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The recent and repeated incidents of racial unrest and hate in our country is a major public health problem and is taking a toll on young people everywhere. 

Do you have problems getting through your day or functioning during school hours?
Have you had significant mood changes? 
Have you felt more irritable, sad, or even angry a lot of the time? 
Do you oftentimes feel withdrawn or not wanting to be around people who you normally enjoyed being around?
Do you engage in risky health behaviors? Smoking? Or Drinking?
Have you been impacted from discrimination or racism in your everyday life?
Have you experienced repeated occurrences of racial profiling or hate because of the color of your skin?

You may be experiencing racial trauma or race-based traumatic stress. Racial trauma is not a new concept and can significantly affect your mental health and well-being. 

Racial Trauma / Race-Based Traumatic Stress- refers to the stressful impact or emotional pain of one’s experience with racism and discrimination. Racial trauma is people’s ongoing experience of racism, racial bias, and exposure to racist abuse and violence, either in person or in the media. Not every incident of racism will result in racial trauma, however many incidents can produce post-traumatic responses in the people impacted. 

Further clarification of terms we are using…

Racism- prejudice, discrimination, or resentment directed against a person or group of people based on their particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

Racial Harassmentan incident or series of incidents intended to intimidate, offend or harm a person or group because of their race or ethnic origin. This includes but is not limited to: 

  • Derogatory name-calling
  • Verbal threats insults and racist jokes
  • Displaying racially offensive material
  • Exclusion from events, conversations or activities
  • Physical attacks
  • Encouraging others to commit any of those acts

Discrimination- the unfair or harmful treatment of groups of people, on the basis of race, age, religion, sexuality, or gender identity.

Racial Violence- a behavior intended to hurt, injure or kill another person based on the color of a person’s skin or ethnic origin. 

Institutional Racism- the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another.

Systemic Racism Explained

Racial Profiling the use of race or ethnicity (or the appearance of a member of a race or ethnicity) as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense or crime.

Racial Micro Aggression- a statement, action or incident of subtle or indirect discrimination against members of a marginalized group.

Low Self-esteem
Poor Concentration
Increased sensitivity to threat
Sense of foreshortened future

Check out our TOOL that explains more about racial micro aggression.