Stay safe while advocating for anti-racist polices

advocacy trauma-informed Jun 01, 2020
Many are Hurting. Many are Scared.  This can often present as Anger.
Expect the fear and grief to come and go throughout the days. Expect to be preoccupied and struggle with concentration.
Please be EXTRA mindful when doing anything that is potentially dangerous (cooking, running water, driving, using tools/equipment). Focus on the sense of touch when doing these activities. Tell yourself what you feel, what you see, what you're doing. Set timers for anything that is on/running (stove, bath).
When driving, tell yourself what street you're on. Pay attention to all intersections and watch for the colour of the traffic lights and vehicles around you. Focus on the sensations of the steering wheel and seats when idling. Stay present.
Limit your exposure to graphic details of trauma, but stay informed so you can stay safe. Find a buddy to take turns checking the news and keeping each other informed.
Take moments to put your body into a state of relaxation with full, deep breaths and down your exhale. Take care of your body and your emotions. Get yourself as healthy as possible so you can provide the care and advocacy that is needed for real, long-term change.
Change won't happen in a week or a year.Yes, we need to take immediate action, but we also need to take long-term action. We can't advocate like it's a New Years Resolution that is dropped in two weeks.
Reflect on what you want to do to help make long-term change. Change needs to happen in the policies and practices in the:
  • justice system
  • education system
  • healthcare system (physical and mental)
  • social services
Choose a system, find out who is advocating for change at the city, state/provincial, national level. Find out what anti-oppressive policies and practices have been shown to help reduce racism and oppression in these systems in other cities, provinces/states, nations.
The people who benefit from the ways these systems are currently set up are hoping your anger and desire for change will "blow over" or that you'll get distracted by the next big event that happens or that your life will get busy and you'll be too tired for long-term advocacy.
Set a monthly reminder in your calendar to check in on your long-term advocacy goals. Don't let yourself forget the fear and anger that has created the current level of energy for change.
Expect your abilities to be different than they were one week ago and even more so from three months ago. Please have compassion for yourself.
Sending you good energy!

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