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Celebrating Juneteenth with Racial Equity in Therapy

June 18, 2024

This blog post, authored by Kimberly Mann, CFR’s DEIB Manager, highlights the significance of Juneteenth and the crucial need for racial equity in therapy. Juneteenth, now a national holiday, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for racial justice.

The Importance of Juneteenth in Promoting Racial Equity in Therapy

It is essential to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black individuals, many of whom have been historically overlooked. In particular, Black individuals have made and continue to make indelible contributions to mental health and psychology, including pioneers and leaders such as Dr. E. Kitch Childs and Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt.

Dr. E. Kitch Childs was a pioneering psychologist and activist who significantly contributed to psychology, particularly feminism and LGBTQ+ rights. She was one of the founding members of the Association for Women in Psychology and played a key role in the early feminist therapy movement. Dr. Childs advocated for the mental health needs of marginalized communities, emphasizing the importance of culturally competent care and intersectional approaches to therapy. Her work helped pave the way for more inclusive and equitable mental health services.

Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is a renowned social psychologist and professor at Stanford University. She specializes in studying implicit bias and its impact on racial disparities. Her groundbreaking research explores the psychological associations between race and crime, providing critical insights into how unconscious biases affect perceptions and behaviors. Her work has profound implications for law enforcement practices and policies, aiming to reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Addressing Racial Disparities in Mental Health Services

As we strive for a more equitable society, it is vital to address racial disparities in all areas, including mental health services. Council for Relationships promotes racial equity in therapy, ensuring everyone can access culturally competent care. Because culturally competent care is the best mental health care.

Personal Reflections on Juneteenth and Education

As I consider Juneteenth, I am grateful for our advancements in recognizing this day as a national holiday. However, this thought also gives me pause and concern as I recall my early elementary, middle, and high school years when the significance of June 19th was overlooked.

Juneteenth was not taught in school; it was never even mentioned. Imagine that!

Honoring the Unsung Heroes of the Black Race

In the spirit of those things unmentioned, I contend that as a way to observe Juneteenth, we should acknowledge the many members of the Black race who have been unrecognized, unacknowledged, and dismissed, particularly those who contributed to the birth and success of this great nation.

Just as June 19th was not acknowledged, several Black inventors and contributors to various initiatives, inventions, processes, and advancements were never provided the acknowledgment and gratitude they earned and still deserve. Because these individuals were Black, their names could not be mentioned in documents, nor could they attend meetings or presentations of new products and services.

These individuals are the unsung heroes of the Black race who had to sit with the quiet, private knowledge that their contribution made a difference to the world. Knowing this had to be enough for them because there was no other choice.

For those who have knowledge, power, and privilege in this world, please take a moment to recognize someone in your life from a marginalized community. Acknowledge, champion, and support whatever contribution they have made to your life, however great or small.

Let’s never again allow the record to be void of events that matter in our history.

Celebrating Juneteenth by Honoring Black Female Pioneers

I celebrate Juneteenth by acknowledging the ladies who contributed to the space program. Many of us learned about them for the first time through the book or movie “Hidden Figures.” Their names are Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. They were well-rounded and brilliant astrophysicists whose intellect, work ethic, analytical skills, and tenacity contributed to getting mankind into orbit.

Katherine Johnson was a mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the first U.S. manned spaceflights. Her work helped ensure the safety and success of numerous missions.

Dorothy Vaughn was a trailblazing mathematician and human-computer who became NASA’s first African American supervisor. She was an expert in FORTRAN, an early programming language, and was crucial in the transition to computer programming.

Mary Jackson was NASA’s first Black female engineer. She overcame significant barriers to advance in her career and contributed to developing wind tunnels and flight data, enhancing our understanding of aerodynamics.

Imagine that!

Headshot of "Celebrating Juneteenth with Racial Equity in Therapy" author Kimberly Mann, SHRM-SCP

Kimberly Mann, SHRM-SCP is DEIB Manager at CFR.

About the Author

Kimberly Mann, SHRM-SCP (she/her/hers) is the DEIB Manager at the Council for Relationships. With a passion for fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, Kimberly leads initiatives to create a more inclusive environment within CFR and the broader community. She brings extensive experience in human resources and organizational development, focusing on empowering marginalized communities.

Support CFR’s Mission to Advance Racial Equity in Therapy

Support CFR’s mission to advance racial equity in therapy by donating today. To request an appointment with one of CFR’s 85 therapists, specializing in individual, couples, family, and sex therapy, please visit our Therapy & Psychiatrist Directory.

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More Resources for Mental and Emotional Health

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