The Center for Health and Wellbeing explicitly names this statement is written by white voices with generous feedback and guidance from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) voices, because dismantling white supremacy through continued anti-racist acts needs to come from white-bodied people at this time.
The Center for Health and Wellbeing, comprised of Counseling and Psychiatry Services, Student Health Services, Education and Outreach, and Athletic Medicine, joins the collective voices of condemnation against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other deaths that have occurred in this inequitable and unjust white supremacist system.
We recognize the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black people and the racialized violence against Black individuals, families, and communities.
We acknowledge the longstanding and entrenched history of structural and systemic injustice and the ongoing forces of white supremacy and racism that persists in this country, as well as within our own community at UVM, as a predominantly white institution.
We commit to holding ourselves accountable and to effective anti-racist organizing in service of the communities most impacted. CHWB stands unequivocally with the UVM community of BIPOC faculty, staff, and students as we each work to dismantle internalized, interpersonal and institutional racism and move toward healing.
We witness the historical and current trauma inflicted on the Black community and communities of color and the harm racism causes to the emotional, psychological and physical health and wellbeing of BIPOC in our roles of health and wellbeing providers at a predominately white institution. It is clear that in the presence of hatred and inequity there is no health or wellbeing for anyone.
We realize racial harm is happening at our predominately white institution and within our professional and therapeutic relationships. We acknowledge the education we received in the health professions was done so within the lens of white supremacy. As providers, educators, and practitioners it is our responsibility to unlearn the inherently racist theories promoted within the all fields of medicine, health, wellbeing and other formalized helping professions.
We understand that the process of dismantling internalized white supremacy starts within, at the individual and group level, requiring consistent self-interrogation, awareness, and education for change to occur, but it must not end there.
We know that a statement of recognition regarding past and current acts of anti-Black violence is not enough and we are committed to the active practice of holding ourselves and one another accountable to anti-racism. As providers, we are committed to providing spaces for healing, especially during times of tragedy.