A Statement Against Racism

The past week has been gut wrenching. Words can’t even being to adequately describe what black children, families, and communities are going through right now.

At Center for Child Counseling, the foundation of our mission is working with our partners to build healthier, safer, more nurturing families and communities — where all children have the opportunity to thrive. To truly achieve this mission, we must address the trauma and deep pain related to systemic racism.

Our black families and communities are in pain. And, although the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others are currently placing a much-needed spotlight on systemic racism in our country, this pain has been a part of black families and communities for generations.

As we struggle with racism, compounded by grief and loss from the pandemic, trauma is at the front and center. For young children, these experiences are scary and leave a lasting impression. The current state of the world does not make our young black and brown children feel the safety they should. They deserve to feel safe and protected, especially by those in authority. Until we get to the root of systemic racism, many issues will remain unresolved in our society, especially the mental health of our children.

At this time, we have the unique opportunity to learn by deepening our self-awareness, listening, confronting our biases so we can add value and become a part of the solution. Recently, I found words in a New York Times article that resonated with me: “We must begin to transform the concept of resilience from an individual trait to one that describes a community — and society — that cares for everyone. Rather than hoping a child is tough enough to endure the insurmountable, we must build resilient places — healthier, safer, more nurturing and just — where all children can thrive. This is where prevention and healing begin.” So much of what we do in mental health focuses on ‘fixing’ the child or family. As mental health experts and leaders in our community, we must be advocates for changing the systems that keep problems and community trauma in place. We must be vocal about how racism impacts the mental health of our black and brown children throughout their lifespan. We must create safe places for children to express themselves and heal.

We will not be silent about the impact of racism on children’s mental health and well-being. Today, and every day, Center for Child Counseling stands with our friends, partners, and nonprofit organizations around Palm Beach County and the nation to speak out against racism. We adhere to the Diversity-Informed Tenets for work with infants, children and families. I encourage our staff, partners, and community to speak up and take peaceful, determined action to push for positive change at a systemic level so our children can grow up free from racism and free from the fear of losing their loved ones.

Renée Layman, President & CEO
Center for Child Counseling


Talking with Our Kids About Race

Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup

The National Museum of African American History and Culture—Talking About Race
This online portal helps families, individuals, and communities talk about racism and commit to being antiracist.

Color of Change—Sign a Petition to End Violent Policing Against Black People
Sign this petition calling for the end of police violence against Black people.

Black Futures Lab
The Black Futures Lab transforms Black communities into active, interdependent, responsive public partners that change the way power operates—at the local, state, and national level.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.

Color of Change:11 Things To Do Besides Say ‘This Has To Stop’ In The Wake Of Police Brutality  
– Brittany Wong

Zero to Three: Resource to Talk to Young Children About Racism

Sesame Street: Standing Up to Racism Town Hall for Families and Children

Anti-Racism Resources
– Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein

How Racism Makes Us Sick
– David R. Williams

Structural Racism is a Public Health Crisis
– Kesha Moore

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