Grief, Empathy, and Commitment – The Poe Center’s Response to Racial Injustice

The Poe Center grieves the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and now David McAtee just days ago. The injustice the world has experienced is glaring and undeniable. It is systemic racism. Racism is a centuries-old pandemic ingrained in our current systems and daily interactions. It takes a daily toll on Black and Brown people and is traumatic.

The Poe Center condemns racism and stands with those dedicated to equity and inclusion.

As health education experts, we know systemic racism is a public health crisis. Traumatic stress can lead to chronic anxiety, depression, substance use, cardiovascular disease, and other physical diseases. As a leader in health education, our mission calls on us to help North Carolina citizens lead healthier lives. Therefore, we must confront racism.

The Poe Center‘s core values of diversity, proactivity, integrity, communication, and respect will guide us in answering how we can do more to combat racism. 

  • We invite our staff to take the personal time and space they may need to grieve and process these tragedies.
  • We commit to listening to our staff and constituents about their needs and feelings without judgment and without the burden of resolution.
  • We commit to evaluate and improve our staff development to include more diversity, anti-racism, and inclusion training during staff orientation and continued professional development. 
  • We commit to analyzing our policies and procedures and identify strategies to advance racial equity.
  • We continue our commitment to partner with organizations whose mission is to work on systemic issues of racism in our community.

This is a start. There is much more to figure out. It will be a journey, and we are committed to the process.


Resource List for Learning More and Taking Action:

Workshops, Trainings, and Independent Challenges:

  • Organizing Against Racism: Organizing Against Racism (OAR) is a network of anti-racism groups based in or around the Triangle, North Carolina that host trainings and events to advance racial equity. Most of the participants in OAR activities are alumni of the two-day Racial Equity Institute (REI) Anti-Racism workshops.
  • Food Solutions New England’s Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge: Commit to deepening your understanding of, and willingness to confront, racism for twenty-one consecutive days. At the very least, the Challenge will raise your awareness.
  • Resources for the Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge: Further readings from Food Solutions New England’s Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
  • Teaching Tolerance Lessons Page: These robust, ready-to-use classroom lessons offer breadth and depth, spanning essential social justice topics and reinforcing critical social-emotional learning skills.


Books, Documentaries, and Other Media for Youth and their Families:


Talking with Children about Racism and Violence:


Scientific Articles Confirming the Harmful Effects of Racism:


Our Partners Working Towards Racial Equity:

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