August 27, 2020
Dear CSJ Members:
On Sunday, August 23, 2020, Jacob Blake was shot multiple times in the back by police when he was getting into his car with his family in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His doctors report that he may be paralyzed from the waist down, and the community reacted with outrage. As before, the rhetoric is around calm, patience, and peaceful protests. But I get it, and I hope you do too. It is hard to be calm when you and those you love are being hunted in the streets, when armed officers are targeting people who look like you. It is hard to be patient when you have been calling for humane treatment since 1694. It is hard to be peaceful when those charged to protect you would rather shoot you in the back.“No justice, no peace.”
As social justice advocates, counselors, professionals, we care deeply about systemic racism, institutionalized oppression, white supremacy, and all the hatred and divisions in our society. We feel deeply with each story of murder, mutilations, lynchings, beatings. And we should. We, my friends, are in this for the long haul. We are not social justice advocates for the summer of 2020. We are in this fight for the rights and the livelihoods and the lives of our brothers and sisters who are impacted by structural racism and racial terrorism. This is not about writing a check and saying “Good luck on your petition”. This is about putting your soul where your mouth is, putting your personhood on the picket line and in the protests with others who are saying “enough”, “no more”, “end racism”.
We cannot run from this, we cannot hide. We must act, with individual and/or professional and/or organizational actions. We must be steadfast, and true, and determined, just as John Lewis was when he walked over that bridge and into the waiting sea of police with batons, and guns, and dogs. As Mr. Lewis wrote in his final essay, “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble.” We must also be willing to get into good trouble, necessary trouble, to confront and reject the racist discourses that surround us daily.
And we must VOTE. We must hold those in power accountable for their racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other divisive rhetoric. As John Lewis said: “Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society.”
Please join me in protesting, marching, writing letters, showing up, speaking up, acting up, kneeling down, fists up, voting. We must redeem the soul of America. It must be all of us, because only when we are all together will we rise.
Colette Dollarhide, President
Counselors For Social Justice
2 Culturally Competent Conversations, Part IV
5 The Historical Trauma of Slavery
7 Climate Justice & Counseling
8 CSJ & ACA's Human Rights Committee
9 Maintaing Our Committment to Anti-Racism
10 CSJ's Call to Action
11 Committee Updates
CSJ works to promote social justice by confronting oppressive systems of power and privilege that affect professional counselors and their clients.
From The President:
Continued on next page
Culturally Competent Conversations for School Counselors: Taking Action
By: Shekila Melchior & Tamara Tribitt
We are back with the final installment of our series and we are excited!! In this final article we will focus on a topic that is so timely to today, the Action component of the Multicultural and Social Justice Competencies (MSJCC). The authors (Ratts et al., 2016) of the MSJCC added the “Action” component stating that “operationalizing attitudes and beliefs, knowledge, and skills is critical to achieving multicultural and social justice outcomes,” (p.30). The authors posit that counselors who are culturally competent and have insight into the needs of the varying populations we serve have a stronger understanding of how to integrate social justice advocacy. Constantine (2007) outlines in the final two social justice competencies to collaborate with community organizations and develop interventions and advocacy skills that promote social changes within our spheres of influence. This four-part series sought to explore the parallels between the competencies and our roles as school counselors. As a final refresher, let’s recap the three previous articles of the series.
In our first installment we began our series with self-awareness; juxtaposing the MSJCC competencies with Constantine’s Social Justice Competencies. Following that we discussed knowledge where we explored racial injustices, provided key terms and examined the systemic barriers our racial/ethnic minority students face. Lastly were skills, in the third installment we adapted the MSJCC to frame the cultural competency skills into a school setting. We challenged you all to consider how you intend to combat white supremacy in your schools. In our culminating piece of the series we move towards ACTION!
Over the past several months we have begun answering the question, where do we go from here? And as a result of the time we live in now, we decided to diverge a little from our original format and leave you with tangible steps. The final article will explore the current social justice issues that are at the forefront, a snapshot of bills that we should take note of, how the current climate impacts the students we serve, and resources that will help us to get involved.
What’s on the Docket?!
What does this mean for our students?
As school counselor’s we are great at working with our students, advocating at the school level, and creating areas of access, but we never want to forget what is going on at the systemic level which ultimately impacts our schools and students we serve. The ACA Advocacy Competencies highlight the application of knowledge and skills in the public arena (Toporek & Daniels,2018). As school counselors, we have the expertise to collaborate with groups to tackle issues on a broad scale, in an effort to raise public awareness and lobby decision-making bodies to make legislative or policy changes (Toporek & Daniels, 2018). We have specialized skills in group facilitation, research, writing, and communication that can contribute to the fight for social equity; as we work in conjunction with the communities our schools are a part of or on behalf of our students. These skills can be molded to fit our individual style; some of us may advocate by writing, while others advocate more publicly through mass media or working directly with lobbyists. Whatever our approach, our unique brand of advocacy work is valid and needed at the macro-level as long as we are not perpetuating the oppression we are fighting against. Below are resources you can explore that may assist in your advocacy work on a larger scale. And, as always, we offer you an opportunity to engage in a conversation about this topic in the textbox below.
·Find Your Representative
·Find out if you’re registered to vote (If you are eligible)
·Human Rights Campaign: Federal Legislation
·CSJ’s Call to Action
A final note from the authors:
We have so enjoyed writing this four-part series and have gained so much knowledge ourselves in preparing it for you all. We are excited about where the profession is headed and are hopeful for change. Remember, our work truly begins after November 3!
-In Solidarity, Shekila and Tami
Constantine, M. G., Hage, S. M., Kindaichi, M. M., & Bryant, R. M. (2007). Social justice and multicultural issues: Implications for the practice and training of counselors and counseling psychologists. Journal of Counseling and Development, 85(1), 24-29.
Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A, Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2016). Multicultural and social justice counseling competencies: Guidelines for the counseling profession. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 44(1), 28-48.
Toporek, R. L., & Daniels, J. (2018). ACA Advocacy Competencies. American Counseling Association.
Find your Voice. Choose your Call. Take Action.
Social Justice Issues
House & Senate Bills
Women’s Rights (Reproductive Health)
·Supreme Court Justice Appointment
(Individuals and families on the border, international students, asylee/refugees)
·Condemning Unwanted, Unnecessary Medical Procedures on Individuals Without Their Full, Informed Consent
·The American Dream & Promise Act
(Defunding the police, increasing mental health professionals in schools, Bias and Mental Health First Aid training)
·The Breathe Act
·George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
The LGBTQ Community
·Every Child Deserves a Family Act
·The Equality Act
Access to Health Care (Affordable Care Act)
Climate Change (California Wildfires)
·Green New Deal Resolution
·The America’s Clean Future Act
Culturally Competent Conversations
For this installment we will be using Padlet to engage in conversation. This will allow you to post using a variety of modalities.It will also allow everyone to see others’ posts and gives us an opportunity to build community!
What actions are you taking or plan to take to enact change?
1.Click this linkto the PADLET BOARD
2.Use the plus sign in the bottom left corner
3.Choose how you want to add your post.You have an array of choices (written, video, image, etc.).
4.Click outside your text box and it will automatically post.
5.All posts will be anonymous automatically.If you want to share your identity, please be sure to add your name to the post.
Shekila Melchior & Tamara Tribitt
The Historical Trauma of Slavery
By: Briana G. Gaines
A significant portion of the work one does as a clinician revolves around incidences that clients have not been able to work through or recover from. As counselors, it is imperative to understand and feel comfortable with facilitating healing in these clients. Recently, trainings and certification programs that address the treatment of trauma have become popular, however very few of them discuss its historical nature. While it is important to understand the distressing events that have occurred during an individual’s life, it is equally as important to understand, and help clients bring into awareness, the emotional injuries passed down from prior generations which may not be recognized as trauma.
Historical trauma is like complicated grief (Levin, 2009). It affects individuals deeply; not only for those who experience it directly, but it can also be vicarious or passed down to subsequent generations (Levin, 2009). Epigenetics explains how one’s environment can actually affect one’s genetic expression (Spiegel, 2014). Studies across species, cultures, and trauma types have shown that stress can be transmitted from generation to generation (Levin, 2016). So, what does this mean for the population of Americans that have endured the trauma of two centuries of bondage?
Black Americans have been profoundly affected by slavery and its aftermath both psychologically and emotionally (Wilkins et al., 2013). The trauma associated with slavery is unique because it has yet to be accepted as having deep implications on those who have experienced it as well as on continuous generations (Wilkins et al., 2013). Survivor syndrome has often been used to describe those who have endured atrocities, such as the holocaust, and is defined by symptoms such as chronic anxiety, depression, nightmares, irritability, fear of persecution, impaired social relationships, and psychosomatic disorders (Bergen-Reiss, 1995). It can be argued that Black Americans, whose ancestors survived slavery, experience many of these symptoms as well. Failure to understand the ways in which slavery, and other historical traumas, affects clients, their experience, and presenting problems may lead clinicians to have limited perspective and conceptualizations causing ineffective treatment or harm (Wilkins et al., 2013).The persistent presence of racism, despite the significant legal, social, and political progress made during the second half of the twentieth century, has created a physiological risk for Black Americans that is virtually unknown to White Americans (Wilkins et al., 2013).
Black Americans underutilize therapeutic services and evidence suggests that when they do, they are receiving inadequate mental health care (Wilkins et al., 2013). It is essential that clinicians address and acknowledge intergenerational trauma as part of the therapeutic process. As counselors, it is important to help clients combat learned helplessness—feeling as though one cannot control the outcome of events and cannot reduce the probability of a negative event occurring—as helplessness often leads to anxiety (DeGruy, 2017). Clients replace learned helplessness with learned self-efficacy by effecting positive change in their life. Counselors can demonstrate this to clients by joining with them and walking alongside the client through “the door of self-efficacy”-not just teaching them how to get there and walk through the door on their own (DeGruy, 2017).
Clients must also heal from past injuries by building on one’s strengths (DeGruy, 2017). It is important that clinicians help clients establish new and healthy behaviors by correcting cognitive distortions about African culture, encouraging them to celebrate their Black culture, promoting a greater sense of pride and self-love, and helping them to develop the belief that it is possible to be free of psychological slavery (Wilkins et al., 2013). Essentially, one must assist in building clients’ self-esteem: the cognizance and belief in their value and worth (DeGruy, 2017).
Another main goal should be to replace racist socialization with racial socialization (DeGruy, 2017). Racist Socialization is the adoption of the slave master’s value system and can be seen as adopting the belief that all things associated with whiteness are superior and all things associated with blackness are inferior. It is important to acknowledge the strengths of African Americans, their family, their culture, as well as the reality of discrimination and racism (DeGruy, 2017). Clinicians should also engage in exercises that encourage clients to critically examine popular literature and movies, assess popular standards of beauty, and help clients to acknowledge their racial identity (Wilkins et al., 2013).
Counselors must also address cultural mistrust with Black clients and recognize the possibility that this may be a symptom of historical trauma (Wilkins et al., 2013). Due to the institutional harm done to Black Americans, the client may be reluctant to trust a therapist. Relationships cannot thrive among oppression and voicelessness (Wilkins et al., 2013), and for that reason it is paramount that clinicians address cultural mistrust early in the therapeutic relationship.
Telling one’s story can be freeing and redemptive (DeGruy, 2017). Story telling is an important part of healing and helps to build resiliency and put things into perspective (DeGruy, 2017). Therapy by nature elicits the opportunity to create space for an individual client’s experience. In a societal framework that constantly shuts down the voices of Black Americans, that “interprets” and tells them how they feel and what they experience, it is important to put the power back into the client’s hands. Simply put; give your client’s the space to tell their story.
It is time that we as a nation acknowledge the dark history of America’s past and the lasting effects it continues to have on an entire group of people. It is essential that we start breaking cycles of intergenerational trauma and heal the hurt and pain that Black Americans have had to live with for hundreds of years. Although it is important to acknowledge the psychological resilience of Black people, it is equally important to acknowledge that they have never been protected - economically, politically, socially, or psychologically (Wilkins et al., 2013). It is the duty of counselors, as culturally competent clinicians, to cultivate healing within this community and advocate for those who suffer when this historical trauma is overlooked.
Bergen-Reiss, D. (1995). Generations after the Holocaust: Multigenerational transmission of trauma. In B. S. Mark & J. A. Incorvaia (Authors), The handbook of infant, child and adolescent psychotherapy. New directions in integrative treatment. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.
DeGruy, J. (2017). Post traumatic slave syndrome: America’s legacy of enduring injury and healing. revised edition. Portland, OR: Joy DeGruy Publications.
Levin, A. (2009, August 21). How much does historical trauma add to Indians' health problems. https://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/doi/ 10.1176/pn.44.16.0009a
Levin, A. (2016). Researchers tackle complexity of intergenerational stress transmission. Psychiatric News, 51(2), 1. doi:10.1176/appi.pn.2016.1b9
Spiegel, D. (2014). An ingeneious study of intergenerational transmission of the effects of PTSD. American Journal of Psychiatry, 171(8), 811-813. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14050611
Wilkins, E., Whiting, J., Watson, Russon, J., & Moncrief, A. (2013). Residual effects of slavery: What clinicians need to know. Contemporary Family Therapy, 35(1), 14-28. doi:10.1007/s10591-012-9219-1
Briana Gaines is a Ph.D. student in the Counseling & Supervision program at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Briana currently holds a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) credential in the state of New Jersey as well as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) Credential. Prior to beginning her doctoral degree at JMU Briana received her master’s in Counselor Education at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). With a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, she has practiced as an outpatient therapist and clinical case manager at a non-profit organization where she worked with underserved and underrepresented populations. Briana’s research interests Race-Based Trauma, vicarious trauma, and Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.
Climate Justice and Counseling: A Call to Action
By: Alex Hilert
Within the past year, there has been a major upsurge in social activism centered on the principle of climate justice. On September 20, 2019, millions of children in over a 150 countries walked out of school in support of climate justice inspired by 16 year-old activist Greta Thunberg. From October 7 – 20th 2019, Extinction Rebellion gathered in major cities all over the world to engage in non-violent direct action to demand a just response to the climate crisis. In November, more than 11,000 scientists declared a “climate emergency,” citing the need for addressing climate change through social and economic justice (Ripple et al., 2019). Meanwhile in the Amazon rainforest, Indigenous land protectors risk their life on a daily basis to defend against deforestation caused by new (often illegal) mining, logging, and agriculture infrastructure projects. While scientists and environmentalists have long called for addressing the environmental risks of anthropogenic climate change, the climate justice movement has brought a new focus to the ways climate change threatens the livelihood and welfare of diverse communities around the world.
The climate justice movement emerged in the early 2000s from the joining together of strands of the environmental justice movement, the global justice movement, Indigenous rights organizations, and environmental protection groups (Bond & Dorsey, 2010). Central to its focus, the climate justice movement recognizes the disproportionate impact of climate change on low and middle income countries, Native/Indigenous communities, People of Color, children, and the elderly (Bond & Dorsey, 2010; Levy & Patz, 2015). The climate justice movement advocates for the immediate reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the empowering of People of Color, Native/Indigenous communities, and stakeholders from frontline communities most affected by climate change in decision-making processes regarding climate change mitigation and adaption efforts (Bond & Dorsey, 2010; Robinson & Shine, 2018).
As counselors, we are committed to principles of multiculturalism and social justice which calls for eliminating barriers associated with systemic injustice and oppression (Ratts et al., 2016). As the effects of climate change become more and more apparent through extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, and sea-level rise (Ripple et al., 2019), counselors must recognize the climate crisis as an issue of social justice. This calls for our recognition that climate change and ecological collapse will be damaging to people’s mental health and lead to new barriers and forms of oppression for systemically marginalized groups who often possess less resources to cope with the effects of climate change.
As counselors we can use our expertise to join in efforts to engage in climate justice advocacy at the local, state, and national level. We can call out the disproportionate impacts of climate change and its effects on mental health. We can fight for climate action plans that call for both immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and increased environmental and social justice for historically marginalized groups.
In addition to advocacy, counselors have many skills they can contribute to the ongoing fight for climate justice. We can share our knowledge and skills in promoting wellness among activist organizations to decrease burnout. We can use group facilitation skills to lead community dialogues on climate change to foster greater awareness and community action. We can also help individuals cope with the realities of climate change, especially young people, through active coping and political engagement.
Climate change is an existential threat which scientists agree will require major social and cultural changes, the likes of which are nearly unprecedented in human history (Ripple et al., 2019). The call for social action is urgent and demands that all individuals become engaged at the interpersonal and systemic level. Counselors have many skills as facilitators and organizers which can be applied to the current climate crisis. While counselor training continues to place the individual at the nexus of our focus, the climate crisis necessitates that we take a wider ecological view and consider the importance of environmental and climate justice.
Alex Hilert graduated with his M.Ed. in community agency counseling from George Mason University in 2016. He is currently working on his doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision at William and Mary and working part-time as an addictions counselor in Richmond, Virginia.
Bond, P. & Dorsey, M. K. (2010). Anatomies of environmental knowledge and resistance: Diverse climate justice movements and waning eco-neoliberalism. Journal of Australian Political Economy, 66, 286-316.
Levy, B. S. & Patz, J. A. (2015). Climate change, human rights, and social justice. Annals of Global Health, 81, 310-322. doi:10.1016/j.aogh.2015.08.008
Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCulluogh, J. R. (2016). Multicultural and social justice counseling competencies: Guidelines for the counseling profession. Journal of Multicultural Counseling & Development, 44, 28-48. doi:10.1002/jmcd.12035
Ripple, W. J., Wolf, C., Newsome, T. M., Barnard, P. & Moomaw, W. R. (2019). World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency. Bioscience, biz088. doi:10.1093/biosci/biz088
Robinson, M. & Shine, T. (2018). Achieving a climate justice pathway to 1.5C. Nature Climate Change, 8, 564-569. doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0189-7
Counselors for Social Justice and the ACA’s Human Rights Committee: Are We Two Sides of the Same Coin?
By: Sam Steen, Judy Daniels, & Claire Openshaw
There is no question that the U.S. is dealing with a multi-headed monster that is bolder than can be recalled in the last 50 years. The U.S.’s story consists of an awful history and many of the skeletons are manifesting themselves full-bodied in contemporary systems. Just do a google search with any of the terms such as school, hospital, mental health, prisons, federal government, court systems, media, social media, sports, music, families and add the term “racism”, it will be clear that our society is chaotic. To illustrate, the terms ``school and racism” were combined in a google search and “High school and police departments” popped up first! At the same time countless micro and macro aggressions are unleashed on us all. Just turn on the television, open your laptop or cellphone. But, if low income, queer, or Black is part of your identities, then being invisible is sometimes preferable to what is seen. What is more frightening is that when racism, violence, and hostility is caught on film sometimes ignorance, unawareness, avoidance, and passivity is to blame. And on top of all that, there are raging wildfires, devastating tropical storms, and weather related disasters that demonstrate how little control we have over natural catastrophes and the impending climate crisis.
Despite these realities, members within Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ) remain courageous and press toward fairness for the people. CSJ members embody advocacy and action. There are indeed countless examples. CSJ is made up of leaders like yourselves who are passionate about attacking injustices plaguing our communities. What is yet to be determined is when the battle will be won.
In solidarity, the Human Rights Committee (HRC) within ACA wants to connect with as many divisions as possible. We are extending multiple divisions invitations to get the word out about what they are doing and exploring ways to collaborate with our efforts. No doubt, CSJ has a longstanding sword in battling human rights issues that are impacting our clients and communities. The mission of the HRC is to bring awareness to human rights and social justice circumstances that impact the counseling profession and to address barriers that impede virtue and wellness. CSJ has been connecting human rights and counseling in ways that have not always been fostered, cultivated, and developed in the past across ACA. Significantly, HRC is extending our committee members and in kind resources to make these connections. While it is known to some and news to others, HRC has a long history, going back to the 1960’s, leading the efforts addressing issues of injustice. It has served as an important committee for the association and its members. In the last few years this committee was tasked by the Governing Council to establish advocacy statements for ACA which draw attention to social justice issues that impact our profession. Some of the motions initiated by the HRC have focused on issues of immigration, women’s rights, the “me too” movement, climate crises, and gun violence. There are a few more recent ones that are being explored and having CSJ members’ input can strengthen these projects.
In closing, the many unprecedented social justice issues we currently face within our society are a mandate to get engaged in your spheres of influence and become more proactive. Let’s address these issues by looking at how to support counselors in their work collaboratively. A question was posed in the title, about the connection and relationship between CSJ and HRC. At this point, the verdict is still out so where do we start?
Maintaining our Commitment to Anti-Racism?
By: Darius Green
In our summer issue of the CSJ Newsletter, many of us were collectively living through a crisis of what has been frequently termed as a double pandemic. With the COVID-19 pandemic and racism being on the forefront of many of our minds, professional attention has shifted towards addressing these issues. A crisis is defined as a turning point where positive change or negative consequences are possible (Echterling et al., 2017). This leads to my main questions for our readers: 1) What positive change are we hoping to form as professionals that stems from COVID-19, racism and anti-Blackness ? and 2) How will we maintain this change?
The transtheoretical model of change serves as a framework for us to conceptualize our process of change. This model contains five stages: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Precontemplation refers to an unawareness of a need for change while the contemplation stage entails both an awareness of the need for change and ambiguity in the details of what that change should look like. In the preparation stage, a commitment for change has been made and a plan for enacting change is outlined. Next, the action stage is where this plan is put into action. Lastly, the maintenance stage entails the efforts to sustain progress made towards what is being changed.
It may be useful for all of us to reflect deeply on what stage of change we are currently in. For some, the crisis of racial injustice may have caused an immediate shift from precontemplation to contemplation and preparation. Some others may also be unaware of, in disbelief, or in denial about recent events associated with racism, or even the current existence of the phenomenon of racism itself. This might reflect a precontemplative state of awareness. Likewise, others have been engaged in efforts to address racism and racial injustice and are maintaining their efforts.
When I reflect over where I would place myself in this model of change, I have seen myself as fluctuating between the preparation and action stages between January of 2019 and the present moment. During this timeframe, I have planned and completed a dissertation on undue police violence, began a second research study on vicarious exposure to police violence, submitted manuscripts and presentation proposals on race-based trauma, and have aided in anti-racist efforts in my places of employment. Despite my passion for research and advocacy on this topic, I have noticed that I also have struggled in maintaining my actions. I have occasionally exhausted myself and have felt disorganized at times after completing a single task or project. I am finding the transtheoretical model of change to be a helpful framework for identifying what I need to do to avoid these pitfalls. For me, this includes collaborating with colleagues, mapping out short- and long-term objectives for projects, seeking feedback from mentors, and allowing myself to have time off from the work I am doing. To give a specific example, I recently made the decision to create a weekly schedule for engaging in outdoor physical activity as a way of managing stress and staying in shape.
Fortunately, there have been at least 11 national professional counseling organizations, including the American Counseling Association, American Mental Health Counselors Association, and Counselors for Social Justice, and several state and local organizations, who issued statements to condemn white supremacy and address racial injustice. Furthermore, we may have many colleagues, peers, students, supervisors, and supervisees who have committed to engaging in change towards addressing anti-Blackness and racism. As some food for thought for those of us seeking to grow in our commitment to anti-racism, I will end with these questions: What stage of change would you currently place yourself in? Where might we place ourselves, professional organizations, and colleagues in their process of change? How might we continue to support and nudge ourselves and others in our commitment to addressing anti-Blackness and racism?
Echterling, L. G., Presbury, J., & McKee, J. E. (2017). Crisis intervention: Building resilience in troubled times. San Diego, CA: Cognella
Judy Daniels & Sam Steen
Call to Action!
Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ) calls counselors, counseling students, counselor educators, and mental health workers to actively engage in dismantling racialized violence of Black and Brown persons by police force and to fight for racial equity locally and nationally. We call you to action:
CALL your state Governors, Attorney Generals, Senators and Representatives, and your City Council Members, City Law Directors, and Mayors to express contempt for the continued senseless murders of Black and Brown persons at the hands of police officers and to advocate for police reform that includes immediate investigation and removal of officers who have acted outside the call of the badge via biases in speech and behavior.
To find your state contacts check out https://openstates.org/
CONNECT with local police agencies, school, and healthcare systems to offer counselor based training on multicultural competencies (e.g., addressing unconscious bias, cultural competence) and trauma-informed care.
COLLABORATE with local agencies and organizers who are fighting for sustainable change and racial justice. Partner in the community around education, action, and reform.
COMMUNICATE with clients, students, and colleagues about the justice system's failure to indict Breonna Taylor's murderers. Be willing and ready to ask for emotional responses- allow for and support feelings of anger, fear, and confusion. Provide space for clients, students, and colleagues to be heard, to feel supported, and to know you stand in solidarity with them.
CONTRIBUTE to bail funds and local organizing efforts in support of dismantling racist systems.
We want to hear the actions you are taking to dismantle racist systems in our nation and in your community. Share the actions you are taking to fight racial inequities and injustices locally and nationally using #Counselors4SocialJustice.
Check out CSJ's website for more resources and tios for calling policy makers! https://www.counseling-csj.org/take-action-now.html
The CSJ Membership Committee is working on several initiatives to serve our members and build support for social justice in counseling!
First, we want to congratulate our six newly approved CSJ Chapters!
UNT Counselors for Social Justice (UNT-CSJ) at the University of North Texas
Counselors for Social Justice - Springfield College (CSJ-SC)
Counselors for Social Justice-Hood College Chapter (CSJ-Hood)
Texas State University Counselors for Social Justice (TXST CSJ)
Arizona Counselors for Social Justice (A-CSJ) at the University of Arizona
Counselors for Social Justice – Southern Methodist University (CSJ-SMU)
Second, please save the date for our Fall CSJ Chapter Town Hall on October 27 at 7-8:30pm EST via Zoom: https://gmu.zoom.us/j/92793300210?pwd=dlIrcFVQSXNkekx1Z2JZUDU4Y0xEdz09
We hope you will join us to learn more about our chapters, connect with others, hear advice about starting a chapter, and more!
Finally, stay tuned for more initiatives coming soon from the Membership Committee, including an updated Chapter Handbook, an updated list of chapters and contact information, and additional opportunities to connect with other CSJ members!
If you have suggestions or are interested in joining
the committee, please contact the Membership Committee Co-Chairs, Dr. Shon Smith and Dr. Rachael Goodman at Membership@counseling-csj.org.
Calling ALL CSJ Chapters!
We want to feature YOU! Are you hosting an awesome speaker? Marching in a protest? Organizing an advocacy event? Writing letters to your representatives?
Please send a brief description and any photos of your chapter's efforts. We look forward to connecting with you! Please email us at email@example.com or connect on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with @CSJNational.
Congratulations to our brand new CSJ university chapters! We look forward to seeing you soon!
- Frannie Neal, CSJ Communications Officer
For more information, please visit
For other announcements and information about future events and webinars, please follow CSJ on: Facebook (@CSJNational), Twitter (@CounselingCSJ), & ACA Connect!
President: Colette Dollarhide
President Elect: Delila Owens
Past President: Lauren Shure Secretary: Teresa Gregersen
Treasurer: Chiquita Holmes
Communications Officer: Frannie Neal
Student Representative: Kshipra Jain
Community Representative: Alexia DeLeon
School Representative: Shekila Melchior
Retiree/Limited Means Representative: Dianne Logan-Parr
Governing Council Representative: Edil Torres Rivera
Committee/ Task Force Chairs
Advocacy Committee Chair: Ebony White
Awards Committee Chair: Candice Norris-Brown
Conference Committee Chairs: Frannie Neal & Heather Zeng
Membership Committee Chairs: Rachael Goodman & Shon Smith
Mentoring & Leadership Committee Chairs: Christina McGrath Fair & Mercy Machado
Newsletter Committee Chairs: Sam Steen & Darius Green
Professional Development Committee Chairs: Rebecca Hug & Tina Onikoyi
Research Committee Chair: Delila Owens
Journal of Social Action in Counseling & Psychology Editors: Lawrence H. Gerstein & Pamela Valera
Newsletter Submission Guidelines
Subject matter/topics: All content should be relevant to
social justice issues that impact professional counselors and/or their clients. If you’d like to run a topic by CSJ, please email newsletter co-editors Darius Green and Sam Steen at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Word count: There is no hard and fast rule, but most
articles tend to be somewhere between 750 and 1,000 words.
Style: Please use APA style and use in-text citations and
references when appropriate.
Voice: Some CSJ articles are more academic in nature, while others are more reflective. The voice of your article should be unique to you, and largely be determined by the purpose of your piece (e.g., providing information, persuasion, telling a personal story, etc.). However, please do avoid extremely casual language.
Photos: Photos are strongly encouraged! Whenever possible, please submit a high-res images so that they can be printed without becoming blurry/pixelated. Please note that most images pulled off of a website are NOT high-res. If no photos are provided with a submission, the co-editors will most likely select one or more royalty-free images to accompany your piece.
Bio: Please include a short bio (two to three sentences
should be fine) along with your submission. Possible
information to include: education, licensure, current work
setting, research interests. Feel free to submit a head shot
along with your bio!
Deadlines: CSJ releases quarterly newsletters and accepts
submissions on a rolling basis. If you are interested in
submitting an article for our NEXT issue, please contact
co-editors Darius Green & Sam Steen.