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The recent events of domestic terrorism, hate, and violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, attest to the reality that as a country we have not eradicated the deeply entrenched racism and white supremacy that played a significant role in building this nation. Now, more than ever, we must confront white supremacy and how it may manifest in our lives, our relationships, our communities, and in our work as community psychology researchers, educators, and practitioners.
SCRA condemns the hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, and violence by White Supremacists, Nazis, and Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in other communities across the U.S. We stand with people of all ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds, as well as other oppressed groups who continue to experience discrimination, disenfranchisement, and persecution. We are firmly standing with all who are targeted and affected by the domestic terrorism and violence that threaten the wellbeing of all communities, and our democratic values for human rights and dignity.
At the height of the Civil Rights Movement in 1965, several psychologists and allies gathered at the Swampscott Conference to discuss the significance of engaging with and understanding community experiences as a means to address individual and community mental health concerns, and more broadly social justice issues. Fifty-two years later, we continue to face similar dilemmas and systemic institutional racism and associated problems, -- as there are processes of racialization and other entrenched systems of power, privilege, and oppression. The thriving of all lives lies in our ability to see ourselves and others as human beings deserving of equal rights, opportunities, dignity, and respect despite the color of our skin or the religion(s) or faith(s) we practice.
Since its U.S. beginnings, community psychologists have endeavored to be political activists, agents of social change, and “participant-conceptualizers” (Bennett et al., 1966)--to be dissenters and transgressors in pursuit of liberation and empowerment with communities, especially those who are institutionally marginalized. Today, we reflect on this historical call to action, and we emphasize and urge our colleagues to stand for anti-racism, and to condemn white supremacy and race-based domestic terrorism in all of its implicit, subtle and systemic, blatant forms.
To our SCRA members of color and religious minorities, and other disenfranchised groups, we see you, we hear you, and we stand in solidarity. You are not alone, and as an organization we stand to serve and protect the rights of all people who are institutionally marginalized, disenfranchised, and persecuted because of the color of their skin or religious affiliation. And as we fight together, we also understand and hope you are able to find support, resources, and the strength to continue the important work of prioritizing your own livelihood through your self- and community-care practices. As Audre Lorde reminds us, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” Together, we ask the SCRA membership to rise together as one committed and strong voice against oppression, hate, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and racism.
As community psychologists, we stand in solidarity with those who work against oppression, hate, racism and anti-Semitism. We re-affirm our commitment to uphold the values of social justice, liberation from systems of oppression, religious persecution, sexism, and racism.
Therefore, to engage with racial justice efforts more intentionally and explicitly in our research and practice, we ask the Executive Committee, its leadership, councils, committees and all SCRA members to join us in condemning prejudice, hate, and domestic terrorism by white supremacists.
In solidarity with you,
Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA)
Letter developed and authored on behalf of SCRA,
Jesica S. Fernández, Ph.D., CERA Chair-Elect
Nellie Tran, PhD
Black Lives Matter Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma:
Surviving & Resisting Hate: A Toolkit for People of Color
Mental Health Podcasts by Therapists of Color
The Charlottesville Syllabus by Graduate Student Coalition for Liberation
How to help victims of Charlottesville Rally:
How to talk to kids about racism in Charlottesville:
Extensive Teaching Resource List by National Council of Teachers of English
Teaching Tolerance toolkits and resources for various ages
Understanding Overt & Covert White Supremacy
On decentering Whiteness