Tags Posts tagged with "Black History Month"

Black History Month

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Image by ekavesh from Pixabay

Introduction: The Purpose of the Celebration
Black History month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S history. It is also an opportunity to educate the public about the rich history and culture of Black people, and to acknowledge and address the ongoing struggles for equality and justice.

Raising Awareness of Unintended Trauma
Black people in America are bombarded with the traumatic events of yesterday and today. Each tweet, news segment, video, and conversation can potentially reopen wounds caused by an innumerable number of current and historical events. These events can serve as vehicles for trauma, both direct and vicarious. Racial Trauma or Race-Based Traumatic Stress (RBST) is an important topic to explore. Research indicates that generational and historical trauma have a lasting impact on the health and well-being of Black Americans. The real impact of constant exposure to trauma must be recognized.

Black History Month is an opportunity to highlight the exceptional, the uplifting, the positive in African American culture. Focusing on the positive allows members of the Black community to celebrate without the heavy work of wading through the issues that still exist. Raising awareness around possible unintended trauma caused by sharing race-related content is essential. Things to consider:

  1. Think critically before sharing content of racial violence and consider the potential impact on members of the Black community.
  2. Become educated about why the effects of racial violence, racial inequities, and trauma can be triggering. Understand that it is not just about being sensitive but about considering the impact on others.
  3. Reflect on the context and consequences of sharing specific content; consider the purpose or intention of sharing.
  4. Use trigger warnings when sharing content about racial violence and provide resources for people who may be affected. Employ the principles of trauma-informed communication.
  5. Encourage dialogue and provide support for people affected by racial violence, racial inequities, and trauma.

Acknowledge Adversity, Celebrate Achievements
The historical and current achievements and contributions of Black Americans are profound — despite facing overwhelming adversity. Acknowledgement of difficult circumstances can serve to highlight the accomplishments made in spite of existing hardships. In doing so, it is crucial to remember that the end goal is the celebration.

Ways to Commemorate Black History Month in a Positive Way

  1. Visit museums that showcase Black history, culture, and contributions.
  2. Share online resources.
  3. Support Black owned businesses and restaurants.
  4. Attend local Black History Month events.
  5. Follow Black content creators and artists; purchase their art.
  6. Read works by Black authors.
  7. Acknowledge achievements year-round, in real-time as they occur. #beyond28

Dig Deeper — Learn More Through These Resources

Suggested Search Terms

  • Black Joy
  • Race-Based Traumatic Stress
  • Positive Ways to Celebrate Black History Month
  • Trauma-Free Blackness

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February is Black History Month
Black History Month focuses attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States. It honors all Black people from all periods of United States history.

Friday, February 10, 2023
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Structural Racism and Psychiatric Practice: A Call for Sustained Change
Rachel Talley, MD

Structural racism has received renewed focus, fueled by the convergence of major political and social events. As a result, psychiatry as a field has been forced to confront a legacy of systemic inequities.

Dr. Talley will use examples from her clinical and supervisory work to highlight the urgent need to integrate techniques addressing racial identity and racism into psychiatric practice and teaching. This urgency is underlined by extensive evidence of psychiatry’s long-standing systemic inequities. Our field suffers not from a lack of available techniques but rather a lack of sustained commitment to understand and integrate those techniques into our work; indeed, there are multiple published examples of strategies to address racism and racial identity in psychiatric clinical practice.

She will provide recommendations geared toward more firmly institutionalizing a focus on racism and racial identity in psychiatry and suggest applications of existing techniques to our initial clinical examples.

Register now.

Thursday, February 23, 2023
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Making One’s Way in the World
Illya Eliphis Davis, PhD

Illya Eliphis Davis serves as the Director of Freshmen and Seniors’ Academic Success Programs and Professor of Philosophy at Morehouse College. He is a 1989 philosophy graduate of Morehouse College. He pursued a Master’s degree in Religion and Culture at Harvard University and doctoral studies at The University of Chicago in Philosophy of Religion.

He has published on the political thought of former Morehouse College president Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, African American Religious Experiences, Black existential thought, Black fraternities and sororities, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Professor Davis has provided invited lectures at the United States Department of Labor, The University of Chicago, Duke University, Mississippi State University, and the University of Notre Dame. Most recently, he provided the 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Day talk for the United States Department of Labor.

Professor Davis is a frequent social and political contributor to NPRs WABE-Atlanta. He teaches and researches Africana Philosophy and Race, philosophy of language, and philosophy of religion. He is the proud father of two young ladies: Ilan, a 2021 graduate of Spelman College, and Anya, a sophomore at Spelman College. He is a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

Register now.

If you have any questions, contact Nancy Massey.

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Image by John Hain from Pixabay

In February, RCPA members joined organizations across the nation in celebrating Black History Month. There are countless ways to celebrate Black History – the sky is the limit! Below are several highlights to acknowledge these efforts and inspire more opportunities to celebrate and learn!

Step by Step, Inc. used an established internal communication mechanism, “TRE-Bits” (Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented, Equity-Focused), to share articles with all staff. They shared information about the history of black history month, why history matters, and intergenerational trauma. Read one shared article here: TREbit HISTORY MATTERS.

Apis Services, Inc. hosted a panel conversation “What’s It Mean to Lean Into DEI?” based on the work of Dr. Robert Livingston, author of The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations. They also shared targeted ways to celebrate – encouraging staff to read Black literature, volunteer, support Black artists and black-owned businesses, organize events, and learn about Black History. View the infographic for 13 unique and exciting ways to get involved; you can also celebrate through the five actions of volunteering, reading, donating, supporting, and learning.

The AmeriHealth Caritas BAND (Black Associate Network for Diversity) shared inspirational images and quotes by Black Americans on their internal website. See examples in their BAND Associate Campaign. AmeriHealth also hosted a panel discussion with senior leaders in the company to reflect on the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. Participants shared their stories and experiences of strength, perseverance, and ambition.

The Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (an IPRC Member) Pediatrics Department hosted a 1,248 foot march commemorating the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, recruiting hospital staff and patients to join along the way. When the honorary march concluded, patients and families discussed the importance of Black history and the civil rights movement, and they held an age-appropriate discussion of what transpired after the 1965 march. Learn more here.

Have you heard of “Beyond28?” More than just the title of a popular podcast, Beyond28 has become synonymous with the campaign encouraging the celebration of black history all year round, as 28 days just isn’t enough time to celebrate the rich history of Black Americans.

The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee encourages all RCPA members to consider new ways to celebrate Black history next February and all throughout the year!

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When Carter G. Woodson established “Negro History Week” in 1926, he realized the importance of providing a theme to focus the attention of the public. The intention has never been to dictate or limit the exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public’s attention important developments that merit emphasis.

For those interested in the study of identity and ideology, an exploration of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s (ASALH) Black History themes is itself instructive. Over the years, the themes reflect changes in how people of African descent in the United States have viewed themselves, the influence of social movements on racial ideologies, and the aspirations of the Black community.

The changes notwithstanding, the list reveals an overarching continuity to exploring historical issues of importance to people of African descent and race relations in America.*

*excerpts taken from ASALH web page on Black History Themes.

Further your education on Black Health and Wellness with these resources: