There's a heaviness collectively being felt by many Black people living in America. At the root is systemic racism. For some this heaviness is subtle. For some, the heaviness fuels motivation. For others, it manifests as depression and dysfunction. And still, for others, this heaviness is buried deep within and may forever remain buried. Through this pandemic, another layer of collective trauma is being formed upon the many calloused layers of trauma many of us carry each day. How does one heal when others can place a price on your voice, your safety, your body, and your life? As art therapists, maybe the goal is not to help heal, but to provide a space where Black bodies can take up space without a cost, without further harm, and can be seen, heard, and valued in all their many forms.
The infographic tree not only lists the issues but shows the roots of systematic racism that have been in the ground for to many years. On an NAACP group phone session, I learned that people of color are disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus due to many having jobs deemed necessary. Plus, many more people of color have compromised immune systems since they haven’t been given equal treatment by our health care system. Here is an example reported by one of the Governors on the call: The Governor of Michigan said 14% of their population is African American yet 19% of all Coronavirus deaths were African American.
Uncertainty of when children will go back to school, job loss- is it temporary or permanent? Teacher expectations, a child with special needs, class structure - these are my thoughts that I reflect from the parents/students that I work with in the school system. What does this mean to the community of minorities, specifically Black families. During this time of the unknown there is so much misunderstanding, confusion, and lack of conversations occurring. Based on my experience providing mental health services to children and their families from diverse cultures these questions were already a concern. Now with COVID-19 a part of our lives, these concerns have exacerbated. As an art therapist, how do we provide a space to express the student’s/parent’s true thoughts.
Welcome to the FATA Multicultural Committee Blog.