Persons of color (POC) & Social Justice

Our work together is to develop a deeper understanding of yourself in order to facilitate a sense freedom, power, creativity and health. This means understanding the multiple, competing and complex aspects of a person and how this is influenced by family, community and the larger political context. Identifying as a biracial therapist, I have a personal as well as professional commitment to understanding how a person’s race and culture shapes their sense of self, relationships and world-view.

Some of the work that I find most important is thinking about how our history and the current political climate impacts our understanding of ourselves. There is a very subtle but powerful way that messages from the larger world about who has power and who was worth infiltrate the psyche of an individual and their community. Over time, and transmitted intergenerationally, external messages of being “not good enough” or “defective” or “inferior” begin to live in a person’s understanding of themselves. In effect, messages from the environment about who has worth are taken up and taken in by the individual as if they themselves believe that they are damaged and have less value. This can occur consciously, but more commonly, this is a very subtle, unconscious process. Moreover, the strength, values and resilience of an individual and their family can become eroded and lost depending on how the larger society understands and portrays their community.

In my experience working at the RYSE Center in Richmond, Community Health for Asian Americans and WestCoast Children’s Clinic in Oakland, I have also had the opportunity to see how while the experience of marginalization exists for many groups of people, it manifests differently for different communities. Despite a deep commitment to thinking about issues related to race, power and privilege, I don’t believe I can “know” another person’s experience. My goal is to deeply listen and work to understand all of the factors impacting your life. Together, we will work to understand the conscious and unconscious forces at work not only within yourself, but also at play in the larger society and develop your capacity for greater power, strength and freedom.



 Hardy, K. V. (2013). Healing the hidden wounds of racial trauma. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 22(1), 24-28

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome