Thoughts on Charlottesville

Thoughts on Charlottesville


It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything. I’ve been tackling some big projects this summer and needed to come up for some air.

Also, recent events have prompted me to say a few things, mostly about what to do in the midst of the chaos that occurred on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.




Now, as a rule I generally don’t discuss politics with my clients, however, this display of hatred goes beyond politics and pours itself into the spaces of what it means to be human, which is something that I do talk about openly with those that come through my door.






Here are some of the things that I often hear:

“…this is scary….”

“…I had no idea racism was so prevalent….”

“…I feel helpless…”

This last statement is especially troubling for me, as helplessness starts to root itself into fear and causes one to cease moving. Helplessness is defined as: the inability to defend oneself or to act effectively.

Well, I am in the practice of striving for effective. I believe in accomplishing a purpose. So helplessness and fear and being frozen…these are words that can trap you.

Here is a really great response guide by the Southern Poverty Law Center that had a ton of information to consider and may help you tackle the challenges of overcoming helplessness:

1o Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide

Over the past couple of years, I have worked with a lot of people in trauma, both practitioners and victims of trauma, and here are some basic things that may also help you:

1.) Seeking the advice of a trained therapist. Especially if you are a victim of a hate crime. 

There is such stigma in our world against seeking council for our mental well-being. In my psychology classes, entire quarters were spent just on unwinding parts of the maze that has become our current mindset regarding mental health.

During a difficult period of my life, I was given the name of a practitioner by one of my professors. It has been a few years since that time and I still love working with her. She was also sensitive to my financial circumstances and gave me an affordable student rate. You may want to start by asking your trusted friends if they know anyone. There are a lot of resources and the best thing about it is that YOU get to make the decision. You are the one that gets to shop around and make the most informed choice.

2.) Read; Be informed.

Read, read, read. Most of the texts I read for my undergrad were about topics on racism, appropriation, and the mishandling of cultural information via the arts. It was eye-opening and humbling. Here are 2 lists that Huffington Post put together:

16 Books About Race That Every White Person Should Read

12 Essential Books About Race in America


3.) Find a local organization that speaks to you; Get involved.

I chose Yoga Behind Bars, a Washington State, non-profit organization made up of tireless and passionate people who go into prisons and detention centers to teach yoga. They also have events that are posted on their website for speakers and fundraisers. Currently, they are endeavoring to raise funds to try and create programs that will become national. Recently, NowThis Media made a video that went viral! If each person who viewed the video donated $1, they would have raised millions! As it stands, they are at $16,023 and are looking to raise a total of $80,000.

4.) Support people in Charlottesville 

There are currently some organizations that are centered here, such as the Charlottesville Chapter of the NAACP or Charlottesville Pride.

I also found a brief article that has a few of these organizations listed out for you.

My aim in writing this blog is to offer some support in making informed decisions that will help you navigate this alarming time in history. As a person of color and the daughter of an immigrant, I feel strongly about these things. I welcome other suggestions from the community and hope that even in the darkest of times, we strive to become our higher selves. On Monday, August 21st, all of North America will bear witness to a total solar eclipse. I looked up the word eclipse and here is one meaning:

Eclipse (n)

  1. an obscuring of the light from one celestial body by the passage of another between it and the observer or between it and its source of illumination

What a poignant definition for these times.

In Good Health,

Jessica Chung