BIPOC Lives Matter | University of Portland

BIPOC Lives Matter

On-Campus Support

University of Portland's Health & Counseling Services staff stand in support of our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students and against systemic racism. We recognize the negative effect oppression has on mental health and offer the following direct support:

  • Call the Health & Counseling office during business hours at 503.943.7134 to make an appointment with one of our mental health counselors. Students who have recently experienced oppression or discrimination based on a marginalized identity can receive same day support from a counselor.
  • Connect with the Pilot Helpline on-call counselor at any time of day or night. Call 503.943.7134 and choose option 3 in the voicemail message.

You can also visit UP's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) website to find lists of on- and off-campus resources available to students who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, undocumented, multifaith, first generation, international, etc.

The Health & Counseling Services staff believe that understanding and addressing concepts in multicultural psychology, including the effects of oppression, intercultural communication, racial trauma, microaggressions and forms of institutional power, are fundamental to providing ethical and competent counseling services. The staff’s graduate-level curriculum was infused with focused trainings, discussions, and supervision on working effectively with people of color. Additionally, our licensed staff must fulfill continuing education requirements every two years on diversity topics pertaining to multicultural counseling and mental health. Our current staff have worked closely with marginalized populations both on college campuses and in the community. 

Our staff has specific training and experience in working with:

  • First-generation college students
  • Young adults of color 
  • Outreach to houseless youth
  • Gender-based trauma
  • Racial and intergenerational trauma

Regardless of our staff's level of expertise, experience, and deep commitment to equity and social justice, it is important to acknowledge that we are working toward greater staff diversity through active recruitment of therapists of color. We hold a lifelong commitment to humbly listening to our students, advocating for their needs, participating in ongoing training, and progressing towards justice and healing for our community.

Off-Campus BIPOC Support

We understand that people of marginalized backgrounds have difficulty finding representation in the mental health services that they receive. To find support outside of the UP community, students are also welcomed to utilize the following off-campus resources.

Please note that the off-campus resources listed below are not affiliated with the University of Portland. If a link on this list is no longer functioning, please send an email to to let us know!

BIPOC On-Call Support

  • If you are a young person of color who is feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, you can text STEVE to 741741 to connect with a culturally-trained crisis counselor 24/7.
  • Blackline provides a space for peer support, counseling, witnessing and affirming the lived experiences to folxs who are most impacted by systematic oppression with an LGBTQ+ Black Femme Lens. Call or text BlackLine at 1-800-604-5841. Texting is available 24/7; visit their website for calling hours during COVID-19.
  • The Racial Equity Support Line is a service led and staffed by people with lived experience of racism. They offer support to those who are feeling the emotional impacts of racist violence and microaggressions, as well as the emotional impacts of immigration struggles and other cross-cultural issues. Call the Racial Equity Support Line at 503-575-3764 on weekdays from 10:00am to 7:00pm to get support.
  • Naseeha answer calls from around the world from Muslim and non-Muslims. They provide a safe zone for youths and individuals to talk and get the help they need. Call or text Naseeha at 1-866-NASEEHA (627-3342) 7 days a week from 9:00am to 9:00pm PST.

BIPOC-Centered Therapy and Counseling

“7 Tips for Finding a Culturally Competent Therapist—from Someone Who’s Been There” – An article by A. Rochaun Meadows at Healthline
“Questions to help QTBIPOC find affirming mental health providers” – A tool developed by Mental Health America and the Human Rights Campaign
"Finding Mental Health Care that Fits Your Cultural Background" – A guide developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • OHSU Avel Gordly Center for Healing – Call the new patient line at 503-418-5311 to get connected to culturally sensitive mental health care in the Portland Metro.
    “The Avel Gordly Center for Healing focuses on culturally sensitive care for the African and African-American community. We recognize how trauma affects the health of our patients and we strive to remove the stigma that is associated with mental illness. We have a close collaboration with community partners that provide cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness based therapy, psychotherapy, and medication management. We have a diverse group of expert practitioners who provide individual, group, marital, couples, and family therapy.”
  • Asian Health & Service Center – Make an appointment with the outpatient Mental Health Clinic in Portland, or call for emotional support for stress and anxiety.
    “AHSC provides a safe and culturally sensitive place for Asians who seek mental health care. It is a culturally competent and linguistically appropriate service that is offered in Cantonese, English, Korean, Mandarin or Vietnamese. All staff members of the mental health program are multilingual and multicultural professionals who have extensive experience in the field.”
  • Native American Rehabilitation Association of the NW (NARA) – Call the Mental Health Intake Line at 503-307-7775 on weekdays between 8:00am and 5:00pm to get a referral.
    Guided by a cultural advisor, NARA’s adult mental health program provides a variety of counseling and support services for adults, including: individual & family counseling, case management services, psychiatric evaluations and medication management, cultural groups and activities, group therapy, substance abuse services, and access to community-based resources.
  • Imani Center – Call 503-226-4060 to start enrollment and become a client.
    “The Imani Center offers individual and group counseling, peer support and limited case management in a culturally safe environment where participants can be themselves. At the Imani Center, you’ll have the opportunity to build community with folks who look like you, with the support of staff members who have lived knowledge of Black culture and the African American experience.”
  • Inclusive Therapists – Search for a therapist by location, specialty, accepted insurance, etc.
    “We center the needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. We honor the full neurodiversity spectrum and advocate for mental health care accessibility for people with disabilities/ disabled people.”
  • Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM) – Search for a therapist by location, accepted insurance, modality (online or in-person), etc.
    “We are a collective of advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists and activists committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities. Our mission is to remove the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing.”
  • Therapy for Black Girls – Search for a therapist by location, specialty, accepted insurance, etc.
    “So often the stigma surrounding mental health issues and therapy prevents Black women from taking the step of seeing a therapist. This space was developed to present mental health topics in a way that feels more accessible and relevant.”

Community Centers & Groups

  • Fireweed Collective Online Support Groups
    "Fireweed Collective Groups are virtual spaces where folks can connect to, and offer mutual aid with others who share similar life experiences and struggles. Groups run for a month. They meet once a week online for one hour. All support groups are sliding scale of free to $20 – and are facilitated by members of Fireweed Collective."

Self-Care Articles, Blogs & Other Readings

  • Coping and Wellness Strategies by Black Mental Wellness
    “Coping and wellness strategies are a range of approaches, activities, and social interactions that can help improve your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Search our site for coping and wellness strategies and identify a few strategies that you find interesting, then practice those strategies, and lastly, monitor your response.”
  • Black and LGBTQ: Approaching Intersectional Conversations by The Trevor Project
    A PDF file guide of approaches for before, during, and after a difficult conversation to make sure the dialogue – and your mental health – stays safe.
  • Racism and Mental Health – Tips from Dr. Joy by Therapy for Black Girls
    This is a readable PDF ‘notes’ version of Dr. Joy’s Racism and Mental Health episode of her Therapy for Black Girls podcast.
  • Therapin*y Blog
    Explore Filipino/a/x mental health & wellness.
  • Mental Wellness Activity Book for Asian Americans
    The University of Connecticut’s Asian and Asian American Studies Institute has partnered with the #IAMNOTAVIRUS campaign and the Asian American Literary Review to provide students with this Mental Health Workbook.
  • Rest for Resistance Blog
    “Rest for Resistance strives to uplift marginalized communities, those who rarely get access to adequate health care or social support. This includes Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Asian, Middle Eastern, and multiracial persons.”
  • Information for Folks with a New Mental Health Diagnosis by BEAM
    “Receiving a new mental health diagnosis can be a difficult time. To support our folks navigating new diagnosis, we have compiled a collection of resources, tools and links that can help you navigate insurance, finding a therapist, understanding medication and much more.”
  • How to Protect Your Mental Health While Fighting Racial Injustice
    A blog post and list of mental health resources by Online Counseling Programs

Self-Care Podcasts

  • Perfectly Imperfect – A Podcast on Mental Health for Folx of Color (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
    “With Johnzelle Anderson, LPC, this podcast discusses mental health issues impacting communities of color. The mission is to make information about mental health digestible to all listeners with a special focus on POCs.”
  • Brown Girl Self-Care Podcast with Bre Mitchell (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
    “Join Bre as she shares life experiences, weighs in on current events, amps up her wellness/health habits and finds clean(ish) products to try all for the sake of taking her physical, spiritual and emotional well-being to the next level and (hopefully) inspiring other women of color to do so as well.”
  • Latinx Therapy with Adriana Alejandre, LMFT (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
    “Break the stigma of mental health as it relates to the Latinx community. Learn self-help techniques, how to support ourselves or those around us that struggle with mental illnesses and create cultural competency for other providers working with the Latinx population.”
  • Between Sessions Podcast by Melanin & Mental Health (Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud)
    Between Sessions is a weekly podcast with therapists Eboni Harris, LPC, LMFT and Eliza Boquin, LMFT discussing all aspects of mental health. “Two brown chicks changing the face of therapy on both sides of the couch.”
  • Black People Die By Suicide Too (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud)
    Black People Die By Suicide Too Podcast  (formerly Fireflies Unite Podcast with Kea) is hosted by T-Kea Blackman and Jordan Scott. Their mission is simple; normalize the conversation about suicide in the black community, provide hope and resources. Podcast launches on May 24, 2023.
  • Hats Off Podcast with Courtney Leak, LCSW and Earl Martin, LCSW (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
    “We are two clinical social workers looking to change the stigma around mental health with lessons wrapped in comedy and truth!”
  • The EVOLVING Chair with Lakiesha Russell, LPC (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud)
    “The Evolving Chair Podcast is hosted by Millennial Lakiesha Russell, Licensed Professional Counselor. She is passionate about breaking down the fear and shame in the black and brown community on all things mental wellness.”

Self-Care Apps

  • Headspace (App StoreGoogle Play)
    “Through science-backed meditation and mindfulness tools, Headspace helps you create life-changing habits to support your mental health and find a healthier, happier you.”
    Get a student voucher code to only pay $9.99/year!
  • Liberate: Black Meditation App (App Store)
    “Liberate is the meditation app for us, by us that is Black-owned. We’re not only just a meditation app, we’re a safe space for the Black community to develop a daily meditation habit. Anyone is welcome to use Liberate, we just want to be clear who we’re here for.”
  • The Underbelly (App Store, Google Play)
    “The Underbelly invites you to look within. Jessamyn Stanley is your guide to cultivating mindfulness in your everyday life through yoga. Carve out time to quiet your mind and finally start listening to your body.”

Land Acknowledgment

We acknowledge the land on which we sit and which we occupy at the University of Portland. "The Portland Metro area rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia River creating communities and summer encampments to harvest and use the plentiful natural resources of the area" (Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable, 2018). We take this opportunity to thank the original caretakers of this land.

To learn more about Portland’s diverse and vibrant Native community, please read Leading with Tradition, a document created by the Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable.