HEALING RECOVERY SPACES – AN ANTI-RACISM TRAINING
Racism is a recovery threatening issue and a form of trauma. It can no longer go untreated.
In order to provide comprehensive and trauma-responsive addiction treatment solutions, and to truly hold culturally competent recovery spaces – as organizations and as individuals – we must be willing to embrace inclusivity and anti-racism work.
Kenneth Ponds defines racial trauma as:
- The physiological, psychological and emotional damage caused by stressors or racial harassment or discrimination.
- Includes negative, sudden and uncontrollable experiences, crisis or ongoing physical or psychological threat
SAMHSA calles for cultural competence. All it takes to answer the call is a willingness to listen, learn, and evolve.
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How does racism threaten recovery?
Racism is built on a foundation of prejudice, oppression, social and institutional power, advantage, historical racist practices, and white supremacy. It is expressed in systems, structures, institutions, and individuals. Racism is all encompassing – but so is recovery. Together, we can break down the foundations, intergenerational traumas, and expressions that fuel racism – to build a better tomorrow for all recovering individuals.
As a trauma-responsive organization or individual you must address the impacts of racial trauma and be willing to impliment anti-racist practices in your recovery spaces. Our lives depend on it.
In this training you will learn:
- Racism – The roots of racism and its impact on American culture.
- Racial Trauma – How racial discrimination is associated with psychological distress.
- Microaggressions – Understanding the negative and subtle slights and insults.
- White Supremacy – How white superiority maintains America’s racism equilibrium.
- Allyship – What happens when those with privilege show up for the marginalized?
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MY EXPERIENCE AS A BLACK WOMAN OCCUPYING RECOVERY SPACES
Our world has reached a boiling point. We’re standing on the precipice of cultural chaos; a result of a festering problem ignored for far too long.
The cries of the minority have finally reached the ears of the majority and people are hungry for change. More and more we are waking up to the consequences of racism and its effects on our institutions and systems, including healthcare, and yes, including treatment and recovery spaces.
In 2019, I attended a well known conference on recovery and addiction treatment. And in a room of 200 plus experts, I was one of no more than ten Black attendees. There was a powerful session entitled “Power and Privilege in Addiction Treatment” that tackled the difficult topic of racism and the drug wars of the 1980s in relation to the current Opioid epidemic. The 95% white audience openly struggled to maintain their objectivity. Most sat stoically with clenched fists. Tension filled the auditorium. The presenter closed to very little applause.
White fragility. We can no longer afford to ignore it.