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Statement and Resources Regarding Racism and Systemic Oppression in Black Communities

In light of recent events and in support of the recent statement by the University System of Maryland chancellor and presidents, the Counseling Center continues to take an unequivocal position against racism. Not only do we denounce the extrajudicial murders of Black people, with the recent tragic killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor,  George Floyd, and Tony McDade, but we are also tormented by the daily acts of aggression and weaponizing of majority power that lead to other experiences of racial trauma, most recently seen in the case of Christian Cooper. We continue to show solidarity for Black and Queer/Trans POC (QTPOC) faculty, students, staff, and communities. More personally, as a diverse staff serving students at one of the most diverse institutions on the East Coast, we grieve for the experience of our colleagues who hold these identities.

As mental health providers, we acknowledge the negative mental health consequences of racism, as well as the detrimental impact of direct or vicarious experiences of race-based trauma. In the aftermath of these traumas, it is normal to experience a range of emotions, such as sadness, anger, shock, fear, helplessness, guilt, or anxiety. In the midst of these extremely trying times, we want to remind you that the Counseling Center staff are here for you, and are committed to providing affirming care to all students who are needing psychological support. If you, or someone you know, would like help coping with and healing from recent events, we encourage you to contact our office at 410-455-2472.

It’s not lost on us that a little over two months ago we were writing a very similar statement condemning xenophobia and racism being perpetrated on Asian American communities in the wake of Covid-19. We can’t help but acknowledge that with each new dehumanizing event that requires one of these statements can come the feeling like such measures aren’t enough or ring hollow. However, we implore you to not only see this as a message of support, but as a resource for action, healing, and growth. Below you will find a non-exhaustive list of resources on addressing systemic racism and anti-racism, resources for Black communities on coping with racial trauma, and resources for ways we can all get involved. Let’s all commit to finding our pathway towards bringing change and healing to our communities and our world.

Please continue to follow or check in with the Counseling Center via our website, myUMBC group, and social media platforms (@UMBCCounseling on Instagram and Facebook) for updates on our services and programming.

Resources from UMBC Campus Partners:

Resources Addressing Systemic Racism:

Resources for Coping with Racial Trauma:

Resources Addressing Anti-Racism:

Videos on Anti-racism

*Books on Anti-racism

Ways to Get Involved:

*List of book resources adapted from University of Illinois Chicago Counseling Center