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Statement of Social Justice and Diversity

Preamble

We know that human experiences are significantly impacted by bias, privilege, marginalization, invisibility, and systemic oppression in ways that affect their health, well-being, and comfort.  When injustices, day-to-day experiences of micro-aggressions, and tragedies occur that impact your sense of safety, we are here to stand with you and offer support as you navigate the challenges of life.

We believe that it’s important to celebrate and value differences and that, when we do, we are building a stronger community – one in which we can learn from one another and where everyone can feel a sense of belonging.  We believe that it’s important to remain unified in our university’s values of inclusiveness, poly-culturalism, respect, and social justice. 

As mental health professionals, we strive toward social justice by acknowledging what we do and do not know.  Having a sincere desire to learn from you, our clients, we also acknowledge that it is not your responsibility to teach us.  We are committed to honoring and affirming the varied, unique, and intersecting aspects of your identities.  We aspire to create an environment in which all clients feel safe, valued, welcomed, and encouraged to engage in an open exchange of ideas that respects the world views of participants in the dialogue. 


We Believe…

  • In the importance of acknowledging the power of oppression, invisibility, and privilege in our interactions. 
  • That strong clinical skills are incomplete without a commitment to multicultural competence.
  • That being a competent therapist includes a commitment to valuing and affirming diversity in all its myriad forms including, but not limited to:  race, ethnicity, national origin, language, mental or physical ability, religious/spiritual affiliations and (non)beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender differences, regional/geographic affiliations, immigration status, political affiliations, veteran status, socioeconomic status, body shape and size, and personal world views and belief systems.

Our intention

  • We hope to cultivate a climate of accountability to ourselves, the Emory community, and one another in better understanding our shortcomings, areas of privilege, and biases.
  • We are committed to ongoing self-examination of our world views and values to foster cultural competence and create an environment in which all clients feel welcomed, safe, valued, and appreciated.
  • We understand that we must be engaged in ongoing efforts to become more knowledgeable and affirming of individuals and groups whose backgrounds may differ from ours -- who are not “like us.”



Our work

We aim to increase our multicultural competence by building expertise in the following domains:  knowledge, skills, and awareness.  We strive to do this by engaging in:

  • Ongoing professional development trainings on diversity related issues.
  • Supervision (individual and/or peer) with open dialogue to promote mutual understanding and respect for differences.
  • Structured activities (e.g., courageous dialogues) among all staff that foster mutual respect and increased understanding of differences.
  • Advocacy and social justice work.
  • Participation in our Multicultural Diversity Committee that meets regularly.

 

Multicultural Diversity Committee

The Multicultural Diversity Committee is comprised of staff from Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Health Services - Psychiatry (SHS) that meets regularly to plan for the diversity-related needs of our centers.  The committee is comprised of Doctoral Interns, Postdoctoral Fellows, Post MSW Fellows, Psychiatrists, Psychiatry Residents, Psychologists, and Social Workers.  CAPS and SHS psychiatry are a diverse group of professionals committed to promoting awareness and respect of differences.