To all in our Community,
We are currently in a truly difficult stretch of time—a worldwide public health crisis has shifted our daily lives in ways we could have never imagined and caused immeasurable loss of life and livelihood. This pandemic has tested our nation and revealed deep divides—increasing political polarization, racism, anti-Asian backlash, and the disproportionate loss of life for people of color, especially Black and Native peoples.
And, in this past few weeks, we have been confronted with shocking racialized events—from murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor to the false accusation leveraged against Christian Cooper and most recently to the murder of George Floyd, which echoes the centuries-long record of deplorable treatment of African-Americans and people of color by some law enforcement officials across the country. In isolation, each of these events is enough to evoke anger, distress, and sorrow. Together they may indeed feel overwhelming, as is clear by the many protests across our nation. We want to say that we stand with you in solidarity.
The UC Berkeley Department of Psychology’s Climate and Equity committee and other members of our community will be working together to find ways to come together despite our distance, and to support one another during this difficult time. We urge you to look to those things that support your hopes and determination--whether seeking out those who inspire you, bringing light to acts that require justice, or finding small moments of peace and joy in the work you do and the people you surround yourself with. In the meantime, if you feel that the challenges are overwhelming, infuriating, dispiriting, or frightening, and you need a little extra support, we remind you of the mental health resources available at Berkeley. Here is information directly from Chancellor Carol Christ’s email:
- If you would like support, please contact UC Berkeley Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Counselors are available for phone and video counseling appointments. There are also new online self-help tools. Visit the CAPS website, call Counseling and Psychological Services at (510) 642-9494, or, when the Tang Center is closed, call the after-hours counseling line (855) 817-5667.
- In addition, Be Well at Work - Employee Assistance provides free confidential counseling and referrals for our faculty, staff, visiting scholars, and postdocs. To schedule an appointment with an Employee Assistance counselor, please contact (510) 643-7754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May you find some rest and respite. Be safe -- and again, please know, it is by coming together and using our collective voices and energy that we will promote change, we are in this together. Over the coming year, the Climate & Equity committee will also be thinking concretely about how our department can more directly and effectively promote social justice in our capacities as researchers, educators, and mentors. With that, we would like to leave you with a poem by Langston Hughes, “Let America be America Again”.
Climate & Equity Committee