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Undoing Oppression

Teaching ourselves, and our little humans, to undo oppression  

We've been reflecting with our staff and board on how best to show up right now on this issue, and what our community and values require of us. Here is what we know: Tyre Nicholas should be alive today. Tyre was a father, a son, a skateboarder, and a photographer. He was a Black person killed by police violence, a repeated pattern in our country with direct ties to slavery and oppression. 

Our vision at WCEL is to build an equitable society where children with disabilities and their families thrive, experience meaningful connections, and have a deep understanding of their strengths and needs. In order to build an equitable society, each of us needs to do our part to educate ourselves and children to be anti-racist and anti-ableist, and to build systems that uphold equity and justice. 

We know a disproportionate amount of people killed by the police are people of color: Black people are twice as likely as white people to be shot and killed by police officers, and half of the people that get killed by the police every year have some type of disability.  

The demands for justice after the killing of George Floyd in 2020 have failed to put an end to this cycle of death. In fact, the opposite has happened. In 2022, a record high of more than 1,176 Americans were killed by the police. In January of 2023 alone, we are also mourning the deaths of Manuel Terán, who was killed by police gunfire in Atlanta, Keenan Anderson, who police tased to death in Los Angeles, and Anthony Lowe, a double-amputee who was shot to death a few days after Tyre. These are only the people we know of, and the list does not include people who have experienced police violence but not death. 

The problem is far deeper than police brutality alone. It is more complex, and it is rooted in systemic oppression.   

To do our part we must teach ourselves and our children to unlearn racism and ableism, and to help to understand and transform racist systems because, only then, will we prevent additional police killings, and address underlying issues.  


WCEL is committed to this work and we offer the resources below for you to consider. 

We want to give a huge thank you to Adana Protonentis of Kindred Consulting for supporting this work at WCEL and for compiling resources on self-care and anti-racism: 

Self-Care and Solidarity Resources

Self-Education Resources for Allies & Accomplices 

Anti-Racist Resources for parents/caregivers  

  • Learn Anti-racist parenting 

  • Resources from the APA to support parents/caregivers in raising strong, resilient, kids of color

  • Another useful resource for parents/caregivers of Black children about supporting mental health and wellbeing

  • One of my favorite resources for exploring all social equity issues with children (gender, race, class…you name it)

  • Exploring anti-racism with children, from PBS

Anti-Ableism Resources 

General Resources 

Self-Care Resources for BIPOC families 

  • Family-Care, Community-Care and Self-Care Tool Kit: Healing in the Face of Cultural Trauma: The Community Healing Network and the Association of Black Psychologists produced this extensive guide of ways to promote healing in individuals, families, and communities 

  • The American Psychological Association has launched this resource guide for dealing with the impact of racism on mental health. 

  • BEAM’s mission is to remove barriers to mental health care for the Black community. They also offer help finding a culturally responsive mental health provider 

  • A list of 44 people, organizations, and collectives that focus on Black wellbeing. 

  • The Loveland Foundation therapy fund for Black women and girls 

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