Los Angeles Chapter  California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Los Angeles Chapter — CAMFT

LA-CAMFT Member Article

07/31/2020 8:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

Past President

LA-CAMFT Roundtable:
Anti-racism as a Movement, Not a Moment
Sunday, August 23rd from 12 pm to 3 pm

How do we move forward from the moment Breonna Taylor was murdered, from the moment Ahmaud Arbery was killed and from the moment George Floyd stopped breathing? These tragic moments of their lives are heavy and full of grief. These moments are too many. The weight of these moments upon moments, deaths upon deaths have created cracks in a system of injustice that perpetuates racism, prejudice, discrimination and police brutality. These moments have shone a light upon the white supremacy, hate and racism that is running rampant through our country. 

So many of us are asking ourselves, what do we do now? How do we move forward? Some people are protesting police brutality and educating themselves about white fragility. Others are posting on social media to spotlight Black-owned businesses and mental health resources for the Black community. And there are those who are having difficult conversations about systemic racism and inequality with their family, friends and strangers. 

Just as you may be asking yourself these questions or taking these actions, LA-CAMFT is also trying to figure out how to move forward during this time. LA-CAMFT has consciously been working toward cultural competency and exploring the organization's own structural racism with the development of the Diversity Committee in 2017. The committee was born out of necessity to address the lack of ethnic and racial diversity within the organization's leadership and membership.

To address these issues, over the last 3 years the Diversity Committee worked to increase outreach to community mental health agencies and graduate schools; increased representation and support of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian therapists within LA-CAMFT leadership and membership; consciously developed a speaker series that is more balanced in representing diversity; developed workshops that highlight issues that impact underrepresented communities and people; developed a support group for therapists of color to explore and process their lived experience as a person of color in the field of mental health; and expanded resources and events to the broader Los Angeles area.

LA-CAMFT and its Diversity Committee is proud of the work they have accomplished over the last 3 years and they know that this is only the beginning toward healing and growth. With the tragic moments at hand, LA-CAMFT is aware of the fact that they cannot address diversity and inclusion without actively addressing racism. 

This is where we need your help. LA-CAMFT’s Diversity Committee is hosting a roundtable discussion entitled: “Anti-racism as a Movement, not a Moment” on Sunday, August 23rd from 12pm to 3pm. The Zoom roundtable will be facilitated by members of the Diversity Committee and will include small breakout sessions to discuss topics in more detail. This roundtable will be a catalyst for additional workshops, panels and events. 

It is time to speak louder and more directly about racism, discrimination and the impact it has on the lives and mental health of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian people. As an essential member of our community, your voice is needed in order to propel these tragic moments into a sustained movement. 

“I want to discourage you from choosing anything or making any decision simply because it is safe. Things of value seldom are.” — Toni Morrison

Christina Castorena, MS, LMFT, worked in community mental health before starting her private practice, Castorena Therapeutic Services, in 2016. She passionately serves adults, couples, and members of the LGBTQ+ community who are dealing with life transitions, parenting, relational conflicts, and anxiety. She employs family systems and mindfulness-based CBT. As past president of LA-CAMFT, Christina strongly advocates for her professional community and celebrates the hard-working clinicians who facilitate healing. Christina Castorena may be contacted at castorenatherapeutic.com.

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