Exploring Racism

Holos Institute Explores Racism

Holos Institute is founded on principles of ecopsychology – a way of perceiving and living in the world that embraces a sense of the interconnectedness and inter-dependence of all beings. In our work as psychotherapists, we take into consideration how people are impacted by their experience of place and the communities that have shaped and continue to shape their experience. Our educational work intends to heal perceptions of separateness and to cultivate a safe sense of belonging. We take a systems approach to healing and seek reciprocity in our relationship to the natural world. Healthy systems flourish without the need for dominance but unwell systems breed discontent, hatred and violence. Diversity creates sustainable systems.

At Holos we are greatly troubled by the senseless brutality and disregard of human life that that has exploded into our consciousness. We are deeply saddened by the rampant racism that infiltrates all levels of our society and creates so much suffering, trauma and shame. We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and the push to emerge from the shadows of over 400 years of systemic racism. We see this as the primary virus of our country. We see the roots of this racism embedded in fear, hatred, greed and delusion that also fuels the degradation of environment and climate change. We are seeking psychological solutions in healing these poisonous roots. The roots of healing begins with radical self examination and will be uncomfortable.

Our staff is now in deep conversation and personal exploration around this, starting with a candid examination of our own inherent racism and white privilege as an organization and profession of mostly white people. We are taking time to read, listen, and educate ourselves more deeply on racism and economic and ecological injustices. In the coming months we will be extending programs to our community to help discover and educate on the roots of systemic racism and healing strategies we can devise together. We invite you to join us in this self-reflective process and take action to end systemic racism on all levels.

We hope that you will join us in re-examining your own roots of racism and take action to support ending systemic racism. This modest list of resources may help start you along these lines.  More will be posted on our website …

Resmaa Menakem is an author, therapist and trauma specialist who speaks eloquently of the trauma of blacks and the systemic impact on the nervous system.

Here he is  in conversation with Krista Tippett

His book, My Grandmother’s Hands, explores white supremacy in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.

Resmaa is  offering a free course to somatically abolish White Body Supremacy in the next 9 generations.

Dr. Larry Ward is a Buddhist teacher and activist in the lineage of Thich That Hanh and offers many teachings that address systemic racism and suffering. I am particularly moved by his intimate relationship with the nature world. This short video entitled, The Fires of Grief Are Burning  is a great introduction to his work.

~  Mutima Imani, social justice visionary, master trainer, and facilitator of the Work that Reconnects, Mutima also is a beloved teacher at Holos in our Ecopsychology Certificate Program. She recently gave this interview with The Shift Network.

Dr. Robin DiAngelo explains why white people implode when talking about race. In  White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism

The Sierra Club recently published this article by Hop Hopkins, Racism is Killing the Planet that is helpful in connecting the dots between racism and ecological destruction.

With kind regards,

Jan Edl Stein, MFT 

Director Holos Institute