BHM event discusses Black trauma for profit

Megan LaFond, Staff Writer

Last week the UW Oshkosh office for Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence hosted a panel discussion on the topic of Black Trauma for Profit for Black History Month.

The panel discussion was moderated by Damira Grady, associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence and Chief Diversity Officer at UWO.

She was joined by Shannon Smith, a clinician for the NBA Players Association and a psychotherapist at SIS counseling, Katie Huskey, owner of Purple Lotus Counseling and Lautauscha Davis, an administrator in both secondary and post secondary education.

The discussion was centered around the subject of Black Trauma for Profit. In recent times there have been numerous traumatic events that have occurred for the African American community, and citizens have often used these events for financial gain, one example includes merchandise like buttons and shirts being sold at George Floyd protests.

Panalist Husky mentioned another example of how movies that often portray slavery or the beatings of African Americans are not created by people of color and that their goal isn’t to bring awareness to the issue, but to gain profit.

When asked about what came to her mind when she hears the phrase “Black Trauma for Profit” she said, “For me it’s ‘what’s new’ honestly in terms of profiting from Black trauma. It’s a common thread that’s been woven into the fabric of our nation, so I think things haven’t changed. Some people think about how slavery’s been abolished and things have so improved and yet this idea of profiting is still woven in there.”

Grady asked the panelists “How can we create spaces where our allies are educated enough on our black trauma that they share in that emotional labor to educate other people without profiting off of it?”

“We share in the responsibility and unfortunately you know us Black Americans and other people of color have always had to take the lead and be spearheads of that dissemination of education and you know we get tired of that as well,” Smith said.