“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
During the past month, a tsunami has been unleashed into the streets of our nation. May we dare to say, dream, that this time and this wave are different? This time, it seems this wave is not made of water, and it will not wash away with time. This wave is made of fire born out of the searing pain wrought by centuries of oppression and systemic injustice in the United States, this thing we call America.
And this time the fire is found in the hearts of millions of people of all skin colors, ethnic backgrounds, sexual identities, gender identities, and religions. Even those who have been the most skeptical and cynical about the prospects for change ever coming are saying something is different this time—that the time for social justice has come.
We have evolved from the NFL censuring players for kneeling during the national anthem in support of Black Lives Matter, to now the NBA considering allowing players to wear statements on social justice on their jerseys. Cities around the country are banning chokeholds, and considering measures to shift police funds to other programs that support minority citizens in ways that deter crime, and considering having personnel other than police respond to people who are in crisis. Mississippi, the only state that still has the Confederate battle emblem incorporated in its state flag, has voted to redesign its flag to remove the Confederate icon—widely regarded as a racist symbol. In national news, the Supreme Court, on a 6-3 vote, ruled that gay and transgender workers are protected by a federal civil rights law that forbids discrimination.
And the tsunami continues, and the marchers are still in the streets.
At the Trauma Counseling Center of Los Angeles, we are hopeful that our country starting is to shift. We especially feel pride in our hearts that the home we serve, California, is one of the epicenters of that shift, and the loving, supportive people we share this home with are crying out for action.
In this time, we present the following open letter. We are with you in this time and always, and as always, we are with all of you.
Open Letter to Humanity
Dear Amazing Humans,
The Phoenix is a powerful symbol for Dr. Kate Truitt, CEO of the Trauma Counseling Center of Los Angeles. Rising from the ashes represents emerging from the fire of anguish and growing stronger, wiser, and more powerful than before. As a practice, we acknowledge and face the pain of the fire that has burned in the form of systemic, systematic oppression and injustice in the United States.
Our team’s standard of care prioritizes patient care and safety above all by creating an environment in which patients of all ethnic backgrounds, skin colors, sexual identities, gender identities, and religions can feel safe, cared for, understood, and supported. The journey of a therapist includes walking with you so that you may heal and develop a greater resilience within yourself for future life events. Our team of healers vows to uphold ethical standards of our profession, such as these outlined by The American Psychological Association:
- Develop awareness and engage in a deep exploration of one’s values, biases, and assumptions
- Actively acquire education around the ways in which race and ethnoculture influence the lived experiences of individuals and communities, including an understanding of the range and variability of the norms, value, and behaviors affected by ethnicity and race between and within groups
- Develop effective skills to engage in culturally relevant interventions at all levels
- Develop an understanding and awareness of the present influence of ethnicity, race, and related issues of power and privilege
- Have awareness that social justice is inherent to racial and ethnocultural responsiveness
The role of systemic oppression in forming and informing individual and collective pain provides context as we emphasize proactive and preventative approaches in creating greater global health throughout one’s healing journey. Our priority is to not only support mental health and healing for our patients, but to also strive to develop healthier communities by developing resources for the community at large, and for mental health and other wellness professionals, while also providing community workshops and professional trainings in resilience, empowerment, and trauma-informed care.
We will always endeavor to grow beyond ourselves and promote equality in mental health care throughout our practice and the greater community.
We will walk with you.
The team at the Trauma Counseling Center of Los Angeles
Visit our Social Justice Resources section for books, movies and documentaries to expand your mind, and links to organizations that advance social justice causes, so you can be involved in driving change.