Civil rights activist, writer, and feminist Audre Lorde coined the term “self-care,” when she proclaimed, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Despite its diversity, the United States has been shaped by a long and entrenched history of racism, marginalization, and oppression. The intergenerational transmission of trauma and the systematic effects of intentional or unintentional racism across individual, institutional, and cultural levels can have significant psychological impacts. Helen A. Neville, a professor of Educational Psychology and African American Studies at UIUC, defines racial healing as the policies, actions, and practices which aid individuals and groups to live out their full potential in societies with a history of racial oppression (Towards a Psychological Framework of Radical Healing).
For people of color, self-care is a compassionate and practical way of working against the negative impacts of racism, marginalization and oppression. By prioritizing your wellness, joy and uniqueness you help change the narrative about who deserves to be taken care of and what is possible for yourself.
The Safe Place: Free smartphone app focused on psychoeducation and self-care for minority mental health, geared towards the Black community
Liberate: Free meditation app designed specifically for the BIPOC community and led by BIPOC teachers
Racial Trauma Guide: Virtual guide on coping with racial stressors and being an ally, developed by the EMPOWER (Engaging Minorities in Prevention Outreach Wellness Education & Research) Lab