DAY 7: Trauma to Healing

“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.” –James Baldwin
Trauma is damage to the mind that occurs as a result of a distressing event. Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one's ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved with that experience.
In #RacialTraumaIsReal, Maryam M. Jernigan and colleagues state, “Similar to survivors of other types of trauma (e.g. sexual assault survivors), people of color often experience fear and hypervigilance, headaches, insomnia, body aches, memory difficulty, self-blame, confusion, shame and guilt after experiencing racism. When the experiences of racism are more frequent, the consequences tend to be more acute and deleterious. These experiences of racism never exist in isolation; racial trauma is a cumulative experience, where every personal or vicarious encounter with racism contributes to a more insidious, chronic stress.”
Being seen and heard is essential to healing the trauma caused by distressing events in life. As such, it is integral to connect with friends or colleagues who are able to engage in racially conscious conversations and willing to help you process your thoughts and emotions.
We recognize that symbolic action will not cure the systemic problem of racialized violence and trauma. However, the right support can make this ongoing trauma feel more manageable.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following…


Read The Link Between Racism and PTSD article from Psychology Today by Dr. Monnica T. Williams to learn about race-based stress and the trauma that Black Americans face.
Read this list of 8 ways to practice self-care to support you and your loved ones when you are personally affected by racism.


Take five minutes to watch this video about racial trauma and the effect racism has on an individual's mental and physical health.


Listen to Therapy for Black Girls Podcast. Hosted by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist, it provides resources to work through racial trauma, information on how we can advocate for ourselves and how that might look different for each of us.


Donate, volunteer or get involved with a local nonprofit that educates the public and/or provides services to individuals impacted by disparities like access to health care and mental health services.


Take part in this week's service activity: Sock Drive

Nonprofit agencies serving our homeless neighbors have a constant need for socks, as well as current needs for facemasks, hand sanitizer and hats/gloves. NEW items (no used items, please) will be provided to these local organizations active in serving homeless individuals in our region. Learn more and give back.



Capture what you learned by journaling your thoughts and feelings about today's content. Click below to download a journal page for today.
If you are participating in the Challenge as part of a group, download this free guide to help facilitate discussion.

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