Social Justice and Advocacy
Racism continues to be pervasive in our society and can take many forms. It can be seemingly subtle or quite overt. It is evident in discriminatory behaviors, hate crimes, microaggressions, and systemic oppression. Recent national events have demonstrated examples of how racist acts can disconnect communities, separating groups of people due to stereotypes, prejudices, and privilege. As a campus community, racism impacts us all by threatening our learning environment, personal safety and respect for one another.
We, the members of the Bowling Green State University Counseling Center staff, believe that it is important to recognize the systemic racism and oppression that impacts people of color and our communities. Reaction among those who have witnessed, observed, and/or experienced acts of racism can vary markedly. Responses may include sadness, fear, outrage, a sense of helplessness, disbelief, and a feeling of endangerment; as well as a desire to do something in reaction to these events. You may have questions and concerns about difficult topics, such as racism, systemic discrimination, oppression, white privilege, guns, policing, violence, protests, riots, social justice, mental health and more. We want you to know that we are available as a resource for you, and we are dedicated to helping foster a climate that is safe and affirming for all students on campus and within the community.
The BGSU Counseling Center believes that it is important to name, speak out, and speak up in response to racist acts. As a staff committed to promoting the wellbeing of BGSU’s students, we will continue to evaluate how we can best serves as a safe support for students in their time on campus and beyond. We want to engage in and support continued dialogue about how to facilitate positive change in race relations on both an individual and systemic level. The BGSU Counseling Center is one of several resources that are available to students to discuss their reactions, experiences, and thoughts about race relations in the United States. We encourage you to seek safe people and spaces to identify and process your own reactions. Other resources include:
- BGSU Office of Multicultural Affairs
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Developed on September 1, 2015, page updated on 2/07/18
Gratefully adapted with permission from Texas Woman’s University Counseling Center and the University Counseling Center at the University of Utah.
We, the members of the Bowling Green State University Counseling Center staff, grieve for those tragic events in which African Americans and others have lost their lives in encounters with law enforcement officials. We also acknowledge that violence against police is tragic and hope that we can collectively work together to prevent such tragedies. We recognize that reactions to these loses as well as reactions from those who have witnessed, observed, and/or experienced acts of racism can vary markedly. Responses may include, sadness, fear, outrage, a sense of helplessness, disbelief, and a feeling of endangerment, as well as a desire for increased unity or solidarity, empathy, and a heightened motivation to pursue social justice. As information on these tragic events continue to unfold we encourage those that are struggling to seek safe supportive spaces to process their feelings and experiences. We want you to know that we are available as a resource for you, and we are dedicated to helping foster a climate that is safe and affirming for all students on campus and within the community.
Please visit for additional resources.
Happy Pride Month! This is a time for celebration of our LGBTQ+ identities and the significant contributions the members of our community have made. It is also an opportunity to honor, acknowledge, and educate ourselves about LGBTQ+ history.
LGBTQ+ culture and history are not typically passed down from generation to generation in the same way that may occur in families regarding country of origin, religion, language, food, and other forms of cultural knowledge and values. For this reason, it is important that we celebrate our LGBTQ+ community and our shared history, especially during Pride Month. In a time of political strife and polarized views, we at the Counseling Center hope to build a loving community for all LGBTQ+ identities. We also acknowledge and celebrate the activism work done by transgender women of color whose work paved the way for the gay rights movement. If you’d like to know more about this history, here are a few links you might find helpful:
All of us at the BGSU Counseling Center are committed to providing affirming care. In addition to the Counseling Center, the BGSU LGBTQ+ Resource Center is another great resource for our queer-identified students. Their website can be found at: https://www.bgsu.edu/equity-diversity-and-inclusion/lgbt-resource-center.html
“I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists”
- President Barak Obama
We, the members of the Bowling Green State University Counseling Center staff, are deeply concerned about how the rescinding of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is adversely impacting many members of our campus community. What we know is that 72% of DACA recipients are in higher education. The national debate over DACA is causing psychological harm, including anxiety, depression and isolation that directly effects the lived experiences of BGSU Dreamers and their families and loved ones. We encourage all students, staff and faculty to examine how they can best help those impacted including providing supportive spaces, helping to provide access to resources and keeping in mind the real consequences of this decision on our learning community.
We value all students because of the richness that diverse perspectives and experiences bring. We want BGSU Dreamers to know that we are available as a resource for you, and we are dedicated to helping foster a climate that is safe and affirming for ALL students on campus and within the community.
Below are a few website resources available:
In an effort to promote unity and an appreciation for diversity on campus and in the surrounding community, we would like to express our empathy and support. The BGSU Counseling Center wants to acknowledge a range of reactions to recent local and national events including excitement, joy, relief, fear, sadness, anger, dread, hopelessness, anxiety, and numbness. You may find yourself within a circle of friends or classmates who do not share the same reactions as you. These interactions may evoke strong emotions and questions and may intensify your reactions. In addition, some of you may have concerns about going home for the break and how to manage these feelings and reactions.
We are here to listen in a nonjudgmental manner. If you are struggling with the personal impact, tone of the discussions, or if you are experiencing negative treatment, threats or more subtle forms of oppression because of your race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, political affiliation, country of origin or other aspect of your identity, please utilize our walk-in services if you wish to start engaging in services (M-F 1:30-4pm, 104 College Park). Also, we always have a counselor available in case of an emergency. These services are available during the break as well (except for holidays).
The BGSU Counseling Center provides a safe space for discussions on identity, empowerment, and intercultural competency. As this may be a highly emotional time, we recommend several strategies to care for yourself and help you remain productive throughout finals week and into next semester:
Acknowledge your feelings: check your emotional state before you engage in conversations. Are you in a space to dialogue?
Focus on tasks or events that are in your control
Connect with friends, family, a community, or safe space to ground and support you
Focus on the present and shifting away from the future focus
Monitor your media use—check your reactions before and after taking in the information; set time limits
Opt out of unproductive conversations. Pay attention to whether the discussion is going to benefit anyone or just increase stress levels
Take care of basic needs such as eating, sleeping, drinking water, playing, and laughing. Incorporate activities that recharge you and relax you every day.
Volunteer for an organization that supports your values and interests on or off campus
Utilize self-care apps such as Breathe2Relax (iPhone, Android); Mindshift (iphone, Android); Stop, Breathe, Think (iPhone, Android); Headspace (iPhone, Android); Virtual Hope Box (iPhone, Android)