ACES Statement of Solidarity
Drafted by the ACES Human Rights and Social Justice Committee under the leadership of Dr. Harvey Peters
Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) hold great material and symbolic weight in the fight against white supremacy and racism in the United States. Over the past two weeks and during Black History month, several acts of violence, hate, and terror occurred across the United States. At least nineteen historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) are known to have received bomb threats. These HBCUs included: Albany State University, Alcorn State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Edward Waters University, Fort Valley State University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Kentucky State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Morgan State University, Philander Smith College, Rust College, Spelman College, Southern University and A&M College, University of the District of Columbia, and Xavier University of Louisiana. These acts of violence are rooted in white supremacy and the devaluing of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) lives and deeply ingrained in U.S. history. The threatening and murdering of BIPOC persons are well documented in the history of HBCUs and higher education. These acts continue to threaten the safety, wellness, and education of Black and other racially and ethnically minoritized communities across the U.S.
The harmful events over the past two weeks reflect the need for counselors, counselor educators, and supervisors to continue disrupting racism across all ecological levels. Societal and professional attention concerning the violence and structural oppression faced by BIPOC communities is dwindling (see know their names). Accordingly, counselors, counselor educators, and supervisors must remain steadfast, vigilant, and active in countering these oppressive and violent acts across their professional roles, responsibilities, and contexts. The recent and ongoing violence serves as a reminder to provide long-overdue support, protections, and changes grounded in resilience and anti-racism.
It is essential that professional counselors be prepared to support BIPOC persons and communities as they continue the long journey of surviving, processing, and healing from the countless acts of harm and violence they endure. The recent acts of violence are not isolated. Rather, they build on the traumatic events of 2020 and 2021 and increase the burden of intergenerational trauma. Counselors need to consider the impact of these events and their influence on the refuge and space HBCUs provide to BIPOC students, families, and communities, including counselor education and supervision programs, clinical sites, and organizations.
ACES calls for its members remain faithful to their commitment to anti-racist advocacy, andragogy, and supervision. Below members can find resources that can support the continued learning and actions strategies to better serve, protect, and advocate with and on behalf of HBCUs and BIPOC persons and communities.
Branco, S. F., & Jones, C. T. (2021). Supporting black, indigenous, and people of color counselors: Considerations for counselor skills training and practice. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 43(4), 281-300. https://doi.org/10.17744/mehc.43.4.01
Fleming, C. M., Womack, V. Y., & Proulx, J. (Eds.). (2022). Beyond White Mindfulness: Critical Perspectives on Racism, Well-being and Liberation. Routledge.
Green, D. A., & Evans, A. M. (2021). Undue police violence toward African Americans: An analysis of professional counselors’ training and perceptions. Journal of Counseling and Development, 99(4), 363-371. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12389
Green, D. A., Williams, B. A., & Park, K. (2021). Crisis counseling for Black Llves Matter protests. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 43(3), 198-211. https://doi.org/10.I7744/mehc.43.3.03
Harris, P. C., Hines, E, &Mayes, R. D. (2021) “Introduction to the Special Issue: Anti-Racist Counselor Education,” Teaching and Supervision in Counseling: Vol. 3 : Iss. 2 , Article 1. https://doi.org/10.7290/tsc030201
Pieterse, A. L., Utsey, S. O., & Miller, M. J. (2016). Development and initial validation of the anti-racism behavioral inventory (ARBI). Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 29(4), 356-381. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2015.1101534
Singh, A. A. (2019). The racial healing handbook: Practical activities to help you challenge privilege, confront systemic racism & engage in collective healing. New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Washington, A. R., & Henfield, M. S. (2019). What do the AMCD multicultural and social justice counseling competencies mean in the context of black lives matter? Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 47(3), 148-160. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmcd.12138
Williams, J. M., Byrd, J. A., & Washington, A. R. (2021). Challenges in implementing antiracist pedagogy into counselor education programs: A collective Self‐Study. Counselor Education and Supervision, 60(4), 254-273. https://doi.org/10.1002/ceas.12215