Social Justice

Arbeit macht frei sign at Auschwitz

The Holocaust and the Failure of the US Education System

Yesterday, I saw that the Holocaust was trending on Twitter. It turns out that it was because of new survey results. Claims Conference released the results of its U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey, which surveyed 18 to 39-year-olds in 50 American states. Some of the disturbing results from the survey were: 63% (69% …

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students in the SKIDS documentary

SKIDS: Traumatized Kids and the School System

I recently saw a really interesting documentary called SKIDS, which focuses on kids attending Vanguard Secondary, an alternative school in Langley, B.C., Canada, that uses a trauma-informed approach Vanguard‘s model recognizes that trauma is at the root of the significant challenges that have kept their students from succeeding in regular schools. Their model is informed …

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Stop human trafficking - image of a woman with a hand held over her mouth

Human Trafficking: Slavery Is Still Happening

Just because slavery is no longer legal doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Human trafficking isn’t an issue that gets a lot of public attention, but if you look, what you can find is scary. What human trafficking is There are three fundamental elements of human trafficking: Actions: This includes recruiting, transporting, or harbouring someone in …

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Social privileges (e.g. white privilege, male privilege, class privilege) vs. social burdens (racism, sexism class discrimination

Social Privileges as a Counterpoint to Social Burdens

Lately, white privilege has been a hot topic. The people I’ve come across who take a stance against the idea of white privilege seem to have in common the line of thinking that they haven’t been handed anything, so how can they have social privilege? Wikipedia describes social privilege as: “a special, unearned advantage or …

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Defunding the police: What it could mean for mental illness - graphic of a psi symbol over a police badge

Defunding the Police: What It Could Mean for Mental Illness

Black Lives Matter has been leading the charge in calling for defunding the police. While that may initially sound like a very bad idea, taking money away from the police is only half of the picture. The money that would be spent on police is instead shifted to community programs and supports to handle the …

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Black Lives Matter

Why I Use My Voice to Say Black Lives Matter

Through our shared humanity, all lives matter. So why is it important to say Black lives matter? When lives don’t matter All lives should matter equally. That is the ideal, and probably most of us would agree that it’s the “right” thing. Unfortunately, though, in practice, not all lives are given equal value. An obvious …

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Ableism: The Assumptions People Make About Disability

I’ve seen ableism being mentioned on Twitter a number of times lately. Aside from the obvious meaning, I wasn’t familiar with it in a mental health context. This post will explore what ableism means for people with psychiatric disabilities. Defining ableism An article on the Center for Disability Rights website describes ableism this way: “Ableism …

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woman injecting drugs in an alley

The Survival Sex Trade: This Is Definitely Not Pretty Woman

We’re all familiar, at least to some extent, with the sex trade. If nothing else, you may have seen the movie Pretty Woman. The level of desperation in the survival sex trade, though, is galaxies away from what you see in Pretty Woman. The vulnerable I used to work at a community mental health team …

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Justin Trudeau in Aladdin costume with brownface

Halloween, Blackface, and Cultural Appropriation

Not long ago, a photo was forwarded to Time.com from a 2001 yearbook of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who was a teacher at the time, dressed in an Aladdin costume that included brownface/blackface makeup.  It caused quite a stir, with some people criticizing him as being racist. Since it’s Halloween, it seems like a …

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