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Nobody’s Free Until Everybody’s Free

Written by Ramsey Khasho, PsyD

Day 90.

I’m not in my garage anymore. I’m out in the world again. But it’s an entirely different world than the one I left.

The past three months, and particularly the past few weeks, have challenged everything I thought I knew about the world. Like you, I’m exhausted, mentally and physically, from processing the roller coaster of emotions—the peaks of hope and valleys of heartbreak—again and again and again.

I’m questioning everything from who I want to be as a person, a parent, a citizen, a professional, a human being and a change maker, usually before breakfast. With the privilege of being able to make those decisions, comes the responsibility to step up.

We know you stand with all of us at CHC in solidarity with communities of color who are in pain and angry and continue to be subjected to racism, discrimination, oppression, violence and death in our country. As the inspirational American voting and women’s rights activist and civil rights crusader Fannie Lou Hamer proclaimed, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

We hope with all of our being that this collective cry for racial equity has been soul-jarring enough to create real, lasting change. And we know that, in order for that to happen, we need to engage more deeply than we ever have before. Embrace the uncomfortable. Mindfully hold the hurt in our hearts.

The wise words of one of the most profound civil rights leaders in history, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., echo in our heads, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

You might be wondering:

  • “How can I stand in solidarity with the black community, yet take a step back to be sure oppressed voices are amplified?”
  • “How do I gather peacefully in a local demonstration yet stay six feet apart to protect my family and community?”
  • “How can I watch the news and have the tough conversations with my kids, yet help them feel safe during these fearful days?”
  • “How do I speak up to show my support without inadvertently saying the wrong thing?”

If you find yourself paralyzed with fear, overwhelm, confusion or dread, please do one thing.

Rather than whirling and swirling and reaching our brink of inertia, choose one thing today that would help make the world more racially just:

  • Listen.
  • Attend a peaceful demonstration.
  • Educate yourself about racism.
  • Read a book about racial injustice with your kids.
  • Attend a webinar on white privilege.
  • Make a donation to a victim’s family or to a social justice organization.
  • Sign a Black Lives Matter petition.
  • Challenge internalized privilege.
  • Be aware of blind spots.
  • Vote.

Is it enough? No. Because there is so much work to be done.

But if we all take a deep breath and a step forward and do one thing and one more thing and another and another, together we can move towards a world where our children and grandchildren—and everybody—can be free.

In solidarity,

 

 

Ramsey Khasho, PsyD


Special Note: At CHC, we are just like you. We feel, we worry and we care about our kids, just like you. We understand, we care and we are right alongside you. Just as we believe in the promise and potential of every child, we believe in the capacity and the innate strength of every parent.

With nearly 70 years of experience helping local kids, teens, young adults and families navigate some of life’s most difficult challenges, CHC stands ready to lead the emotional recovery ahead, with courage, connection and compassion. We are open and available for therapeutic services via telehealth. We’ve launched virtual community education webinars, parent support groups and groups for high schoolers and young adults. Even our highest risk teens with suicidal and self-harm thoughts and behaviors continue to access best-in-class care remotely through the RISE Intensive Outpatient Program. We are here for our current clients and new families alike. If you have concerns, just call: our expert clinical team is standing by to help you with the same level of care that you know and trust. We’re in this together.

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