The new year allows us to reboot, reset, and renew.

Rather than big, bold resolutions as we step into 2023, the Steve Fund suggests pursuing a kinder, gentler January. Each of us can unpack 2022 at our own pace, re-examining what happened and reconsidering the implications going forward for young people of color and our families, educational institutions, and communities. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released their survey results of the challenges young people of color faced in school during the pandemic. They highlighted the importance of connection as a protective factor against racism. Harmful episodes of Asian hate were reported across the country. Horrific mass shootings occurred in the Black and Latino/a/x communities of Buffalo and Uvalde against a steady drumbeat of everyday violence across the nation. The chilling discovery of burial sites of young Indigenous people at boarding schools revealed a sordid history of abuse. Books by authors of color were banned in some school systems.

In the face of challenges, young people push forward.

Despite these and other disturbing events contributing to psychological distress and other mental health concerns, there have been numerous signs of hope — and young people of color have continued to push ahead. They voted in record numbers with their peers to make their voices heard. Racially diverse groups of young people banded together to protest threats to affirmative action at the Supreme Court. Young people of color with government-backed higher education loans are waiting for student debt relief to become a reality. A young person of color in Florida has become the youngest ever elected to the U.S. Congress at age 25.

Reimagine what you want in 2023

As you reflect on these developments and your journey in 2022, reimagine what you want to do this year. You may re-prioritize what seemed less important last year to the top of your 2023 to-do list. Rekindling relationships and revising strategies may be in order. Some things may need to be let go, so choosing to discard rather than rehash may be the way. Reinvest in your mental health and well-being by utilizing virtual resources geared toward young people of color, including the Steve Fund’s Wellness Circles and Crisis Text Line (TEXT STEVE TO 741741).

Regardless of the direction you choose in 2023, remember, as things unfold, you can always correct, re-route, and proceed. Have a gentle January — and have safe, successful travels on the path forward. And while you’re at it, reclaim your joy!

Dr. Annelle Primm
Senior Medical Director
The Steve Fund