Carter G Woodson memorial park statue Washington DC

Organization Highlight – Black Therapists in AZ (BTAZ)

In honor of Black History Month, we want to take a moment to highlight a local Arizona organization that is doing important work in the mental health space for Black Arizonans—Black Therapists in AZ (BTAZ). Before outlining the work being done by BTAZ, we first want to highlight how Black History Month came to be. Spearheaded by prominent scholar, historian and author Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month has been formally celebrated every February since 1976. However, the origins of Black History Month began much earlier, in 1926, with Negro History Week. Woodson thoughtfully selected the second week of February for the celebration to coincide with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The movement was born after Woodson, as well as other significant Black scholars, were repeatedly rejected by the American History Association, despite their education, honors, and accolades, not to mention being a due paying members. Exhausted but not discouraged, Woodson vowed to highlight, preserve and honor African American contributions after being, “overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them.” This is just one tale, of one person’s efforts, that changed the trajectory of global recognition.

Without Woodson’s efforts, America would not have Black History Month as we have come to know it. Take some time this month to look back on the numerous achievements and sacrifices these historical leaders made to our nation’s ongoing progression.

Black Therapists in AZ is “a coalition of Black therapists in AZ working towards ridding our community of the stigma of mental health by providing education, training, and affordable access to services.” Black Therapists in AZ hosts various community events to discuss mental health, ensure community access and awareness of Black therapists, and engage in panel discussions on topics that are particularly important for the Black community, including suicide prevention, autism awareness, and men’s mental health. BTAZ also provides grants to local families to ensure accessibility to desired mental health services.

For more information, check out the BTAZ website here. To stay up to date on their events you can follow their Facebook page here.

Here are a few of the articles that helped inspire today’s blog post:

https://naacp.org/find-resources/history-explained/civil-rights-leaders/carter-g-woodson#:~:text=African%20American%20History.-,Black%20History%20Month,expanded%20into%20Black%20History%20Month

https://time.com/5771045/black-history-month-evolution/

https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/stories/knowing-past-opens-door-future-continuing-importance-black-history-month

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