Communicating Race, Culture, and Mental Health
The Communicating Race Fully with Grace series is funded by an American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Early Career Psychologist (CECP) grant. The purpose of this project is to engage with our local communities to offer education, tools, and resources related to race, racism, culture, and mental health. Given that conversations about race and mental health can sometimes be challenging, the resources are designed to offer information and facilitate conversations among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). With the current sociopolitcal environment, we chose to focus our initial series on providing resources that promote strength and resilience in the face of racism for Black Americans.
Sometimes parents and adults who work with youth do not feel equipped to discuss and provide strategies to help youth prepare for and manage exposure to racial stress and trauma (RST). Yet, key components to trauma focused interventions involve creating safe spaces to discuss and process traumatic encounters, therefore, apart of this process is teaching adults and youth developmentally appropriate strategies to manage RST. The aim of our first video project is to help families and community members cultivate safe spaces, initiate conversations, and utilize strategies to discuss race and manage RST. We work with BIPOC artists to create animated videos and develop resources to demonstrate concepts, model strategies, and provide psychoeducation on topics related to race, culture, and RST.
Our hope is that the resources posted on this website will help communities, families and individuals communicate about race fully and with grace. For us communicating fully means talking about all aspects of the toll that racism takes on Black Americans. This includes the emotional, mental, and physical tolls. It is also our hope that these resources will provide guidance on communicating with grace and engaging in discussions in a respectful manner that takes into consideration all of our intersecting identities. Aligned with the Nea Onnim adinkra symbol, representing knowledge and life-long learning, we advocate for providing yourself with grace as you commit to the ongoing quest for knowledge, teaching, and action. We believe that this is key to nurturing the safe spaces we all need to process our emotions after a stressful or traumatizing racist experience or during a day to day conversation about race.