Protea Wellness Stands with Black Communities
“Racist” is not…a pejorative. It is not the worst word in the English language; it is not the equivalent of a slur. It is descriptive, and the only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it. The attempt to turn this usefully descriptive term into an almost unusable slur is, of course, designed to do the opposite: to freeze us into inaction.” ― Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist
Racial injustice and violence have been perpetrated upon Black bodies and communities for centuries in this country and around the world. We must begin acknowledging the systems of oppression in place. We must name injustice when we see it, and we must stand beside and support those who are working to ensure Black people around the world not only survive, but thrive.
Protea Wellness stands in solidarity with local and global Black communities protesting and demanding institutional overhaul of the systems that dehumanize Black lives. To those who are protesting the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and Manuel Ellis (to name only a few of the many) at the hands of law enforcement, we stand with you.
We support the Black Lives Matter Movement in its fight for “Freedom, Liberation and Justice” for Black people around the world, with our bodies, our money, and our voice. We stand in solidarity with Black lives, not just now, but always.
Most of the clinicians at Protea Wellness are queer. We must acknowledge that the fight for queer and trans liberation began with the action of Black and brown trans women. Our community would not have the rights and acceptance it has today if not for the work of leaders like Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera, among countless others. The privileges afforded to the queer and trans community of today was won through protesting and rioting. We stand in solidarity with the Black queer and trans community and with protesters around the world.
Protea Wellness urges our community to join us in committing to educating ourselves, our family members and our community about how to be anti-racist and how best to support Black folks via these, and other, resources and toolkits.
Protea Wellness urges our community to offer your unique skills, talents, and strengths to the fight to the end systems of oppression that keep killing Black folks. This may be with feet in the street, or it may not—pay attention to how you can best serve the cause, while pushing yourself at least a little outside your comfort zone.
Finally, Protea Wellness urges everyone to use the therapy room to talk about how to be antiracist. Your therapist should never shame you for naming that you do not know where to start, or how to help. If they do--find a new therapist. We urge therapists everywhere to educate yourselves on how to support your Black clients so you do no harm, to work on your own implicit biases, and how to lovingly challenge your white clients when you hear white supremacy or racism in the therapy room.
This is important work that we all have to do to make real change in the world. We at Protea Wellness are committed to doing this ongoing work, and hope you will join us.