June 1st, 2020
Black lives matter. Black mental health matters too — but outside of the fullness of Black humanity and liberation, they’re just words.
We know our amazing NAMI Seattle community understands better than most the impacts of trauma, of state-sanctioned violence, and of systems that were not created with certain people in mind. We all know what we and our families need to survive and thrive if only someone would listen. Maybe they listen to us but don’t hear. Or maybe they hear but do nothing. And when they don’t, nothing ever changes.
We know this is how anti-Black racism works as well. We know that “white supremacy is not a shark; it is the water” (Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre, 2018, A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry). For those of us with white ancestry, the ease it gives us — even when we’re struggling mightily — comes at the cost of our humanity. Even when we listen, if we don’t hear or act, does that make us different from those who don’t listen at all? We in the NAMI community know the answer is no.
NAMI Seattle family, we are holding you close this week, as we center Black voices, leadership, advocacy, and healers in our work. Additionally, if you’re white and looking for anti-racism resources – things to read and listen to, people to learn from, actions to take – please reach out to us, we have plenty to point you to.
We know we are not all in this together – our experiences are vastly different depending on who we are, and the past few weeks and months have made this even more visible than usual. But we are always, always stronger together. Take care of yourselves so we can keep fighting. Below are a few ways to do both those things.
The NAMI Seattle team
UPCOMING PROGRAMS AND WAYS TO GET INVOLVED (week of 6/1/20)
Thursday, June 4, 6:30-7:30pm (it’s fine to leave early!)
NAMI Seattle Parent Support Call – open to all Seattle-area parents of K-12 kids
RSVP here to join by computer or text us at 206.207.7765 for the dial-in number
Pandemic parenting has meant taking care of our families through isolation, job loss, community trauma, financial insecurity, and the high stakes of systemic racism and inequity. Join us for a call to connect, support, and share resources with your fellow Seattle parents. Community and school providers will be available to answer questions, but the main focus will be YOU. What do you need right now? How can we help you take care of yourself, so you can take care of your family? We hope you can join us this Thursday!
NAMI Seattle BIPOC Support Group
We are working on re-launching a virtual version of our weekly mental health support group for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. To receive details once this group is scheduled, send us an email and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s up and running.
NAMI Seattle BIPOC Mental Health Resource List
We know there are many excellent mental health resources by and for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, but they can be incredibly hard to find. This week we’ll be launching a page on our website to help connect you with local and online resources. If you have a favorite BIPOC mental health provider, directory, or online forum, drop us a line so we can be sure to include it.
Partners in Change
Our friends at the Washington Equity in Education Coalition have launched Partners in Change, a coalition of POC-led organizations working to build racial and social justice in response to the COVID-19 crisis. They are currently campaigning to be included in the King County Council’s emergency budget meeting this month. We can help support this initiative by writing to our councilmembers in support of the coalition’s work. Contact Partners in Change to learn more about this campaign and receive a letter-writing toolkit.
Sundays @ 2:00pm, June 7 – August 30
Crip Camp: The Official Virtual Experience
Hosted by the organizers behind the documentary Crip Camp, these 90-minute webinars on disability justice organizing and community-building feature an amazing lineup of speakers, activists, and movement builders. All are welcome, no activism experience required. Click here to learn more or register for one or more sessions.
Call for Direct Community Support & Assistance
Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County
For those of you looking to provide direct financial and material support to Black families and communities, Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County has published a list of suggested organizations and funds to donate to. BLM Seattle-King County has also started a local bail fund.