What We've Done, What We're Doing, And What We Can Do Together Along The Way
The past week has shed light on a long-existing problem: violence and injustice systematically deprive Black people of opportunities that advance their health, resilience, and livelihoods.
At Zencare, we condemn acts of interpersonal and institutional racism, and through our work, are committed to increasing access to anti-racist, culturally competent, and inclusive therapy. As individuals and as a team, we are dedicated to pursuing initiatives that foster mental wellness in Black communities, elevate Black therapists’ thought leadership, and inspire the exploration of race, identity, and privilege among non-Black therapy seekers.
We wanted to take the time to publicly share some of these initiatives, as well as resources that we have found useful in furthering our knowledge of the role of therapy in anti-racist efforts.
Here’s what we’ve done
We know that before healing can happen, people need to find a place where they feel safe, and for people of color, that can often mean finding a therapist who looks like them. Across the country, we’ve created unique search pages to find Black therapists and other therapists of color.
We dedicate marketing dollars to these search pages to elevate providers of color and share them with our referral partners nationwide to increase therapist-client connections within communities of color. For folks who are struggling to get started, we offer therapist matching specifically for Black therapists.
We also know how important it is for therapy seekers to see themselves reflected in the services they seek, and are committed to creating blog content that positively features images of people of color, incorporates quotes from expert Black voices, and speaks to topics that encourage mental wellness in the Black community.
Here’s what we’re doing
In the coming days, we’ll be publishing content on how non-Black therapists can do the work of anti-racism, tangible ways to support Black friends in the wake of a community trauma, and how you can use therapy as an anti-racist tool.
Next Thurs 6/11 at 4pm, we are offering a free virtual session of Yoga Nidra, a trauma-sensitive meditative practice which may be particularly restorative for those in mourning and on the frontlines in these ongoing crises. We hope you can join us in setting aside this time to allow yourself to rest, reflect, and restore.
We’ll also be using our social media to spotlight organizations that provide direct funding for Black folks to receive therapy, such as the The Loveland Therapy Fund and The Trauma Healing Fund by Project LETS; our team is making donations, and encourage those who are able to give, too.
Long-term, we're dedicated to increasing access to mental health care for people of color by building networks of vetted therapists that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.
Here’s what we can do together
The work of dismantling institutionalized racism will not happen overnight, and as we challenge ourselves, we encourage other non-Black folks to join us in listening to Black community leaders and organizers and amplify their voices.
A very small way to start is by diversifying your social media streams and news sources. Here are some Black therapists we follow: Minaa B, Kenya Crawford, Oumou Sylla, Nina Ruffin, NYC Affirmative Psychotherapy, Talking For Wellness, Yasmin Naaman, Esther Boykin, Shayla Peterson.
The following are therapist-recommended anti-racist readings; if you’re able, consider purchasing from your local Black-owned bookstore (ours is The Lit. Bar!): "Using Race and Culture in Counseling and Psychotherapy" (a guide for therapists) and "A Race Is a Nice Thing to Have: A Guide to Being a White Person or Understanding the White Persons in Your Life."
As we move forward, we welcome your feedback; if you have questions about this note or our commitment to anti-racism, please don't hesitate to contact us. We recognize this is an emotionally taxing time for many, so please take good self-care, connect with loved ones, process in therapy, rest, and be well.
Yuri, Maggie, & the Zencare team