Levi Strauss Will Host ‘Fireside Chat’ with ‘Racial Trauma Specialist’ for Employees over Rittenhouse Acquittal

Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse speaks with his attorneys before the jury is relieved for the d
Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool

Clothing company Levi Strauss is offering employees the opportunity to engage in a “fireside chat and Q&A” with a “racial trauma specialist” following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse on November 19.

The announcement came via email from Levi Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Elizabeth Morrison, according to a copy of the email obtained by the @libsoftiktok Twitter account.

“With the news that Kyle Rittenhouse was not convicted in the shooting of three individuals – two of whom lost their lives – during racial justice protests last year, this is a difficult day for many,” the email begins. 

The email continues:

The pain and trauma of race, identity and belief-based tragedies is a reality that many of us are struggling with on an ongoing basis. It can feel physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to continue to relive these moments and I want you to know, its okay not to be okay. Please also know that my team and I are here for you and are working hard to create opportunities for you to express how you are feeling.

To help promote safety, sharing and to encourage healing, I’ll be hosting a fireside chat and Q&A with Dr. Jamila Codrington, a licensed psychologist and racial trauma specialist in early December. Dr. J and I will talk about the mental and physical impacts of back-to-back social and racial justice events and trauma coping mechanisms during our discussion.

The email goes on to list resources to assist employees in impacting “social justice, equality, and drive positive change.”

The methods listed include “getting educated and informed on the issue of gun violence so you can be an active citizen in your community” and “reaching out to your elected officials to let them know just how important common-sense gun laws are to you.”

Jamila Codrington is a licensed New York State psychologist and serves on the board of the New York Association of Black Psychologists, according to the organization’s website.

In an interview on the Karen Hunter Show, which was posted to the show’s YouTube channel on January 6, 2021, Codrington was asked:

If you could just prescribe a therapeutic regiment for someone who is coming out of the enslavement space or someone who is coming out of Jim Crow – what would a therapeutic regiment for that community or that person look like as we experience therapy now?

She responded in part:

Wow, beautiful question Marie. You know, I think the first thing for me is always to reach back and remember who we are, because one of the main weapons of colonialism and white supremacy was to destroy our memory, and to separate us from, basically our wealth, our cultural wealth. We’ve been erased out of history books, we were forced not to speak our native tongue.

Codrington later added, “We have been duped into feeling that we don’t matter, and all of that is coming out of a legacy of enslavement, and we have to defy this lie of inferiority.”

In response to a follow-up question later in the interview, she stated, “We have to first start out with decolonizing our mind and our values.”


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