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BLM activists continue to fight for black lives as racial disparities continue

"As an organization and as a movement, we'll continue to exist as long as racial disparities continue to exist," said Ivelisse Correa, BLM860 board member.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Abimbola Ortade is an activist and board member of Black Lives Matter 860. He said in the wake of the tragic and recent events; it's been a time of reflection upon a harsh reality. 

"Seeing your brother shot down and seeing another person of a different color kill somebody and walk into custody when people of color are shot down for buying Skittles, iced tea, sitting in the house playing video games, and people are killing people And not getting shot," passionately explained Ortade. "It hurts; it's a big question mark for me." 

Black Lives Matter activists said the killing of Jayland Walker; an unarmed black man fatally shot 60 times by police and the arrest of Robert Crimo III, a white man who opened fire on crowds during a 4th of July Prade, killing six people, is a reminder of why they fight for change. 

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"As an organization and as a movement, we'll continue to exist as long as racial disparities continue to exist," said Ivelisse Correa, BLM860 board member. 

While BLM860 advocacy efforts are ongoing, Correa and Ortade said it takes a toll on mental health.  

"It gets to be a lot emotionally, and you have to wonder why they're still so adverted with their actions," said Ortade. "After a while, you know it just sits on your mind. A lot of people I know are depressed or have anxiety issues or mental health issues. "

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Dr. Javeed Sukhera is the Chair of Psychiatry of the Institute of Living and Chief of Psychiatry, Hartford Hospital. He said these reactions and emotions are expected, especially for people of color. 

"When you belong to a group that you see be consistently dehumanized in public narratives and an example of behavior, it creates trauma," Dr. Sukhera. "We shouldn't diminish the impact and the harm that comes from The dehumanization that results from discrimination. Particularly from racism."

RELATED: Freedom rallies and Black Lives Matter hold events at Connecticut Capitol on same day

Abdul-Rahmaan Muhammad with My People Clinical Services said if you are feeling that impact, it is vital to liberate yourself from having to carry the weight and seek support from the community or professionals. Muhammad said which is why they offer such a wide range of services to the community. 

"We're just trying to be a vessel to be able to open up different ways for our community to kind of like heal and put those issues on the forefront instead of having it on the inside and not dealing with them at all," said Muhammad.

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


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