Campus Health & Wellbeing Solidarity Statements
Campus Health and Wellbeing acknowledges and honors the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We pledge ourselves to create and maintain an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages, identities, abilities, and experiences. We understand that there are systemic structures that promote privileges and benefits for some and create significant harm and violence toward others; these structures directly impact the inequity in the access to and delivery of medical, mental health, and wellbeing services. We are dedicated to looking within ourselves and our system to support diverse needs and to advocate for equity, inclusion, and justice for all people. We are committed to standing with those who are experiencing discrimination, oppression, and marginalization.
Previous Statements in Solidarity
Below you will find some of the previous solidarity statements. To review each statement, click it to expand.
Solidarity in support of gender-affirming care
In the wake of the recent action by Texas governor Greg Abbott directing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate gender-affirming care as “child abuse,” Cal Poly Campus Health and Wellbeing stands with the multitude of mental health and medical associations, including the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, which support individualized affirming care for transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth. We honor the families that support their children in receiving affirming care. As mental health and medical professionals, we are acutely aware of the medical necessity for gender-affirming care. The research is clear: gender-affirming medical and mental health services dramatically improve the mental health and wellbeing of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive people. We know that the denial of affirming care is linked to elevated rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. This care saves lives and allows people to live joyously as their authentic selves. Furthermore, having supportive, affirming family members dramatically improves the well-being of trans and non-binary youth.
Solidarity with HBCUs
CH&W would like to express its solidarity with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) following news of the bomb threats that took place at many campuses during early February. We recognize that the news has negatively impacted members of our campus — most directly, many of our Black faculty, staff, and students. If you need support, consider calling Counseling Services at 805-756-2511 to speak to a counselor. Or, if your student organization, group, or community would like a counselor to facilitate a supportive space, email Counseling Services.
Statement of Solidarity with the People of Myanmar
CH&W has watched with concern the violence and human rights violations since the military coup of the Myanmar government on February 1, 2021. We stand with the Burmese people who are protesting the coup and who face grave threat in doing so - many already losing their lives and freedom in the struggle. We know that this is impacting many of our students, both here and in Myanmar. We hold you and your loved ones in our hearts and care about your experiences. We recognize and honor the way community support may already be helping you emotionally navigate this incredibly difficult time. If you would like additional support, Counseling Services has both scheduled and drop-in services available. Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss additional ways to support you that are not already listed on our website.
Solidarity and Support
Campus Health and Wellbeing is grief-stricken and enraged at continued instances of violence against BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) at the hands of police. Recent killings — including those of Daunte Wright in Minnesota and of Krys Brandon Ruiz, a TPOC (Trans-identified Person of Color) individual in nearby Lompoc, Calif. — highlight a national crisis and the brutal reality faced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and transgender individuals. According to national studies, people of color and transgender individuals are at higher risk of experiencing violence or harassment involving law enforcement.
We re-affirm our solidarity and support for our BIPOC and Trans students and their loved ones. We denounce acts of violence. We believe that every person is entitled to dignity, respect, and safety.
If you are in need of support, consider calling Counseling Services at 805-756-2511 to speak to a counselor. Or if your student organization, group, or community would like a counselor to facilitate a supportive space, email Counseling Services.
Statement of Solidarity with Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive People
Campus Health and Wellbeing (CH&W) stands with transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive people around the globe and at Cal Poly. Trans, non-binary, and gender-expansive persons deserve to live authentically without the threat of discrimination and violence. We at CH&W condemn the rise of recent anti-transgender legislation within the United States. In 2020, 44 transgender and gender-expansive people were violently killed in the United States, with trans women of color being disproportionately impacted. 2021 has already seen at least 12 violent deaths of trans and gender-expansive people. We must continue to fight against legislation, like anti-transgender sports bills, that seeks to politicize basic human rights and fuels a culture of violence and fear. We implore governing officials and agencies to continue to strike down legislation that discriminates and to promote policies that advance protections of trans people.
As medical and mental health professionals, we believe that transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive persons should be protected from harassment in schools, workplaces, and housing, and should be able to compete in sports according to their affirmed identity. We also recognize that equitable access to gender-affirming healthcare and mental health services are a basic need.
CH&W is committed to continued growth in inclusion and advocacy for the needs of our students. We strive to do this through training and education, increasing accessibility to gender-affirming care, and improving our digital and physical spaces with the goal of creating a CH&W that is a safe place for all. We want to hear how we can do better. Email us with feedback.
Verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial
The verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial was shared today. The justice system held Chauvin accountable for his actions that caused the death of George Floyd.
We also recognize the broader impacts beyond this case and the systemic racism that still confronts BIPOC individuals often without this level of accountability.
Campus Health & Wellbeing will continue to invest in and take action toward equity, justice, belonging, and safety. Racism is a public health issue. We must provide culturally responsive care to all students and cultivate relationships with campus and community entities to promote these values.
If you need support or want to talk about your reactions to the outcome of the trial, or other things that are on your mind, Counseling Services has several opportunities available for you this week:
Call 805-756-2511 to schedule a brief screening to get connected for counseling.
If your group, student organization, or other community would like a counselor to provide supportive space for you, email us for more information.
Smart Case Statement
Kristin Smart’s case has had lasting impacts on the Smart family and the Cal Poly community. Kristin’s case, along with those of Rachel Newhouse and Aundria Crawford, sparked the creation of the Safer program on campus during the Fall of 1996, and the campus has since committed itself to create spaces where survivors can go to seek support and validation. We would be remiss in not mentioning that this event is happening during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. While we do not know the full details about what exactly happened to Kristin on the night of her disappearance, we do want to acknowledge that news like this can feel very overwhelming and, in some cases, triggering. Safer has staff available to assist members of our campus community in their processing of this news. Make an appointment with one of Safer's Confidential Advocates.
We would also like to invite our community to attend Take Back the Night events this year, held on April 29 via Zoom. Register for the evening event, Survivor Speak Out and Candlelight Vigil held from 5 to 6 PM.
We hear you and are here to support and listen.
Response to Atlanta, March 17, 2021
We are broken-hearted and angry to hear of the act of hate that killed 8 people, many of whom were Asian women, last night in Georgia. This crime comes at a time when anti-Asian and gender-based violence is happening across the country, fueled by xenophobia, misogyny, misattribution of blame, and hatred. We denounce these actions and the beliefs that motivate them. All people living in this country should have access to safe environments and not fear for their lives.
At Campus Health and Wellbeing, we support our female-identified, Asian and Asian-American students, and recognize that this event in Georgia has ripple effects here in San Luis Obispo, and in the home communities of our students, faculty and staff. In a recent study published by Stop AAPI Hate, California was identified as the location of 45% of all reports targeting Asian-American Pacific Islander populations nationwide. In addition, the World Health Organization estimates that 33% of women experience gender-based violence in their lifetime.
You may have experienced micro or macroaggressions because of your identities, or you may be experiencing increased fear or worry about what could happen to you or those you love.
In times like this, you may feel alone. Connecting with others can provide comfort, a sense of community, and decrease feelings of isolation - reach out to friends, family and roommates to support one another today. Check in with yourself to see what you might need - a time of quiet reflection, moving your body in ways that feel good, reading more about what happened, or turning off all social media for a time.
We also offer professional services through Counseling Services including Let's Talk (today and tomorrow at 2 pm and Friday at 11 for BIPOC students) and traditional counseling (call 805-756-2511 to schedule an appointment). If you are a part of a group, club, or class that has been impacted, and would like support, email Counseling Services to coordinate a response.
Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives
Campus Health & Wellbeing affirms our commitment to recognize and address all forms of racism. As medical, mental health, and wellbeing professionals, it is our calling to support the physical and psychological wellbeing of students and the campus community. We are committed to the continued education of our community against racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia. We are dedicated to standing up, taking action, and advocating for social justice.
We stand in solidarity with our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students in calling for justice for the many whose lives have been lost to the violence of racism; we denounce the rise of overt anti-Asian racism and xenophobia surrounding COVID-19; and decry the recent Health and Human Services ruling, re-affirming our commitment to providing affirming services to all Cal Poly students, inclusive of all gender or sexual identities.
Campus Health & Wellbeing is critically examining our services and values as an organization. In our pursuit to serve all students, we need to meet the needs of our most marginalized, including BIPOC, undocumented, and LGBTQIA+ students. We plan to engage our students, staff, and faculty and we will work to incorporate an action plan soon.
If you are in need of support, consider calling Counseling Services at 805-756-2511 to speak to a Counselor.
Books to Read
How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Dr. Robin DiAngelo
Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for our Own — Eddie Glaude Jr.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
On the Experience of Racism
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
The Bridge Called My Back, Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Race After Technology — Ruha Benjamin
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
Resources for Black Individuals and Communities
Liberate Meditation App (by and for people of color)
Combating Anti-Asian Racism in the Age of Coronavirus (curriculum guide)
Cal Poly Resources:
Office of University Diversity & Inclusion: Educational Resources
Employee and Organization Development: Learn and Grow Diversity Toolkit
Additional Support Resources:
As we navigate an ever-changing world we can be confronted with many incidents locally and nationally that remind us of the need for persistence in the pursuit of racial justice, equity, and inclusion. The following resources are tools to help center community care, education, and wellness.
For faculty and staff supporting students remember:
You don't need to be an expert. There are no easy answers. Your willingness to listen helps students feel more comfortable and connected.
Acknowledge where we are today. Create space for students to talk about past and current incidents that have impacted our campus, regardless of our personal identities and affiliations.
Ask students to speak for themselves, especially in group conversations, but avoid asking under-represented students to provide comment simply because of their identity.
Admit that these conversations can be uncomfortable. Lean into the discomfort. Sharing your personal thoughts and discomforts may help you connect with students.
You don't need to be an expert. There are no easy answers. Your willingness to listen helps students feel more comfortable and connected.
Reinforce the bigger picture. A diverse college experience builds foundational skills that better prepares students for the global workforce, and helps them be more compassionate friends, family members and citizens.
We are here to help you. The resources below are a series of virtual tools that that center communal wellness. Lastly, utilize the people in the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion, Student Diversity & Belonging Staff , and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
The Black Academic Excellence Center
This is a collection of resources to help start or continue your self-healing practice, with a wide range of tools. It is centered on the healing of BIPOC folks.
A guide for how to actively engage in and support the Black Lives Matter Movement
In the wake of the continued acts of racism and violence targeting the black community, one of our student leaders curated a directory of additional resources and opportunities for how we all can be accomplices in the fight for racial justice.
The Dream Center
Quick Guide for the Central Coast Undocumented Community
This guide was developed for the undocumented community to have easy access to resources and information needed during this time. Please check back frequently to the linked information as there is rapidly changing information.
Know your rights training
This training was curated by the Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success to educate all folks on their rights when confronted by the police. Given current events the training has been enhanced to include protest information.
The Gender Equity Center
Resource Guides for Womxn of Color
The following are a collection of resources for womxn of color that are rooted in holistic community healing, racial healing, and mindfulness.
Healing Justice Podcast
This Podcast features sound healer and community organizer Bea Anderson in conversation about liberating our voices to speak up, overcome silence, and heal.
The MultiCultural Center
Embrace your wellbeing through a variety of free yoga videos created by and for people of color!
Virtual Care Package
Curated with love by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center this virtual care package includes poems, meditations, films, and other cultural nutrients by APIDA artists, writers, scholars.
The Men and Masculinites Program
Men of Color Dialogue
The Men of Color Dialogue is a dedicated space for men and masculine-identified students of color to connect, create community, and participate in our collective growth as men of color.
Therapy for Black Men Directory
A directory to help men of color in their search for a therapist. Using the directory, men can search by therapist location and specialization.
The Native American & Indigenous Cultural Center
Herbal Guide to Collective Protection and Healing
Prepared by Sitting Bull community members, herbalists, and herbalism teachers and students, this is a list of herbal medicines to support indigenous communities through healing and wellness.
Decolonizing Community Care in Response to COVID-19
For indigenous peoples whose ancestors were intentionally exposed to viruses, this moment can also feel triggering and bring up ancestral trauma and even distrust and disbelief. Now more than ever it is imperative to decolonize from individualism and reconnect with ways of community care.
The Pride Center
LGBTQ+ Educational Materials
The following resources are routinely maintained and updated by our cultural centers to provide our Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo community with educational resources and materials to explore topics of sexual and gender diversity.
Coming Out Guides
Coming out is the process in which an individual a) accepts and identifies with their gender identity and/or sexual orientation and b) shares their identity willing with others. These guides can help support and guide folx through this process.