I’ve watched people die. Nine friends.

Meet Erin.

I am a wife and a mother. I am an educator. I’ve run for political office. I’m a consultant now in racial justice and equity. My passion is to help people think about what are the systems and structures and behaviors that we need to have to allow all people to flourish, particularly Black and brown and Native people.

In this last year, I’ve watched people die. Nine friends.

I’ve watched the fear of this pandemic and how it has shifted the way that we do business. I’ve watched schools shut down. As an educator, that’s been very personal to me. I began teaching online just to provide some support to friends who were teachers and to families who needed some place for their children to go.

I watched the very overt and public racial conflict that took place across our nation and watched a very contentious presidential election. As someone involved in politics, it was probably the most difficult political season for me to witness in my 50 years of life.

I have made some really important shifts in my life.

I practice gratitude every day. Even if it’s something tiny, practice gratitude every single day. It changes your brain chemistry. Secondly, do something to feed your spirit, mind and body. Lastly, do not be afraid to ask for help. You may need professional help. Don’t hesitate to ask for it.

Representation matters; in therapy, too.
Adults, we have got to do a better job of finding our young people counselors and professional staff who look like them. There is no way to explain to a white counselor why the trauma of George Floyd means so much to a young person that doesn’t live in Minnesota. There’s no way to explain to a counselor why, if I’m Asian, I’m feeling afraid to go outside right now. We, as the adults, have to do a better job of making sure that our young people have counselors and professionals who understand their experience, who will understand exactly where they are.

Let’s do our work to make sure our young people have the resources and access they need to the support they deserve.

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