FIER [The Foundation for Inter-Ethnic Restoration] is a non-profit 501c(4) dedicated to providing a safe space for different ethnic communities to collectively and individually address racial trauma, foster inclusive discussions about how it impacts their life and analyze what steps can be taken to begin healing that trauma in themselves and within society. Our goal is to serve as a central hub that brings all existing resources together in order to offer educational material about racial literacy, information to foster inter-ethnic solidarity, and access to a network of professionals dedicated to talking about racial trauma in a cathartic and constructive way. We also facilitate discussions with people who have experienced racism/hate crimes/discrimination. Ultimately, we'd like to educate the public about racial trauma and help ethnic communities discover that, in the words of Bobby Kennedy, "what unites us is greater than what divides us."
FIER was founded amidst the worldwide uproar stemming from COVID-19 xenophobia and the demise of George Floyd that brought life, as we knew it, to a sobering halt revealing the underlying tension that had been prevalent within American society for generations. Over the years, systematic and institutionalized racism has produced numerous incidences of hate crimes and police brutality which has been largely ignored, minimized, denied and invalidated. However, the harsh reality is that minority communities were on the edge of a surreal precipice long before the year 2020.
Consequently, countless minority communities have been struggling with the multi-pronged effects of systemic racism and have suffered tremendously. Research suggests that one effect of systemic and overt racism is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is postulated that prolonged encounters with racism can trigger higher rates of PTSD or “racial trauma” within communities of color (Butts, 2002; Comas-Díaz, 2016). The effects of recurring experiences with racial trauma can include a reshaping of individuals’ perceptions of themselves, their ethnic group, and the benevolence of the world, leading to low self-esteem, psychological distress, and even suicidal ideation (O’Keefe, Wingate, Cole, Hollingsworth, & Tucker, 2015; Williams, Neighbors, & Jackson, 2003).
Thus, racism in any form, whether it be at the hands of a stranger, a boss, or even an institution, is clearly harmful to one’s mental and physical health and requires concerted actions designed to foster restoration and improvement of one’s quality of life. F.I.E.R., in collaboration with various professionals and mental health experts will attempt to fill the gap by facilitating safe environments for cathartic discussions. More importantly, F.I.E.R strives to bring different ethnic communities together to collectively address racial trauma, discuss how it impacts individuals’ lives and analyze what steps can be taken to begin healing that trauma within society.
Collaborating with experts, renting buildings and organizing discussions across the country will require financial assistance. This is where you can help. Please make a donation to ensure we can offer these much needed resources to the community. Together, we can navigate the long road to real restoration and, ultimately, bridge the gap between communities!