Standing For Each Other – Against Racism

I am deeply affected by the recent horrible, racist acts that claimed the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and far too many others in the black community.

Over the past few days I’ve spent time thinking about what I want to share, from my heart.

I want to acknowledge that in this country, we have a long, sordid history of racism, inequity and injustice.

What each of us at CHRIS 180 do, and will continue to do, is acknowledge trauma. Racism, inequity and injustice – both the subtle and blatant acts that occur every day are traumas. We will continue to teach one another and our clients how to advocate for themselves and each other. We will continue to hold space for diverse feelings – because every black or brown person doesn’t feel the same and every white person doesn’t feel the same. We are all different – with different experiences and backgrounds that make us who we are and influence how we think. We look at ourselves, our experiences and our implicit bias, and seek to learn from each other.

At CHRIS 180, we seek to understand. We name trauma. What is happening is community trauma, as well as individual trauma. We work for justice – justice is a requirement for peace. We advocate. We treat people with dignity and respect. We are a diverse and inclusive organization that values the voice, the life, the welfare of each person. And we are role models. We must be role models so that we can help change society at large, even though we are only a small slice of it. There are things we can do.

And, I have to say this since early voting has started: our vote is our voice! Not voting is equal to voting for whoever gets elected. And, I don’t mean just voting for president – judges, district attorneys, sheriffs, and legislators, they all matter. The leaders we elect, across the board, have power and influence that none of us have. So when you vote, do your research, and use your vote as a proactive voice to make a difference in our community.

I hope that each one of you will do your part to advocate, to role model and work for change. If our community and the world are to be a better place, it is up to us. In the words of Audre Lorde, “Your silence will not protect you.” Now is not the time to stay silent.

Kathy Colbenson, LMFT
President & CEO,
CHRIS 180

Kathy Colbenson
CHRIS180georgia@gmail.com
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