Coping With Racial Trauma, Discrimination, and Biases
In the Spring 2022 term the Drexel Counseling Center and Center for Black Culture partnered to bring Dr. Nathalie Edmond, Licensed Psychologist and RYT-500 Yoga Teacher, to campus to present "More Than Skin Deep: Recognizing and Responding to the Pain of Racism Held in Our Bodies." We are excited to share a video on that topic, where Dr. Edmond shares how racial trauma affects the nervous system and offers personal and communal pathways to relief.
The United States has a long, painful history of prejudice, systemic racism, sexism, xenophobia, violence and discrimination against many different cultural, ethnic, religious, and sexual identities and orientations. We are facing a racial pandemic, impacting the physical safety and mental wellbeing of so many communities of color. There have been a number of high profile events which have resulted in a need for support in managing the effects of hate, discrimination, and trauma. There have also been multiple events which have not received the same level of coverage but have impacted our communities significantly.
Racial trauma refers to the mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias and ethnic discrimination, racism, and hate crimes. Any individual that has experienced an emotionally painful, sudden, and uncontrollable racist encounter is at risk of suffering from a race-based traumatic stress injury. Experiences of race-based discrimination can have detrimental psychological impacts on individuals and their wider communities. Symptoms can look different across different cultural groups. Racial trauma is not a mental health disorder. It occur as the result of living within a racist system or experiencing events of racism (Racial Trauma, Mental Health America).
Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality, which she defines as a “lens, a prism, for seeing the way in which various forms of inequality often operate together and exacerbate each other. We tend to talk about race inequality as separate from inequality based on gender, class, sexuality or immigrant status. What’s often missing is how some people are subject to all of these, and the experience is not just the sum of its parts.” Understanding intersectionality is essential in acknowledging that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression.
Being antiracist is fighting against racism in its various forms, albeit individual racism, interpersonal racism, institutional racism and structural racism. It is not only raising consciousness about race and racism, but taking action when witnessing acts of racial power inequities in everyday life, according to Dr. Anneliese A. Singh from “The Racial Healing Handbook.” Being antiracist is different for a person of color than it is for a White person. Visit here to explore the different types of racism that exists, how to have conversations when racist behavior occurs, and to read more about becoming antiracist.
Allyship and Education
Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. Allies start by educating themselves and taking action where and when we can. While learning about how American society privileges whiteness, we can see how racist ideas become normal. To work towards creating an equal society, we must commit to being anti-racist, and examining whiteness and white fragility, privilege, bias, social and racial identities and systems of oppression. The Counseling Center is here to provide you tools and guidance to empower your journey and spark conversation.
The resources on this page are meant to be used as a guide to support our Drexel students who have experienced racial trauma, injustice and biases and for those who are interested in becoming allies. We recognize this is an ever-changing directory and a non-exhaustive list and may not encompass all the identities and experiences you might be facing. We invite you to provide us with feedback on our resources; please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.
Resources for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
Resources for Black and African Americans
Resources for Asian and Asian Americans
Resources for the Latinx Community
Resources for the Muslim Community
Resources for Other Communities
Anti-Racism and Ally Resources
Resources at Drexel University
The content provided here is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, nor should it replace the consultation of a trained medical or mental health professional. Please note that outside links are not under our control, and we cannot guarantee the content contained on them.