How do we find hope when there are so many terrible things happening? How do we continue to work to build a loving and inclusive world? How can these things be prevented?
These are definitely the questions that have been on my mind lately. (So I included some resources at the end if it has been on your mind too).
As a family therapist here’s some of my quick thoughts using a family lens and community context:
Whenever we hear of the hateful shootings from the past 2 weeks, my first reaction is almost always why wasn’t this prevented and how can we prevent this in the future. These things are preventable. People don’t just wake up one day and and commit murder. They have thoughts and behavior patterns that have often been going on for years that led to that moment. How can we change systems so that this could have been prevented? We need to be intervening years earlier and not allowing people access to guns.
When we hear of the white teachers in Idaho that dressed like “Mexicans” and the president’s border wall for Halloween, consequences for these individual teachers is not enough. We need to look at how this situation happened in the first place. The hiring process, requirements for a teaching license and degree, curriculum, parent and community involvement, and anti-racism training all need to be examined at the school and district level. What about the healing process for the children that are at the school and their families? That also needs to be addressed.
This is why it is so important to not only focus on an individual but also on the family, community, and world context. We need to work with individual issues, family dynamics, and a systems approach if we want to see progress. Mental health counseling on its own is not enough.
Looking for hope and inspiration? Well here are some cool resources that you can check out and share as we work together to build a more loving and inclusive world:
A petition by California Educators Rising as anti-racist educators to condemn the behavior of the teachers at Middleton Heights Elementary School in Middleton, Idaho.
A Louder Than Ever: Vote Your Values video to encourage people to vote on Tuesday.
Sign up for Shaun King’s relaunch of the The North Star. An abolitionist newspaper started by Frederick Douglass in 1847 “…to fight back against injustice, their stories had to not only be well told – with the color and dimension and nuance that was frequently missing elsewhere, they knew they needed a newspaper that represented the cause of liberation with urgency, clarity, heart, and soul.” -Shaun King
A new brochure “I’m Muslim and I Might Not be Straight” to help “young Muslims feel supported in their sexuality, and help them feel supported in coming out, if they so choose to. The guide also explores the intersection of the Muslim faith and sexual orientation…” – Teen Vogue
So check out these resources, sign-up, and share. If you are in the U.S., create a plan and don’t let anything stop you from voting on Tuesday. Now is the time…let’s create some change!!
Rorri Geller-Mohamed, LCSW is a family therapist, parent and relationship coach, speaker, and founder of U Power Change. She uses a family lens and community context focus in all of her work. U Power Change works to strengthen families and overcome challenges while creating systemic change so that we can all live in a loving and inclusive multicultural, multifaith, and multiracial world.