Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ) calls counselors, counseling students, counselor educators, and mental health workers to actively engage in dismantling racialized violence of Black and Brown persons by police force and to fight for racial equity locally and nationally. We call you to action:
CALL your state Governors, Attorney Generals, Senators and Representatives, and your City Council Members, City Law Directors, and Mayors to express contempt for the continued senseless murders of Black and Brown persons at the hands of police officers and to advocate for police reform that includes immediate investigation and removal of officers who have acted outside the call of the badge via biases in speech and behavior.
CONNECT with local police agencies, school, and healthcare systems to offer counselor based training on multicultural competencies (e.g., addressing unconscious bias, cultural competence) and trauma-informed care.
COLLABORATE with local agencies and organizers who are fighting for sustainable change and racial justice. Partner in the community around education, action, and reform.
COMMUNICATE with clients, students, and colleagues about the justice system's failure to indict Breonna Taylor's murderers. Be willing and ready to ask for emotional responses- allow for and support feelings of anger, fear, and confusion. Provide space for clients, students, and colleagues to be heard, to feel supported, and to know you stand in solidarity with them.
CONTRIBUTE to bail funds and local organizing efforts in support of dismantling racist systems.
We want to hear the actions you are taking to dismantle racist systems in our nation and in your community. Share the actions you are taking to fight racial inequities and injustices locally and nationally using #Counselors4SocialJustice.
PREPARING TO CALL DECISION-MAKERS
Calling local and state decision-makers to voice your concerns and wishes is an active way to be a change agent for your community. Calling about the lack of indictment for Breonna Taylor’s murder will not bring her back to life. Calling may challenge current policies and develop new policies that can prevent future murders of Black and Brown neighbors and hold police officers accountable for their actions. Research your local and state decision-makers and prepare to make calls. To find your state contacts check out https://openstates.org/ . To find your local/city contacts, use online search tools to identify decsion-makers and contact information.
When you call:
Make certain you are focused and emotionally able to communicate your wishes to the listener. Being direct and polite positions your message to be heard well.
Make certain you know the name of the person(s) to whom you are calling. Be prepared to speak to administrative assistants or staffers who will take your message and share it with the decision-maker you are contacting.
If that happens, still communicate your wishes.
Write down the name of the admin or staffer. This can be helpful for future calls or written communication to the same office/decision-maker.
Know your script and develop specific talking points related to your investment in your city/state and how your unique experience as a counselor/counselor educator/mental health worker can benefit policy changes and implementation.
Hello. My name is ____________________ and I am a [COUNSELOR/COUNSELING STUDENT/COUNSELOR EDUCATOR/MENTAL HEALTH WORKER] residing in [CITY or STATE NAME].
I am calling to speak with _________. Are they available to hear my concerns at this time?
If yes, wait and speak directly to that decision-maker. Introduce yourself again and thank them for their time.
If no, ask with whom the message may be left and when your message will be communicated to the decision-maker. Express your plans to follow-up with that decision-maker as well.
I am calling to advocate for the adoption of Breonna’s Law in our [CITY or STATE] that would regulate no-knock warrants.
Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old Black female shot and killed in her home in Louisville, Kentucky by unnecessary police force.
If the officers would have knocked on Breonna’s door that night, she may very well still be alive today, but they didn’t.
The only indictment issued after a Black woman was shot and killed in her own home by police force was about the bullets that missed her!
In light of this horrendous situation and the lack of indictments of the police officers responsible for Breonna Taylor’s death, I want to make certain a travesty of this magnitude will not occur in our [CITY or STATE].
Additionally, I advocate for every police officer to wear and actively operate a body camera to ensure police officers are held to their ethical and legal expectations of the badge. Officers who have infractions related to unethical or biased statements or behaviors should be placed under investigation immediately and have their badges revoked.
As a [COUNSELOR/COUNSELING STUDENT/COUNSELOR EDUCATOR/MENTAL HEALTH WORKER] I advocate for greater training of our police force related to unconscious bias, cultural competence, and trauma-informed care.
I commit to…
continuing to CALL this office/decision-maker to ensure preventative action is taken.
CONNECT with our [CITY/STATE] decision-making processes focused on the development and implementation of policies that affect policing and safety of Black and Brown persons
COLLABORATE with local agencies fighting for racial justice and the dismantling of corrupt systems
COMMUNICATING with my Black and Brown students/clients ways they can process their legitimate fears around their safety and survival in our community
CONTRIBUTE to those fighting for justice through personal finances and time
In summary, I am advocating for the adoption of Breonna’s Law, for every officer to wear a body camera, for the immediate investigation and removal of officers acting unethically or illegally, and for greater unconscious bias and cultural competence training of our police force.
Thank you for taking my message today. What are the next steps to enacting sustainable changes and improvements to our local policing policies and the protection of Black and Brown neighbors?
Thank the listener for their time and hang up the phone.
Take a breath and make your next call! to another decision-maker. Great work!