virtually.

Research shows that psychological well-being, and mental health can improve when people engage in activism and collective social action.  Channeling anger and emotional energy into causes larger than oneself, such as this movement to fight racial injustices, have been proven to enhance a sense of meaning and purpose, coping, and social connectedness (Dwyer et al, 2019; Van et al, 2012)

Coping and Research: The American Psychological Association’s We Must Unmute page provides insights gained from research on racial stress and trauma, healthy communication about race, coping skills, and resilience.

Coping with Racial Trauma:

Jernigan, M. M., Green, C. E., Perez-Gualdron, L.; M, Henze, K. T., Chen, C; Helms, J. E. (2015). #racialtraumaisreal.  Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture, Chestnut Hill, MA.  Retrieved from: www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/Lynch School_sites/isprc/pdf/racialtraumaisrealManuscript.pdf

The Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture’s  #racialtraumaisreal  defines racial trauma, the psychological effects of such, and recommended recovery plans.  The full text of the article is also available here – Add attachment entitled “ racialtraumaisreal

Self Efficacy:

Anderson, R.; Stevenson, H.  (2019).  RECASTing racial stress and trauma: Theorizing the healing potential of racial socialization in families.  American Psychologist., 74(1), 63-75.

This article examines coping efforts used to mitigate adverse psychological outcomes of  racialized experiences and race-based traumatic stress.

Meditation: Psychologist Dr. Candice Nicole provides a 17 minute  Black Lives Matter Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma.

The Racism Recovery Plan: is an infographic that provides possible steps for creating a racial wellness toolbox, racial trauma and response plan, and post-crisis planning.

Meditation: Psychologist Dr. Candice Nicole provides a 17-minute  Black Lives Matter Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma.

References (for Coping section)

Dwyer, P.; Chang,Y., Hannay, J.; Algoe, S. (2019).  When does activism benefit well-being?  Evidence from a longitudinal study of Clinton voters in the 2016  U.S. presidential election.  PLoS ONE 14(9): e0221754.

Van, Z.; Leach, C.W.; Spears, R.  (2012).  Protesters as “passionate economists”:  A dynamic dual pathway model of approach coping with collective disadvantage.  Personality and Social Psychology Review, 16, 180-199.

Guidance on Talking to Kids about Race: The American Psychological Association offers guidance on talking with children about race, prejudice, and discrimination in a developmentally appropriate way.

Free Workshops on Talking with Children about Race: The DC Public Schools Parent University is an excellent resource for free online workshops for talking with children about race and current events.

Racial Socialization in Families:

Anderson, R.; Stevenson, H.  (2019).  RECASTing racial stress and trauma: Theorizing the healing potential of racial socialization in families.  American Psychologist 74 (1), 63-75.

This article examines coping efforts with direct and vicarious discrimination for youth through communication with parents about racialized experiences.   The article asserts that advanced understanding and practice are required for youth to navigate disturbing and threatening racial encounters which can be physiologically exhausting and may lead to avoidant responses.  Racial self-efficacy, or the degree to which individuals believe they can cope with race-based traumatic stress, is examined in relationship to racial stress and well-being.

Fist & Tree ImageResources and Research: APA’s We Must Unmute page provides information on finding energy in anger, communicating about race, and effecting change.

Black Empowerment: The Community Healing Network is an extremely valuable organization that strives to mobilize people of the African diaspora to heal from the trauma caused by centuries of racism, to free ourselves of toxic stereotypes, to reclaim dignity, and ultimately “Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth.” The Community Healing Network works towards its goals by helping blacks engage in emotional healing, learn emotional wellness skills to reduce racial stress and trauma, and become equipped to help black children resist the myth of black inferiority.

Financial Assistance for Therapy for Black women and girls: Provides financial assistance for black women and girls to receive therapy.

Free Training on Implicit Bias and Prejudice The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers’ Putting Racism on the Table video series offers a training on Implicit Bias: A Training to Break the Prejudice Habit.

The Racism Recovery Plan one-page infographic provides possible steps for creating a racial wellness toolbox, racial trauma and response plan, and post-crisis planning.

***Note: The Counseling and Wellness Center does not endorse any of the websites, resources, information, articles, or opinions provided or expressed, and is not responsible for any of the websites, resources, information, articles, or opinions provided or expressed.