Our hearts are aching and our blood is boiling at the injustices we have witnessed and continue to witness. At Seeds, we stand firmly in solidarity and support with those protesting police brutality and demanding humane and respectful treatment of all people in this country. “Our people are hurting – the violence against Black bodies felt in the ongoing mass disobedience, all while we grapple with a pandemic that is disproportionately affecting, infecting, and killing us. We call for an end to the systemic racism that allows this culture of corruption to go unchecked and our lives to be taken,” as noted by Black Lives Matter leadership. Please sign their petition for action here.
At Seeds of Awareness we believe we have a responsibility to do everything in our capacity to address mental health issues that disproportionately affect Black people and our communities in the United States. As a mental health organization, we have a special challenge and task in this extremely painful moment. In addition to zealous advocacy and active participation in protests, our contribution to social justice is providing care to those who are neglected by the government and abused by the police, offering compassion and understanding of the anger and hurt, and healing together. In this time of national suffering, we have the ability to respond mindfully, look inward at ourselves, speak kindly and care deeply.
We believe deeply that the steps we take both individually and as organization speak far louder than our words. Seeds of Awareness not only seeks to help support and amplify the voices of black people in our community but also to acknowledge and root out racism within our organization as well. As an organization we are committed to anti-racism work-shops, education, and reparations. We ask ourselves, are we examining our own ways of how we may be complicit in these systems within our organization and communities? We have work to do in this area and it would be out of alignment to not name this. How can we truly stand for anti-racism in our greater social structures if we cannot be humble enough to acknowledge it is happening closer to home?
We believe in the power of collective action in the fight for racial justice and equity. While working on our internal systems to be truly anti-racist, externally at Seeds we are committed to making mental health more accessible. Presently we are coordinating to find ways to offer more low-fee and/or pro-bono services to Black folks and people of color. However, we acknowledge our present capacity is limited. In order to center the healing of Black folks and people of color right now, here are several organizations providing free access to therapy for people of color.
- Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (up to five sessions)
- Therapy for Black Girls group therapy
- BetterHelp (one month free)
Additionally, these directories can also help find therapists of color:
- 16 Directories for Therapists of Color
- Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Directory
- Therapy for Black Girls
- Teen Vogue’s List of Therapy Resources
- Therapist of Color Bay Area
Jasmin Pierre, suicide attempt survivor, created the Safe Place app to support Black people’s mental health. It includes info about mental illnesses, how police brutality and racism impacts mental health and self-care tips.
We encourage broad participation in this week’s Movement for Black Lives Week of Action. Today (Thursday) is dedicated to building community control so that communities most impacted are shaping the policies, institutions, and laws meant to serve us. Even the smallest donations make a greater shift towards imperative societal change:
- Bay Area Anti- Repression Committee Bail Fund
- Anti-Police Terror Project
- People’s Breakfast Oakland
- Planting Justice
- Black Earth Farms
- Oakland Black Business Damage Fund
We wish all of us to be safe in our bodies, to summon our strongest angels to protect and carry us through this unrest. May we remain resilient in our continued effort to support those less-privileged, speak up for those who are silenced and offer peace, care and comfort to those suffering.
With love, tears, and resiliency,