Statement on Race in the U.S.

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 and threatens the 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 impact Black individuals and communities as well as other racial and ethnic minorities. Reactions 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 for increased unity or solidarity, empathy, and a heightened motivation to pursue social justice. In the aftermath of racist events, you may find yourself wondering how to handle your own reactions or how to assist others who have been impacted. Additionally, 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 serve as a safe support for students in their time at BGSU and beyond.  As a Counseling Center, 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 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.

Developed on September 1, 2015, page updated on 1/27/16

Gratefully adapted with permission from Texas Woman’s University Counseling Center and the University Counseling Center at the University of Utah.