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The Impact of Racial Violence and Systemic Racism

April 20, 2021 revised 1/27/23

Purdue CAPS honors the profound grief centered with the historical and continued violence toward Black lives and specifically the violent deaths of Walter Wallace Jr., Daniel Prude, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Andre Hill, Tyre Nichols, and others. We care about and stand with our Black students, faculty, and staff.

CAPS is also aware of the impact that media coverage of these deaths including videos/testimony can have on mental health. Researchers Bor, Venkataramani, Williams, and Tsai (2018) suggest that media exposure to police killings of unarmed Black Americans have adverse effects on mental health among Black American adults in the general population, specifically feelings of stress, depression and difficulties with emotion. Racial Trauma is a term to describe the physical and psychological symptoms that BIPOC individuals experience after experiencing racism, even when vicariously watching events. In general, racial trauma can result in re-experiencing of distressing events, chronic stress, negative emotions, hypervigilance, avoidance, and physiological distress (headaches, stomachaches, rapid heartbeat, etc.).

We care about and stand with our Black students, faculty, and staff, and we oppose systemic racism, prejudice, injustice, and inequity. We want to support our students as they process the complex reactions that may arise from these and other events. We strive to be here as allies and as a resource to validate, empathize with, and help process these painful experiences and feelings. Purdue CAPS acknowledges the need for continued advocacy of compassion and justice for our Black and other marginalized community members. As a counseling center, we are committed to doing our best to cultivate antiracist and multicultural perspectives. We are engaging in conversations about how these events may impact members of our campus community. Please see our links below for additional online resources that may support student, faculty, and staff during this difficult time.

Mental Health and Educational Resources:

Purdue Campus Resources:

Community Resources: