The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have reignited conversations about systemic racism, inequality, and violence that are, tragically, woven into the very fabric of our society. At the Institute for Best Practices we recognize that the most essential “best practices” we must follow are: 1) honoring the inherent worth and dignity of every person and 2) engaging in the daily work of fighting injustice in all of its many forms. We also acknowledge the privileges we carry in our personal and professional lives, and while we hope to operate with integrity, compassion and a collaborative approach, we know that we have not always succeeded (and good intentions only get us so far). We have more to learn and more to do.

To that end, we would like to request any and all feedback on how we can continue to support service recipients, front-line staff, and committed agencies in the necessary work of providing quality rehabilitation and mental health services with an eye towards dismantling systemic inequalities. Please email bestpractices@med.unc.edu with your thoughts or suggestions.

We are also committed to taking action and not just offering condolences and words. Our team will participate in anti-racist and anti-oppression training internally and revamp our current training and materials to reflect this effort. We also plan to look outside ourselves- talking with and listening to people of color and those representing marginalized groups. If you would like to be a part of this effort, please email us at bestpractices@med.unc.edu.

For those who would like to join us in this work, we recommend the following texts and resources. We look forward to doing this hard work together.

Books 

·         How to be An Antiracist by Ibram Kendi

·         So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

·         Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad

·         Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Articles

·         Audre Lorde’s The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism

·         Garnette Cadogan’s Walking While Black

·         Bayard Love and Deena Hayes-Green’s The Groundwater Approach: Building a Practical Understanding of Structural Racism

Podcasts

·         NPR’s Code Switch Podcast: A Decade on Watching Black People Die

·         Frank Stasio Interviews Dawn Blagrove about protests and police in the Triangle

North Carolina-Based Anti-Racism Training Groups/Resources

·         The Racial Equity Institute

·         The Equity Paradigm

·         Carolina Justice Policy Center

Additional Resources

·         Equal Justice Initiative