November 16th is the National Day of Tolerance. Now more than ever it is important to openly state out loud that we affirm, appreciate, and welcome all groups in our community. Individuals with marginalized identities live their daily lives being mistreated, abused, and experience chronic fear for their safety and well-being. In fact, according to a recent poll, 48% of people of color report having experienced discrimination in the workplace (NBC News, 2018).
In UNESCO’s 1995 Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, it is stated that “tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human”. Here at the Center for Behavioral Health (CBH), we are moving from tolerance to an active promotion of acceptance and appreciation for all diverse intersecting identities that comprise members of our community. We simply do not just tolerate people’s ethnicities, religions, sexualities – we accept and appreciate them. We affirm that individual differences are to be celebrated, and all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
As part of our affirmation, the CBH houses the Collective Care Center (CCC) for those who have and continue to face racism in their lives. Racism occurs in everyday microaggressions (i.e., subtle ways that communicate discrimination and oppression) that deny people of color access to resources, power, and even basic survival needs. If you are suffering from symptoms such as: poor quality sleep, feeling edgy and irritated, needing to disconnect from news, etc. please reach out to us at the CCC to speak to someone who can help. The Center accepts and encourages diversity and with our welcoming and respectful staff, we hope to create a safe space for those who feel the horrible effects of racism.