As an individual who is Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), you may feel othered or tokenized in spaces where your identity is not embraced or fully reflected. BIPOC individuals who are subjected to emotionally toxic environments, where they may be harmed by discriminatory practices, or have faced discriminatory practices, may have increases in rates of suicide, depression, stress, crime, and feelings of isolation, in addition to, less access to green spaces, increased likelihood of environmental toxins, less financial ability, poor overall health outcomes, and changes to brain chemistry that mimic exposure to severe trauma. Community safety includes psychological safety, which consists of inclusion and safety to learn, contribute, and challenge the status quo.
When considering action-oriented ways to advocate for one’s community, it is critical to focus on overall mental health and a sense of belonging for those being served. Individuals should have the ability to share their thoughts, challenge norms, and be their authentic selves.