Monthly Archives: July 2016

Healing for Activists

YourWingsAreRadyThis week, the Democratic National Convention is in Philadelphia, and there are lots of activists doing lots of amazing things: republicans, democrats, socialists, you name it. They are highlighting a variety of issues including immigration rights, climate change, marijuana legalization, and transgender rights.

Being an activist is hard work, and it can be emotionally draining. Damon Constantinides, a licensed clinical social worker, started a website called Healing for Activists. In a recent article on Billy Penn, Constantinides said “many Black Lives Matter activists are people of color, and may come from underserved communities in regards to mental health. With the stressors of racism in America and recent events, they may also be traumatized by encounters with police.” Constantinides noticed that activists may have difficulty accessing affordable therapy services, so he created Healing for Activists, a list of Philadelphia-based therapists who will provide a free or discounted session for activists and advocates (see article on Colorlines).

Healing for Activists is “a list of therapists in the Philadelphia area who are committed to supporting Black Lives Matter and the struggle to end racism and the killing of black people. They have committed to reserving at least one free or low fee slot in their therapy practice for activists who are seeking counseling or mental health support.”

I am proud to be listed as one of the therapists who will offer a free session, and while the list was intended for Black Lives Matter activists, I support all activists.

Thank you for making our world a better place.


“I am odd. I am new.”

oddnewHere is a poem that’s gone viral, written by Benjamin Giroux, a 10-year old with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. Benjamin was featured on the Today show and is an ambassador with the National Autism Association.

His father remarked “Ben’s goal was to have people understand that being odd is different, and different is amazing, and people shouldn’t be afraid of who they are, and that makes me one proud father!” – Sonny Giroux

The text of Benjamin’s poem follows, as well as a link to a video where you can learn more about him. Thank you Benjamin for your poem and your courage.

I am odd I am new
I wonder if you are too
I hear voices in the air
I see you don’t and that’s not fair
I want to not feel blue
I am odd I am new
I pretend that you are too
I feel like a boy in outer space
I touch the stars and feel out of place
I worry what others might think
I cry when people laugh it makes me shrink
I am odd I am new
I understand now that so are you
I say I “feel like at castaway”
I dream of a day that that’s okay
I try to fit in
I hope that some day I do
I am odd, I am new