Dear OP/RF community:
We, the Staff and Administration of Thrive Counseling Center believe that a statement from us about the Black Lives Matter movement is overdue and its importance is still very relevant. We want this statement and the ensuing conversation to be both meaningful and purpose-driven.
February is Black History Month which should serve to remind us that this country, our country, was built on the backs of millions of African Americans. We believe that the contributions and sacrifices of millions of African Americans deserve more than a cursory nod in the form of Black History Month once a year; we want to make it meaningful. We acknowledge and honor the contributions of the Black community and see this is an opportunity to join the conversation about the Black Lives Matter movement and how it has affected all of us.
We should never forget May 2020 when the centuries-long systemic injustices towards people of color were thrust into our collective consciousness with the death of George Floyd. We want everyone to know that conversations about what led us to this moment and what we can do to support our community of color have been happening here at Thrive.
We have formed a committee of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) on our staff, whose mission is to examine and address the ways in which we may have been complicit in systemic oppression and what we can and should be doing differently.
We hope to be recognized as a pioneering mental health provider in the Oak Park/River Forest community. We strive to be a provider of essential services that is aware of our responsibility to understand and support individuals and families who are struggling with the dual challenge of systemic racism and mental illness.
Thrive, like many other community-based organizations, is evaluating the shortfalls in our own individual and collective understanding of systemic racism and other forms of systemic violence. In August we began training our clinical staff to address specific issues that people of color face and the interlocking oppressions they experience. We are continuing to research best practice models of community service where mental health treatment and social justice are treated with equal importance. We value your trust in us and pledge we will strive to earn it.
We acknowledge this pandemic has caused additional hardship on Black, Indigenous, and other people of color and want the community to know that our agency is here for you.
Black Lives Matter. We know it to be true.
Please give us a call, we are here to help.