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Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge

Effective Date: June 01, 2021

Last Updated: January 01, 2023

Verve Psychotherapy LCSW, PLLC ("us", "we", or "our") provides clinical social work services.

We believe that social work is political. We believe that politics are personal. We believe that both white supremacy and racism are politically and personally injurious for our clients, everyone we know, and everyone included in the Broader Society.

Therefore, we signed the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge as created by Hello Seven. It's an effort to encourage that small business owners commit to building equitable, anti-racist organizations. It's not enough for people to say that they are "not racist". They must be Anti-Racist.


“Anti-Racist: Those who speak and act in ways that advance racial equity in society; the act of interrupting racism.”


As a modern and inclusive mental health practice that provides clinical social work services, we believe that taking the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge is one actionable way that we can live up to our values, which are intentionally adopted from the same core values of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Learn more about therapy for racial identity here.

NASW Values = Our Values

  • Service

  • Social Justice

  • Dignity and Worth of the Person

  • Importance of Human Relationship

  • Integrity

  • Competence

NASW Code of Ethics is clear on social workers’ ethical responsibilities to the Broader Society:

“6.04 Social and Political Action

(a) Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully. Social workers should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions in order to meet basic human needs and promote social justice.

(b) Social workers should act to expand choice and opportunity for all people, with special regard for vulnerable, disadvantaged, oppressed, and exploited people and groups.

(c) Social workers should promote conditions that encourage respect for cultural and social diversity within the United States and globally. Social workers should promote policies and practices that demonstrate respect for difference, support the expansion of cultural knowledge and resources, advocate for programs and institutions that demonstrate cultural competence, and promote policies that safeguard the rights of and confirm equity and social justice for all people.

(d) Social workers should act to prevent and eliminate domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against any person, group, or class on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical ability.”

NASW joined with the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association to call on our nation to declare systemic racism a public health crisis; another pandemic that must end. Read the op-ed here that was published in the Orlando Sentinel.


Recent history of the mental health world would show that many clinicians were educated to develop "cultural competence". While competence is an important NASW core value and pillar of responsible clinical practice, we believe that one cannot simply become fully "competent" in a culture from which that one person does not inherently belong.

Instead, we prefer the endearing process of "cultural humility", which in our view, does well to emphasize that personal healing and developmental work is a lifelong endeavor instead of an arrival point at which someone may become stagnant, comfortable, or ignorant.


"To learn" is a verb, and we will practice humility to always improve and increase our personal and professional knowledge, skills, empathy, understanding of, and connection to humanity and multiculturalism.

According to a fairly recent statement made on Instagram by the NASW New York State Chapter (@naswnys) on January 15, 2021, “Being a social worker does not absolve you from being racist”. We agree. We are grateful to NASW for their ongoing guidance for anti-racist resources.

A statement by Matthew Braman, LCSW, LCSW-C (he/him), Founder & CEO / Therapist of Verve Psychotherapy LCSW, PLLC on his own white identity, power & privilege, and dismantling white supremacy in mental health: “Using my personal and professional power & privileges - white, cis-gender, heterosexual, male, middle class, millennial, college educated, small business owner, married, U.S. born citizen, Christian, and neurotypical, able-body - with integrity is an ongoing action and a lifelong learning process to which I am committed for as long as I live”.

Since we created this website page, here are some updated details (however, it is not an exhaustive list) - of our ongoing efforts to continue listening, learning, and following through with the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge. We welcome feedback from anyone and everyone at any time. CONNECT with us here.

  • Submitted Charitable Donation(s) to Community-Based, Non-Profit Organization(s) that work to improve health outcomes for BIPOC women

  • Completed Continuing Education Course ("Lifting Black Voices: Therapy, Trust, and Racial Trauma")

  • Completed Continuing Education Course ("Hey, White Therapist, Here's Where We Start")

  • Completed Continuing Education Course ("Lifting LGBTQIA Voices of Color: Racism Among Gender & Sexual Minorities")

  • Completed Continuing Education Course ("Ethics and Boundary Issues")

  • Completed Continuing Education Course ("Cultural Competence: An Overview")

  • Completed Continuing Education Course ("Ethics for Social Work")

  • Completed Continuing Education Course Required for Maryland LCSW-C Renewal ("Implicit Bias Training")



We hereby condemn and denounce white supremacy.


We hereby call on all of our family, friends, clients, neighbors, and everyone in Broader Society to help us dismantle racism with anti-racist social and political action. Examine your life, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. Educate yourself. Humanize Asian American, Pacific Islander, Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Be intentional. Read something. Feel something. Say something. Do something anti-racist.




Stop AAPI Hate: Act Now.

Freedom Takes Action: Donate to League of United Latin American Citizens.

Push #Forward with the NAACP to eradicate racism.

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