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The Impact of Racial Violence and Systemic Racism

April 20, 2021

Purdue CAPS recognizes that our student community, especially our Black student community, may have many complex feelings in response to the recent guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd. 

CAPS is also aware of the impact that media coverage of the specifics of the trial, 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.


Drop-In Discussion Hours for all Students

CAPS is offering virtual opportunities for students to meet in small groups to discuss and gain support around these issues/events. Conversations will focus on emotional reactions and ways of coping. See days/times below. Must connect with both audio and video to participate in these meetings. Use links below to connect to the meeting at that day and time.

Monday, 4/26/2021, from 4-5pm Hosted by Nancy

Wednesday, 4/28/2021, from 4-5pm Hosted by Nancy and Jen

Thursday, 4/29/2021, from 3-4pm Hosted by Theresa

Friday, 4/30/2021, from 3-4pm Hosted by Bethany

Wednesday, 5/05/2021, from 2-3pm Hosted by Drew


Drop-In Discussion Group for BIPOC-identified students

Tuesday, 4/27/2021, from 3-4:00pm Hosted by Maime


Healing and Empowerment Safe Space for Black Students

These one-time sessions are for Black students and will focus on race-related stress, empowerment, healing, and supporting Black voices.

Friday, 4/30/2021, from 3-4:30pm Hosted by Maime

Friday, 4/30/2021, from 6-7:30pm Hosted by Maime

Growing to Support the BIPOC Community: Being a White Ally

This one-time session is for white students interested in learning more about Racial Trauma and supporting the BIPOC community through ally-ship. 

Tuesday, 4/27/2021, from 5:30-6:30pm Hosted Theresa and Andrea

Mental Health and Educational Resources:

Purdue Campus Resources:

Community Resources: