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Racial Trauma is PTSD from exposure to racism.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition brought on by trauma.
The [historical, social, emotional and psychological] awareness of other racial groups' personal experience that helps you to compassionately interact with and be an anti-racist ally to them. It is about having the knowledge, skills, awareness and dispositions to talk about race and racism!
A response to multiple, inter-personal and invasive traumatic experiences with wide-ranging and long-term effects. It involves interpersonal violation, violence and threats.
An ally is an individual from another community with a differing culture, history and experience that dedicates themself to learning about, standing up for and supporting other racial communities.
In a 2014 Newsweek article (written by Robert Sussman), the first paragraph reads: "In 1950, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued a statement asserting that all humans belong to the same species and that "race" is not a biological reality but a myth."
Today, a brief search on the internet will show several sources ranging from PBS to The Scientific American describing the consequences of Social Darwinism and Scientific Racism. They all describe various motivations, historical events and ideologies related to race. A myriad of statistics about racial discrimination and racial disparities across institutions can easily relay the extent to which our society is permeated by racial bias and prejudice. Even now, a glance at the local news shows the rampant hate crimes taking place across the country.
It's obvious that race is a social construct that has had generational effects on how communities interact with one another. While these articles are all important for a variety of reasons, they point to a few underlying and unacknowledged issues within our society:
1) Societal stigmatization of discussions centered around race--a lack of racial literacy that fosters racial gaslighting, racial tension, and racial trauma.
2) The lack of empathy between ethnic communities with regards to one another's lived experiences.
3) The lack of knowledge about how ethnic communities are historically, psychologically and emotionally impacted by all four forms of racism.
4) The absence of an inclusive, safe, validating space for communities to unite, express solidarity and share their experiences with racism, prejudice or race-based violence.
5) A lack of resources for people who struggle with racial trauma following covert or overt violence against their community.
Consequently, the inability to address these issues leaves society in a vicious social cycle of violence, trauma, tension, passivity, then silence.
The Foundation for Inter-Ethnic Restoration is dedicated to breaking that cycle.
Racial trauma, coined by Dr. Monica Williams, begs academia and all other institutions to pay attention to the psychological aftermath of racially tense experiences on an individual's psyche. Yet, to date, the American Psychology Association's DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual fo Mental Disorders] has never acknowledged the role of racism and ethno-violence in the development of PTSD--racial trauma.
PTSD is a reaction to a traumatic experience that impacts various facets of human functioning, including cognitive, behavioral, and affective components.
It is a highly disabling condition that tends to elicit pervasive and maladaptive avoidance behaviors associated with the traumatic experience.
The collective effects of environmental stress (e.g., prejudicial attitudes, racial discrimination) over time can produce cumulative trauma, as well as disturbances in self-regulatory processes, such as difficulties with angry behaviors, social avoidance, dissociative symptoms, depression and anxiety.
Chronic stress from cumulative trauma can also trigger physical health problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and more.
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Listen to a highlight of our interview with FIER Research Assistant, Naziat Hassan-Ahmed as she talks about life after 9/11 and more!
Check out this highlight of our interview with Hima as she describes growing up in the US as an immigrant.
According to research conducted by the United States Department of Justice in 2020, 68% of *single-bias incidents were motivated by race/ethnicity/ancestry.
[*A single-bias incident is defined as an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by the same bias.] (Click here to learn more)
Anti-race/ethnicity/ancestry offenses have been the most prevalent offense since 1996; these offenses have also increased the most, accounting for 42% of the rise in hate crime between 2014 and 2019. (Click here to learn more.)
Bias against African Americans overwhelmingly comprised the largest category of race-based hate crime incidents, with a total of 56% of race-based hate crimes being motivated by anti-Black bias. (Click here to learn more.)
The compilation of hate crime data, published by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, revealed that anti-Asian hate crime increased by 339 percent last year compared to the year before, with New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities surpassing their record numbers in 2020 (Click here to learn more.)
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Hispanics with darker skin say they personally experienced at least one of the eight discrimination incidents during the year previous to the survey, while 54% of Hispanics with lighter skin color say the same. (Click here to learn more.)
Initial findings from a survey conducted by researchers for The Conversation indicate that among white respondents, 65% said their parents had “never” or “rarely” had conversations with them about racism when they were children. (Click here to learn more.)
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