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Community & Behavioral Health | Recovery | Social Change


Changing the Conversation

Tarah Johnson

Tarah Johnson
Tarah’s work is focused on substance use and mental health recovery. She received a bachelor’s degree in international business from Howard University and a master’s degree in Latin American history and anthropology from University of New Mexico.
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Recent Posts

How Privilege Masks Racism


A few months ago, I wrote a post for this blog about the intersection of trauma, racism, and violence. Since then, my frustration, sadness, confusion, and anger has grown. With continued news of violence, especially against people of color (I use this term to be as inclusive as possible), I feel compelled to follow up.

I want to start with something I wrote in my last post: We can no longer rely on our privilege to shield us from the reality of racism in this country.

Trauma, Racism, Violence: Speaking Our Truth


Trauma, racism, and violence

I saw a black woman stopped by a policeman recently on what seemed like a routine traffic stop. Within a few minutes, another police cruiser arrived. The fact that three police officers were needed to discuss a seemingly simple traffic violation put those of us at a nearby bus stop on edge.

It surprised me that my first reaction was to get out my phone and record the encounter in case things turned ugly. As I considered fishing my phone out of my purse and finding a good angle to record the events (while also protecting myself), the situation resolved itself, and all three cars sped away. Those of us who were left at the bus stop breathed a collective sigh of relief and went back to our normal morning commutes. While I was relieved that the situation resolved without incident, I felt deeply unsettled.

The Triple Threat of Intimate Partner Violence

We are all familiar with the huge emotional and physical tolls that men and women in abusive relationships face, but there’s another just as damaging aspect of intimate partner violence that is often underestimated and overlooked. Financial abuse/manipulation by an intimate partner not only reinforces the physical and emotional violence inflicted, but can add another layer. Combined, emotional, physical and financial abuse by an intimate partner is a triple threat that many men and women face on a daily basis.