I support Black Lives Matter, and the communities of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC).
Canada was founded on overpowering Indigenous people, then the Black community, and other visible minorities and immigrants. It is deplorable and unacceptable to me that this oppression continues today.
While I am heartened by today’s fight against racism, it does not change the fact this has also been happening for 400 years, due to systemic racism. That is, racism that comes out in governmental policies, and how people of colour have historically been treated as inferior. Because the dominant race has deemed BIPOC inferior, they are marginalized, and face fewer educational and career opportunities. They are targeted more by law enforcement, and are at a higher rate of losing a family member to violent crimes. You do not need to look far to find the statistics to support these claims.
As a white woman, it is my responsibility to recognize my privilege, and do what I can to uplift the voices that have not been heard for so long. As such, it is important to me to listen, and leave the floor for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.
During my undergraduate degree in Women & Gender Studies, we explored social movements like feminism that made it clear how easy I have had it as a white woman. It is important to me to pay attention to alternate history, and not just what was readily available and being taught in the education system. Delving deeper into the issues women face, and especially Black women around the world, and the lack of opportunities racialized people have, I feel a responsibility to invite others in to conversations about race, where we can look within, challenge our biases, and learn from each other.
I believe being a social worker means being political. We need to fight with the people we support on the front lines! How else are they going to feel supported in session, if they are not seeing me fight for their rights out there, too?
People come to therapy with all different backgrounds. As a social worker, it is significantly important that I do my part in dismantling the systems that continue to oppress and exploit Black, Indigenous, and people of colour. In doing my part, I understand that I can never fully know someone else’s experience. My relationship with my clients is the most important thing to me; as such, I am constantly educating myself, and reflecting. I hope that my clients see me as a genuine ally, who can bear witness to their experience, and be with them throughout it.
Sometimes, people are looking to change their behaviour, patterns of thinking, and biases. They want to look inward, and explore their thoughts, consider how they feel, and try on different perspectives. I hope to create an emotionally safe and curious space to address these thoughts and concerns.
I hope to honour each individual’s experience, look at how race can play into how they feel about themselves and the world around them. Considering the intersectionality of oppressions (from race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, and how each of them intersect with each other to further reduce opportunities), I recognize how each individual’s oppression is uniquely upsetting. I hope to help you tell your story, and create an authentic self that you love.