DIVERSITY • EQUITY • INCLUSION
Empowering Change in Our Community
Across the nation, people of all backgrounds are experiencing a time in which discussions about race, bigotry, and culture are at the forefront of their everyday lives. Many people tend to avoid these discussions because they fear the unknown and uncomfortable feelings that arise.
Simply put, the effect of racism and racial trauma on substance abuse is real and cannot be ignored. A study published by Purdue University about the links between racial mistreatment and substance abuse found that 90% of those surveyed reported daily discrimination. Beyond that, there is a large disparity in access to treatment for communities of color. Actionable steps need to be taken to change these facts.
NJPN realizes these are difficult times, and encourage you to check in with your loved ones and neighbors. To be mindful of their pain and any racial trauma, as you continue to provide support and care. We are providing a list of healing resources that can be useful for yourself, providers and anyone else as you see fit.
Healing Racial Trauma
Discrimination and social pressures play a significant role in substance use within communities of color. Below are a variety of resources intended to help heal racial trauma.
"Raising a (White) Anti-Racist Kid Wisdom, Hopes, Dreams, & Wishes from Mothers (and those that love like mothers) of Color"
Understanding the history of racial injustice and talking about it can be very difficult. Below are a variety of articles, videos, podcasts, and other resources which can provide insight on these important topics and help inspire actionable change.
Anti-Racism Resources for White People
Currently, Black Americans are at a higher risk of substance use disorders being characterized as a criminal issue rather than medical issue. In fact, the American Addiction Centers reported that even though “African Americans make up (only) 12.5% of illicit drug users,” a staggering 33% of those incarcerated for drugs are African American. The report also states that African American Americans are less likely to recover from drug and alcohol use even after treatment because our current recovery options are not set up to meet this particular population’s needs. Staffing is too white. Resources do not address the African American population’s unique life experiences or mental health needs.
Anti-Racism Work in Recovery Spaces
This guided resource is to help address certain phrases (e.g., “I don’t see color”) or viewpoints (e.g., “I can’t be racist because my husband/wife/child/etc. is black”) that can still perpetuate racist ideologies in spaces. There are activities, podcasts, videos, articles, and books to look at and read. There are also specific resources at the bottom for the Christian Community towards the end of the document.
Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
Steps need to be taken in order to close the gaps on the link between discrimination and substance abuse as well as the disparity of access to treatment in communities of color. Below you'll find guides, toolkits, action plans, and other resources on how to reduce hate and create a more equitable world.
Beyond Diversity: A Roadmap to Building an Inclusive Organization
The Institute’s mission is to empower New Jersey residents to realize and achieve their full potential. Established in 1999 by Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein, the Institute is known for its dynamic and independent advocacy aimed at toppling load-bearing walls of structural inequality to create just, vibrant, and healthy communities.
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
The National Association of Social Workers: New Jersey Chapter has provided a list of recommended readings related to the topic of racism.
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a refreshing approach that will radically reorient America on the urgent issues of race, justice, and equality.
Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
In his memoir, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science--including the story of his own awakening to antiracism--bringing it all together in a cogent, accessible form. He begins by helping us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and our most intimate personal relationships (including beliefs about race and IQ and interracial social relations) and reexamines the policies and larger social arrangements we support. How to Be an Antiracist promises to become an essential book for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.
"How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi (2019)
“One of the most influential books of the last 20 years.”
—Chronicle of Higher Education
“Two years after Obama’s election, Alexander put the entire criminal justice system on trial, exposing racial discrimination from lawmaking to policing to the denial of voting rights to ex-prisoners. This bestseller struck the spark that would eventually light the fire of Black Lives Matter.”
—Ibram X. Kendi, The New York Times
“[The New Jim Crow] transformed forever the way thinkers and activists view the phenomenon of mass incarceration.”
"The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander (2010)
White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress. Although white racial insulation is somewhat mediated by social class (with poor and working class urban whites being generally less racially insulated than suburban or rural whites), the larger social environment insulates and protects whites as a group through institutions, cultural representations, media, school textbooks, movies, advertising, and dominant discourses. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar. In turn, whites are often at a loss for how to respond in constructive ways., as we have not had to build the cognitive or affective skills or develop the stamina that that would allow for constructive engagement across racial divides. leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This book explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice.
"White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo (2018)
Research shows that sexual minorities are at greater risk for substance use disorders compared to those who identify as heterosexual. With discrimination, limited services, and societal pressure playing contributing roles in high addiction rates for LGBTQ+ individuals, actionable change is needed to ensure better access to care and treatment. Below are a variety of organizations and resources which support and uplift the LGBTQ+ community.