Dear NCCA Community,
The North Carolina Counseling Association rejects racism, systemic oppression, and white supremacist ideologies.
We come to you today with great sadness and anger over the recent events involving the senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other human lives lost at the hands of individuals who weaponize the weight of an unjust system. This will not be another carefully-worded statement prepared by a professional association expressing our thoughts and concerns with links to where members can read more about the issues. We want to engage in more than ineffective and reactionary attempts to address the deeply systemic racism, injustice, and oppression perpetrated on black people by white people. Today we issue a call to action for the current and future leaders and members of the North Carolina Counseling Association.
Our organization and esteemed members must resist the trap of reactively waiting for the cries of the oppressed to serve as a rallying call for which to order our collective professional steps. We recognize that it is not only inappropriate, but it is shameful, to look toward the oppressed to tell us about the impact of the system that oppresses them. It is our personal responsibility to gain knowledge, understanding, and take action. We as an organization can and MUST do more. We recognize and take responsibility for our role as professional counselors and the ethics that the American Counseling Association calls us to uphold. We can no longer conduct “business as usual”, accept willful ignorance of these issues, or be complicit in this system that has been built to subjugate and dehumanize Black Americans and other BIPOC individuals.
These issues impact us all, both personally and within our profession.
As professional counselors committed to this end, we ask you this — how can NCCA join, support, or advocate on behalf of you, your clients, students, and colleagues? What are the action steps we can take to make change? We know that we have collective expertise in our membership, and we want to hear from you. Below is a list of ideas from NCCA leadership. But this list is just a start. Click below to submit ideas and suggestions for what we can do as a professional organization to stand up and say that we will not tolerate systemic racism or injustice and we will seek to eradicate systemic oppression and white supremacy within the counseling field. We will use our expertise and resources to create a collective list that we will guide our organization’s leadership into the future. We will share this work with you, other stakeholders, and other communities so that we can take action and stand up during this time of racial crisis.
We bare our vulnerability and sit in intentional reflection hoping that you are encouraged to do the same. We are committed to action. Join us in sharing your ideas.
Here are our ideas:
- Revitalize the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee of NCCA
- Dedicate NCCA resources to legislative advocacy working for racial equity and against racial injustice within the state of North Carolina in addition to other issues vital to our work as professional counselors
- Develop and disseminate policy and practice briefs with the goal of informing our membership of critical issues on local and state levels, introducing tangible action steps they can take to advocate on behalf of their clients and the citizens of North Carolina
- Partner with local organizations whose mission it is to work toward equity, justice, and the eradication of white supremacy
- Identify a list of North Carolina individuals and organizations who train on and speak about issues related to racial equity and anti-racism.
- Identify a list of North Carolina counselors who specialize in treating trauma resulting from racism.
- Develop a Book Club with a specified focus for discussion, furthering the knowledge base and challenging personal/ professional awarenesses around critical issues relevant to ourselves and to those we serve
- Encourage NCCA Divisions to address social justice and racial disparity within their current bylaws or governance structure
- Partner with the HBCUs in our state with a focus on emerging leaders
Please share your ideas and thoughts here.
Thoughtfully and motivated to create change,