MARYLAND ASSOCIATION FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER ISSUES IN COUNSELING
MALGBTIC Presidential Statement June 3, 2020
As you may be aware, our national organization has had a long history of addressing the evolving language of the communities we serve by changing its name. In response to the changing climate and work over the last two years, and after ACA approval in April 2020, ALGBTIC is very excited to announce their official name change:
Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE).
SAIGE will be reaching out to branches soon to help support them with the process of changing the subdivision’s name, i.e., MALGBTIC. Essentially, it will be a 2-year process, and they will offer support to branches and also offer a new logo based on the national division logo with our specific branch’s name. They will also be providing support surrounding bylaw revision as well.
On a separate note, personally in terms of my energy right now, I’m just exhausted.
One intrinsic fact that surges the ethos of our work is that no person is expendable, and no portion of our community does not belong to us. When assessing the health, safety, and prosperity of our collective demands, acknowledge the pain, fear, and disillusionment that exist for our families, friends, colleagues, and the communities we serve. One thing is for sure; we should not be the same after the events of recent months. The coronavirus pandemic has introduced a global health crisis, unlike any other in the past hundred years. That, coupled with the escalated fight for racial and social equity, manifest what many have felt for some time: our systems are marred, our nation is imperiled, and our community is vulnerable.
We watched and listened to the unforgettable pleas of George Floyd as he appealed for the most fundamentally essential element of human needs — breath — as a Minneapolis police officer with indifferent cruelty kneeled on his neck. We witnessed the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery by white butchers in Brunswick, GA, whom appreciatively evaded the consequence of their actions until the video surfaced and sparked national outrage. We grappled the agony of Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend as he painstakingly called 9-1-1 after ununiformed Louisville police kicked down the door of their home and shot her eight times as she slept in her bed. We again observed the weaponizing of race by a white woman who pantomimed fear in calling the police on Christian Cooper, a Black gay man bird-watching in Central Park. Lest we forget Tony McDade, a trans man, shot and killed by police last week in Tallahassee, Florida where police approached him as a suspect in a stabbing that had taken place earlier in the day, and the police chief reported that “the suspect was in possession of a handgun, and a bloody knife was found at the scene”, yet Facebook videos taken by witnesses disprove this. We looked on as a Black college basketball player was detained by police in Ohio on Friday during a peaceful protest. The world watched on Friday as CNN’s Omar Jiminez was arrested for following the rule and doing his job. We gawked as the police in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, smashed the car windows and slashed the tires of two students as they were dragged out of their car, cuffed and arrested after being brutally tased trying to leave a protest site, causing one of the victims to have epileptic seizures on live television.
All of these incidents are stark reminders of why we must speak out when hate, violence, and systemic racism claim — too often with impunity — Black Lives.
The death of George Floyd may be culminating event to have led to worldwide protest, but it does not and must not separate nor overshadow from deep undulations that have always been just beneath the surface: economic and social inequality, inconsistent accountability in law enforcement, a glaring absence of a moral compass in the White House, an exaggerated use of military force in domestic situations, and rhetoric that recalls violence against people of color in this country. It is a palimpsest of racism in this country.
BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!
MALGBTIC, as an organization, has declared and embraced our mutuality with immigrants and undocumented among other communities, and we recognize how racism and xenophobia continue to endanger too many. We strongly denounce racism, bullying, and hate in all its forms towards our family and friends in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. We unapologetically denounce the senseless and barbaric killings and abuses of power and person towards Black and Brown people living in an overabundance of systemic inequities. Will the progeny of systematic and generational hate and violence be our birthright as a nation? Are we satisfied with that outcome? We must reconcile who we claim to be with who we really are and hope to become.
Black lives matter—especially in this moment.
For our allies and accomplices, I would like to provided you with some resources if you'd like to get educated on this.
I strongly recommend that you read the book by Angie Thomas and then watch the movie called The Hate You Give.
Other books that I recommend you add to your plethora of knowledge include:
And for those who question how the Black Lives Matter movement relates to the LGBTQ+ movement, let me direct you to CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR: A Rainbow in Black: The Gay Politics of the Black Panther Party, which highlights how the Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton called for full participation of the gay liberation movement and the women’s liberation movement
I am thankful for real allies, who understand that this is not the time to center their own experiences. If you have a friend of color, hop on zoom and provide space for them to talk to you about what they're going through, and ask for their recommendations and actually listen. Listen to understand, not to respond.
We need an omnipresent notion of radical inclusion: a deep-seated and profound recognition that inclusion and equity cannot exist in the absence of justice, empathy, compassion, and truth.
During this time, we all must understand that all lives don’t matter until Black Lives Matter.
Exhaustively, Proudly, and Unapologetically Black,
Sergio, Washington, MS
MCA President Statement - June 3, 2020
The Maryland Counseling Association mourns the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee and the countless others who have died due to state sanctioned violence. The pain, grief and trauma is cumulative, indescribable and unrelenting. This is a call-in to every member of our community.
It is important that we grieve the loss of life and center our Black community members’ needs, experiences and voices and engage in anti-racism work. We must challenge white supremacy and the systemic racism and oppressive systems that perpetuate injustice. Maryland Counseling Association stands in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
When I was elected as the President of the Maryland Counseling Association, I signed up to represent all counselors in the state and to advocate for effective, accessible, and culturally competent care for all clients and communities we serve. Today, we are addressing the egregious acts of violence against our Black community members.
As Counselors we have a responsibility to serve as advocates and allies, not in name but in action. We must proactively work to address our implicit bias and privilege. We must also use our voice to disrupt the narratives that contribute to discrimination, dehumanization of Black people in media and the decolonization of therapy. Race-base trauma and cumulative loss (of safety, of life, of justice) is wreaking havoc on the mental and physical wellness of members of our Black and BIPOC communities.
We call on elected officials in the State of Maryland to denounce the killing of Black people by the police and pledge to partner with Black leaders in our community and local government to dismantle and eradicate anti-Black systems, policies and policing. Additionally, a commitment from state and local governments to invest in systems that expand mental health services, mental health parity, addictions
We call on the American Counseling Association to identify and partner with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) counseling students, faculty, practitioners, and staff to intentionally create a strategy to incorporate multicultural and social justice counseling in teaching, supervision and across professional leadership trainings.
We call on non-BIPOC counselors, students, faculty, staff and community members to listen, educate yourself and actively engage in anti-racism work. Donate your time and money to support causes that repair, restore and enhance the lives of BIPOC communities. Engage in the uncomfortable but necessary dialogue about race and privilege with your friends, and family. Advocate for reform in policies that
The mission of the Maryland Counseling Association is to promote public confidence, and trust in the counseling profession and to influence policies that affect professional counselors and the welfare of the diverse clients they serve. MCA supports professional counselors and counselors-in-training through a variety of professional development opportunities and support services.
Dr. Ajita M. Robinson
Resources and ways to contribute to help support BIPOC communities:
National Museum of African American History and Culture has a collection of resources to help you explore issues of race and have the conversation with your peers, family, children, and community.
Shawna Murray-Browne, LCSW-C is a local therapist who is offering a webinar Decolonizing Your Therapy. Attend and donate.
Locate your local representative and write to them or call the office and share your concerns about social justice matters.
Reclaim the Block fighting to reallocate city funds from police departments to other parts of the budget, including community safety and public health
Resources such as books, podcast, articles on anti-racism work has been compiled here
Dear SAIGE Members,
As I write to you today, I know that we are all experiencing the continued injustice and oppression that surrounds us. Trauma and loss are incredibly salient right now. As we care for our clients’ and students’ mental health, we are on our own battlegrounds. We continue to fight anti-LGBTQ legislature in numerous states, as our basic human rights continue to be threatened. COVID-19 is taking away friends and family – and disproportionately so our black and brown siblings and those with health disabilities. We saw our Asian siblings being harassed during this global pandemic. Physical distancing has also taken a toll on our mental health. And in the midst of all of this, we watched another Black sibling, George Floyd, cry out and be murdered by those who are meant to protect us. Days later, we lost another trans sibling of color, Tony McDade, who was misgendered and deadnamed in much of the mainstream media coverage. We are tired. We are angry. We are sad. We are weary.
But, we are not broken. As Queer and Trans people with our allies, we have always been at the forefront of social justice change. As Bayard Rustin fought with Martin Luther King Jr., as Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera fought at Stonewall, as Mike Petrelis and ACT UP fought for our queer siblings during the HIV crisis, each of us – everyday – fight against the message that we are less than, that we are not of value, that we should not have equal rights. We fight every day to be our authentic selves and to be accepted and celebrated by our families and communities. We are educators, we are counselors and mental health professionals, we are activists and protestors. We love deeply and we fight for ourselves and others.
We are on the precipice of massive social change. But we cannot make these changes, if we do not support each other. Oppression of any person needs to be seen as an oppression of all of us. I have faced my share of oppression and trauma. But, as a light-skinned two-spirited bisexual woman, I have never faced police brutality. But I see and hear my black and brown siblings who experience this every day. I have never faced overt job discrimination and violence for my affectional identity or gender, but I see my trans siblings, especially trans women of color, that face this reality every day. This is not the world that we want – for ourselves or for our children.
As our SAIGE Board voted to adopt ACA’s statement, we processed how we are personally struggling, how we are continuing to fight against this injustice, and supporting each other. My friend Cory Viehl and SAIGE President-Elect said, “We owe it to those lost, those who continue to suffer, to change this.” This statement resonated with my soul – yes, we are tired and sad and worn down. But we do not have to go into this fight alone. We do it together with the spirit of our ancestors who fought against injustice, with the spirit of those who we have lost, and with those living who continue to be oppressed.
So, I am asking all of you – please keep listening to our siblings of color and to those who are experiencing oppression, discrimination and violence. Check in on them. Keep supporting them. Ask them what we can do to help them as individuals. Listen more and do not ask them to help educate you – our siblings of color are in pain – they are not responsible for educating us on how to fight racism within ourselves and with others. Keep educating yourself and others. Look at how racism and discrimination has been built into each of our psyches by society and actively acknowledge and work towards dismantling and healing these biases within ourselves. Stop and disrupt conversations filled with unawareness, ignorance, racism, sexism and cissexism, heterosexism and all of our colonized biases that tell us that certain people are of less value. Keep loving. Keep fighting. Keep protesting. Keep living our legacy as leaders of social justice change.
SAIGE is with you and we see you. SAIGE will support you and fight beside you. We endorse the ACA Statement included below. We are joining with AMCD and CSJ to provide spaces of community, education, and healing for counselors in the upcoming months. Attached is a flyer of an upcoming AMCD webinar being held tomorrow and a statement from CSJ with additional important events. Later in June, our Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) committee will also be holding a Zoom Meeting to hold space for our QTPOC siblings to connect, process, and receive support from our organization. Our trustee of Multicultural & Social Justice concerns will be reaching out with that information soon. We will also make our members aware of other events as they are planned.
Please continue to take care of yourself and stay connected to us and each other. In our current experiences, I am reminded of this quote by Janet Mock, “Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power - not because they don't see it, but because they see it and they don't want it to exist." Recognize the power that you inherently carry in your authentic self that others try to suppress. And use it.
ACA STATEMENT ON UNDUE POLICE VIOLENCE
SAIGE endorses the statement posted by ACA on May 18, 2020 in regards to undue police violence
ACA is committed to promoting counselor competence as it relates to addressing individuals and communities who have been negatively affected by instances of undue police violence and similar racially motivated acts.
The American Counseling Association (ACA) acknowledges the traumatic impact of undue use of violence in policing, racially motivated violent incidents, and implicit bias, characterized by excessive force and negligence. Whereas, we support and value the role of positive law enforcement and ethical policing conducted daily in this occupation, the ACA condemns incidents of undue violence and stands in solidarity with the individuals, families, and communities impacted by such occurrences. Furthermore, the ACA supports the efforts of counselors who counsel and advocate on behalf of those who experienced such encounters.
Undue police violence refers to the use of excessive or disproportionate force that results in physical or psychological harm to others. These incidents may result in a post-traumatic effect that impacts the well-being of individuals and communities. Further, the historical context and trans-generational trauma associated with these incidents may have cumulative effects. While anyone can experience undue police violence, certain racial groups, particularly those identifying as Black or African American, are disproportionately affected by these traumatic occurrences and their resulting aftermath. Professional counselors are called to support affected individuals and populations through trauma-informed and culturally-responsive practice.
The ACA and its members are dedicated to supporting the human rights and wellness of all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, physical ability, age, sexual or affectional identity, religion, nationality, and socioeconomic status. Further, the ACA is committed to promoting counselor competence as it relates to addressing individuals and communities who have been negatively affected by instances of undue police violence and similar racially motivated acts. The ACA stands in solidarity with counselors who serve and support those directly and indirectly affected by instances of violent or negligent policing. Moreover, the ACA encourages its members and all counselors across various settings to engage in professional action, such as clinical practice, community outreach, research, advocacy, and education that supports the wellness of individuals and communities who face violent or negligent policing.
Brooks, M., & Phipps, G. (Eds.). (2019). Counseling African American clients in the era of Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and media stereotypes [Special issue]. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 47(3).
Singh, A., & Nassar, S. C. (Eds.). (2020). Integrating the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies into practice, research, and advocacy [Special issue]. Journal of Counseling & Development, 98(3). Available Online June 15, 2020.
Lee, C. C. (2018). Counseling for social justice (3rd ed.). American Counseling Association Foundation.
Lee, C. C. (Ed.). (2019). Multicultural issues in counseling: New approaches to diversity (5th ed.). American Counseling Association.
**In addition to these resources provided by ACA, we highly recommend Dr. Annaliese Singh’s book: The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing (The Social Justice Handbook Series)
MALGBTIC's mission is to enhance the quality of life in the state of Maryland by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing the counseling profession, and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote respect for human dignity and diversity.
MALGBTIC's Executive Board
President: Sergio Washington
MALGBTIC is a division of the Maryland Counseling Association and State Branch for Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling for professional counselors and counselors-in-training who support our mission and wish to learn more about the work that we are doing.
MALGBTIC provides counselors, counselor educators, and counselors-in-training opportunities to network, participate in professional development and continuing education activities, to undertake leadership roles!
We are working to continue building this division through offering additional resources, programs, and opportunities for members. We encourage you to join now and contact us today about your interest in participating in this grassroots effort to further the cause of MALGBTIC.
MALGBTIC represents the diverse needs of the community in reference to sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersectionality. We stand united in love and acceptance.
For further information about MALGBTIC email email@example.com, Instagram: @malgbtic
In an effort to make the initialism inclusive of multiple identities and to be stated with increased ease, rather than add repeated letters, we have included multiple identities within each letter. With the recognition that no abbreviation of our communities' identities are perfect, this is not intended to disrespect any identity, but rather to provide the most inclusive initialism as a starting point to discuss and advocate for our shared communities' identities and rights and our individual identities.