The University of Illinois Counseling Center staff are deeply saddened and frustrated by the situation in Baltimore. In summary, Freddie Gray, an African American male, died of injuries he sustained while in police custody. Gray’s story is the latest in growing list of unarmed African American males allegedly dying as a result of police actions. The resulting public discussion about these events often highlights polarizing attitudes and harmful actions toward people of color—particularly African Americans. While criticism of protests is quick, understanding and discourse about years of mistreatment, threats to safety, absence of rights and the ability to seek justice are often missing. We are firmly committed to building inclusive communities—both within the university and outside of it. We understand that working toward positive change can be frustrating, hurtful, depressing, and exhausting, but we continue to be hopeful that the efforts of our students, faculty, staff, and communities will result in real, lasting change.
Echoing the sentiments of the American Psychological Association’s Division 17, we’ve compiled a list of support resources for those reacting to and affected by violence against people of color in the United States. We realize these resources are a small step, but it’s our hope that they allow others to have the energy to continue these important conversations and to reach out to those around them. In addition to these resources, we’re available to counsel University of Illinois students during this difficult time. Please call 217-333-3704 or stop in our office on the second floor of Turner Student Services Building on the corner of Sixth and John Streets. If you need to talk to someone after hours, please call the Crisis Line at 217-359-4141. The Counseling Center’s Sankofa African American Outreach team is also available for workshops and to lead discussions with your organization. To request, please complete this form.
Teaching and Discussion Resources
District of Columbia Public Schools Teachers’ Discussion Guide
12 Things White People Can Do Now Because Ferguson
5 Ways To Be an Ally to a Community You’re Not a Part Of
How to Argue Eloquently About Ferguson and Back Yourself Up With Facts
Prevention and Training Resources
4 Ways to Take Action Against Racism and Depression
Developing Racial Sensitivity
Dealing with Vicarious Trauma
Black Lives Matter
ACLU Guide to the Right to Protest
My Brother's Keeper/White House Initiative
African American Boys and Resilience