This past week and the past few months have been among the most difficult times in many of our lives. Just as we were doing our best to get accustomed to the reality of living through a pandemic, we were faced with yet another violent tragedy with the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade that have left many of us heartbroken and wondering where we go from here. As individuals, we are struggling to find solace. Imagine being a girl during these times.
As our President & CEO Stephanie J. Hull has stated: “I cannot think of a better organization to be a part of in this moment. The work of Girls Inc. is of paramount importance right now, particularly the resources that we as a network can offer to help girls work through trauma brought about by loss, explicit and implicit bias, and outright systemic racism.”
The Girls Inc. Response
As we continue to experience the collective and unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 crisis and respond to events that highlight the brutality of systemic racism, many affiliates across the Girls Inc. network have taken steps to become more sensitive to the effects of trauma on the girls we serve, their families, and their communities. It is our organization’s priority to continue to build our competency in this area, to share learning across our network of Girls Inc. affiliates throughout Canada and the United States, and also to partner with other organizations and experts in the mental health and public health fields to cultivate practices that focus on positive youth development and incorporate trauma-informed practices.
In this moment we are compelled to share resources that provide guidance around trauma and that address the burden of racial trauma on the Black community:
- A new Girls Inc. trauma-informed resource for responding to racial injustice
- SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma Informed Approach, which introduces the concept of trauma and offers organizations a framework for becoming trauma-informed, which teachers, parents, and individuals may also find useful
- Racial Trauma is Real, a compilation of research and resources from the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture
Sensitivity & Support
The Girls Inc. Network continues exploring how to best raise awareness and understanding of trauma in order to support our girls and one another with sensitivity. This exploration will involve learning of promising practices from within our own network and integrating findings into all aspects of our work with girls, with the goal of sharing actionable resources and practical recommendations to our organization’s members at all levels as well as our wider network of mission supporters.