June 4, 2020

Racism: A Pervasive Form of Trauma

We are living through painful times that increasingly have confronted us with the fragility of life. The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic now has been compounded by widespread sorrow and anger throughout our nation over the senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others.

The Center for Child & Family Health joins all those who are saying their names to affirm their precious humanity, grieve their deaths, demonstrate a commitment to justice, and reject the racism that deprived them of life and liberty. We also commit ourselves to acknowledging and opposing racism and inequity wherever we encounter it, not only in the larger systems and communities where we work, but also within our own assumptions and habits as an organization.

In living out this commitment, we are motivated and guided by our knowledge and experience related to trauma, especially as it shapes the lives of children and families. Both the legacy of historical racism and the current manifestations of structural racism are significant sources of traumatic stress for individuals and communities. We believe this recognition is essential if we are ever to see CCFH’s vision – every child loved, nurtured, and safe – fully and equitably realized in our society, and we will continue to do our part alongside our peers to increase understanding and awareness of this pervasive form of trauma.

Robert A. Murphy, PhD
Executive Director, Center for Child and Family Health