State of Mind with Debra Sloss
State of Mind with Debra Sloss
Part 1: Racism and Mental Health - The Effects

Episode #24: For this series on racism and mental health, we’re turning the microphone over to hear directly from Black community members who experience the difficult realities of racism and the detrimental effects it has on mental health. Join guest host Gail Borkowski, activist Joy Flynn, educator and musician Lisa Taylor and psychologist Dr. Robert Bartee as they share insights gleaned from their personal and professional experiences in our community. Guests discuss how racism has painfully impacted many aspects of their lives and compromised their access to basic human needs like safety, acceptance and belonging, and self-worth. The power and resilience of Black culture and people are also discussed. Guests describe how racism is a very real daily face and they illuminate the complex and subtle forms it takes. Psychologist Dr. Bartee shares a model of racial identity development and explains how that can take shape over a person’s lifespan. This is the first show in a series of two shows on racism and mental health. Part 2 will look at the impacts of racism on access to physical and mental health support and we’ll explore ways to address those barriers for Black individuals and people of color.  Host Gail Borkowski invites listeners to think deeply about why they should care about racism, reflect on what we can do to move toward greater social justice and how we can come together as a community to heal and repair.

Broadcast: 11/1/20

Special thanks to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production and to Jennifer Young, who assists with research and outreach. And thanks to acoustic guitarist Adrian Legg for composing, performing, and donating the use of our theme music.

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”In Your Voice” are short segments on the show where a listener gets to add their voice to the topic.  You can call us at 831-824-4324 and leave a 1-3 minute message about: a mental health experience you’ve had, something that has contributed to your mental health recovery journey, or share a resource that has helped you. Alternatively, you can make a 1-3 minute audio recording right on your phone and email that file to Your voice may just become part of one of our future shows!



Books and Articles

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.  In a time when nearly all institutions claim to value “diversity” in their mission statements, this is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words.

Ten Keys to Everyday Anti-Racism by Kirsten Ivey-Colson & Lynn Turner, Greater Good Magazine (9/8/2020)
The founders of a new organization, the AntiRacist Table, suggest tools you can use to work against prejudice and inequality.

Anti-Racist Resources from Greater Good  – Greater Good Magazine (6/3/2020)
A series anti-racism articles that address each of these topic areas:

  • The psychological roots of racism
  • How to overcome bias in yourself
  • Confronting racism
  • Reducing bias in criminal justice
  • Building bridges
  • Resources for Parents
  • Resources for Educators
  • More anti-racism resources

White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DeAngelo (2018)
Explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.


Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses ‘White Fragility’ – YouTube where University of Washington professor Dr. Robin DiAngelo reads from her book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” explains the phenomenon, and discusses how white people can develop their capacity to engage more constructively across race.

An Overview of Critical Race Theory (22 minutes YouTube) Summarizes Critical Race Theory and its components of Counter Storytelling; Permanence of Racism; Whiteness as Property (White privilege); Interest Convergence (Whites as primary beneficiaries of civil rights legislation) ; Critique of Liberalism (including color blindness)

Baltimore (4:37 min video) –  SoM show guest Lisa Lehua Taylor sings Prince’s 2015 R & B release telling the story of Freddie Gray, a 25-year old African American who died in the custody of Baltimore police


Online Resources
Online resource for antiracism awareness and work – by Victoria Lynn Alexander. Updated regularly to provide current and relevant information.

Resource on different levels of being an ally:  Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice:  Moving from Actor 🡪 Ally 🡪 Accomplice

For Parents and Educators
Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race article by Erin N. Winkler, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

PBS Kids Talk about Race & Racism (30 minute video) with Host & Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman and kids talking with their parents about race and racism.

Raising Antiracist Kids: Empowering the Next Generation of Changemakers discussion on YouTube about raising antiracist kids with Ibram X.Kendi , author of the new book, AntiRacist Baby

Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books – free guide on Social Justice Books website

Local Movement Leader
Jennifer Eberhardt, Ph.D., Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, and Faculty Co-Director of SPARQ, a “do tank” that partners with industry leaders and changemakers to reduce societal disparities and bridge social divides using insights from behavioral science.  SPARQ works in criminal justice, economic mobility, education, and health. Dr. Eberhardt studies the psychological association between race and crime and the dehumanization of Black Americans in contemporary society.  She is the author of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, a recipient of the MacArthur “genius grant,” and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Resources for professionals

National Association of Black Psychologist – website of ABPsi, a professional organization for Black psychologists

Developing Multicultural Counseling Competence: A Systems Approach (3rd Edition) by Danica G. Hays and  Bradley T. Erford

Ethnicity and Family Therapy, Third Edition 3rd Edition by Monica McGoldrick,  Joe Giordano, Nydia Garcia-Preto – a resource for professionals wishing to develop cultural competency

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum – classic, bestselling book on the psychology of racism, fully revised and updated; good resource for cultural competency development

White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DeAngelo (2018)
Explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

Counseling Services for POC

Community Bridges – Ten programs deliver essential services, provide equitable access to resources, and advocate for health and dignity across every stage of life.  Community Bridges actively works to remove barriers of inequality in our community.  Free bilingual counseling services at their four Family Resource Centers (via phone or video during the pandemic). Make an appointment with one of their bilingual counselors at 831-246-6360. Printable flyers for their counseling program in English and Spanish.

Lisa Recommends….Local Black Hair Expert
The Nook Inclusive Styling Collective – Creative color and curly cuts of all wave patterns and textures are stylist Aisha Brown’s expertise. 10 years of experience.  920 Soquel Ave (831) 295-6233