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Equity and Inclusion

ACA Anti-Racism Statement

 

by Katrina Lee | Jun 22, 2020

After discussion and discernment, the ACA Governing Council has issued the following statement on Anti-racism. The ACA leadership is listening to a cross section of members and volunteers in order to develop an action plan that will give life to this statement.

 

Racism, police brutality, systemic violence, and the dehumanizing forces of oppression, powerlessness, and White supremacy have eroded the very fabric of humanity which ideally binds our society together. Macrolevel systemic racism extends to disparities in institutional policies and procedures in physical and mental healthcare, education, the judicial system, employment, sports and entertainment, and the brutal violence of law enforcement. These larger societal oppressions lead to inaccessibility to resources and social marginalization, which descend finally to individual racist attitudes, implicit biases, stereotypes, microaggressions, and even death. The ongoing and historical injustices are not acknowledged by those who want to be in power or protect their entitlements. Some who do acknowledge, do so reactively, temporarily, or superficially and thus, no meaningful change occurs. Anti-Black racism is often reframed as accidental, an unfortunate incident, or as the criminality of the victim. 

 

Words cannot truly capture our feelings. We are angry, exhausted, grieving, suffering, furious, and in despair. The American Counseling Association is pained by the murders of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, and countless other Black/African Americans who unfortunately remain nameless. We stand in solidarity with our Black siblings in denouncing the historical legacy and destruction caused by institutionalized racism and violence against Black people, perpetuated at the hands of law enforcement, the hatred bred of White supremacy, the deafening silence of dehumanizing and complicit inaction to address these systemic ills within our society. As counselors, we listen, we empathize, and agree with protesters that when absolute justice is established, peace will follow. Enough is enough, we cannot continue to watch fellow Black Americans being murdered, as the very life force is suffocated out of them.

 

The American Counseling Association is built on enduring values and a mission that promotes: human dignity and diversity, respect, the attainment of a quality of life for all, empowerment, integrity, social justice advocacy, equity, and inclusion. If we remain silent, and do not promote racial justice, these words become harmful and meaningless for our members and the counseling community. Given the rapidly evolving double pandemic of COVID-19 and the continued exposure of Black people to institutionalized racism, ACA wants to be clear about where we stand and the ongoing actions we will take. As proactive leaders, counselors, mentors, supervisors, scholars, and trainers we will break away from this structure of racism trauma, and the violence born on the necks of Black people. 

 

Our stance is: Black Lives Matter. We have a moral and professional obligation to deconstruct institutions which have historically been designed to benefit White America. These systems must be dismantled in order to level the playing field for Black communities. Allyship is not enough. We strive to create liberated spaces in the fight against White supremacy and the dehumanization of Black people. The burden of transgenerational trauma should not be shouldered by Black Americans even though they have remained resilient. 

 

All ACA members must be willing to challenge these systems, but also confront one’s own biases, stereotypes, and racial worldview. Moving forward, our actions will be based on input from our members and the voices of others. We are committed to change. 

Transgender Healthcare

Emily Haider, MnCA Legislative Committee Member
October 19, 2020

 

The White House announced a plan to discontinue previous regulations for protections against discrimination in health care for transgender individuals. In September, Judge James E. Boasberg of the Washing D.C. District Court issued an injunction against this Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule change. Specifically, Boasberg ruled the rule change would threaten a large part of the LGBTQ community, therefore impeding public interest. This ruling follows suite with the ruling make by a New York judge in August. 

 

The Affordable Care Act, prohibited any discrimination in health care coverage and care on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability. In June 2020, the White House argued that sex discrimination would be considered according to biological ‘male’ and ‘female’ assignment. Currently, health insurance companies and healthcare providers are prohibited from denying services on the sole basis of gender identification. If the HHS rule change is successful, transgender individuals risk denial of healthcare coverage and care on the basis of the employer’s religious beliefs. 

 

HHS is now facing two lawsuits regarding the attempted rule changes. One lawsuit has successfully received a temporary injunction. A temporary injunction prevents an action or change from moving forward. Other departments have also followed suit on rule changes within the White House. The Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have also begun to reduce or eliminate protections for LGBTQ individuals, which has resulted in increased discrimination against transgender students and homeless transgender individuals. 

 

 

References

 

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2020/09/trump-administration-rule-allow-transgender-discrimination-blocked-federal-judge/

 

https://transequality.org/HCRL-FAQ

Racial Inequalities

Angie Haag, LADC, LPCC

Secretary of the MnCA board of directors

June 1, 2020


The MnCA board of directors would like to thank all of you for your communication regarding the current racial inequalities revolution happening in Minnesota. As a board, we have been working hard to determine how we can best support not only our community of mental health providers, but the entire MN community.


Its difficult to ignore the impact and importance of mental health care when looking at the current racial inequalities movement. There is an opportunity for all of us, as helpers and healers to make a real difference in this state.


The MnCA Board of Directors would like to hear from you. We stand firmly with our community, our POC friends, and George Floyd. We believe that as a community of Mental Health care professionals, we can best honor his life by advocating for and acting in the advancement of eliminating systemic racism. In an effort to best combat the persistent and ongoing inequalities within the Mental Health system in Minnesota, we would like to first listen, and then act.


If you are a Mental Healthcare professional who specializes in racial inequalities, who works with a marginalized community, and/or who has experienced systemic racism within the Mental Health field personally - MnCA is asking for your expertise and guidance. 


Please email secretarymnca@gmail.comwith answers to the following 3 questions


1. How can therapists in Minnesota best work to stop systemic racism in the Mental Health field?


2. How would you like to see MnCA show up in order to support MN therapists in the fight against racism?


3. How can Mental Health communities in states outside of Minnesota best support us here? 


Pass this message along and remember to keep responses HIPAA compliant.


Additionally, please join MnCA for an ACA led townhall on Juneteeth (Friday, June 19th) to discuss how we can best fight racial inequalities in the mental health field. See more information on the ACAs upcoming events here:

https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/mental-health-resources/racism


Please also consider the following resources for more information regarding the intersection of racial inequalities and mental healthcare:


Websites and articles:

• https://ct.counseling.org/2019/04/five-points-of-discussion-for-conversations-about-racial-injustice/

• https://www.counseling.org/news/aca-blogs/aca-member-blogs/aca-member-blogs/2017/12/12/mental-health-and-the-current-times-racial-trauma

• https://www.sideeffectspublicmedia.org/post/how-racism-trauma-and-mental-health-are-linked

• https://www.understandingrace.org/

• https://www.tolerance.org/

• https://www.ncore.ou.edu/en/

• https://www.mnabpsi.org/


Podcasts:

• "Unlocking US- How to be an Anti-racist" by Brene from with Ibram X. Kendi

• "Justice in America" by Josie Duffy Rice 

• Code Switch by NPR, episode "A Decade Of Watching Black People Die"

• "The United States of Anxiety" with Kia Wright

• "About Race" with Reni Eddo-Lodge 


Books:

• "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander

• "So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo

• "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo

• "The Ethnic Project: Transforming Racial Fiction into Ethnic Factions" by Vilna Bashi Treitler

• "White Rage; the Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide" by Carol Anderson

• "How to be an anti-racist" - Ibram X. Kendi

• "Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination" by Alondra Nelson


As the Minnesota branch of the American Counseling Assocation, the MnCA board of directors intends to continue to work to ensure that all Minnesota LPC/LPCCs have a voice. We will continue to work hard to support, advocate, and educate with that in mind.


Change starts here - with each of us, together.

Thank you,


MnCA Board of Directors





MnCA: A Part of the American Counseling Association

The mission of the Minnesota Counseling Association is “to provide information and resources about the counseling profession; and to provide networking, education, legislative and other support for Minnesota’s professional counselors.”