Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Committee
The District of Columbia Psychological Association believes in the role of diversity and social justice in shaping the daily lived experiences of our providers, clients, communities and society. We recognize power and privilege differentials and their role in racism, religious oppression, sexism, sizeism, heterosexism, ethno-centrism, ableism, and ageism. We acknowledge the impact of power differential on equity, access, participation and people’s rights. We aim to honor the APA Ethical Principles of Beneficence, Fidelity and Responsibility, Integrity, Justice, and Respect for People's Rights and Dignity.
The objectives of the committee are to advance understanding of the impact that differences in racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical ability, cultural and linguistic background between practitioners and clients can have on the therapeutic relationship; to provide educational and professional opportunities to explore ways of addressing and ameliorating this impact; and, to help foster an environment in which interracial, inter-ethnic and cultural dialogue, cultural awareness and sensitivity play a strengthening role in the life of the DC psychological community. This committee will be working closely with the professional development training committee to ensure provision of professional training for our providers, members, and among ourselves.
Chair: Samira Paul, Psy.D., who can be reached at Samira.F.Paul@gmail.com
Student Representative for Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Committee, Joniesha Hickson, MA. She can be reached at Jhickson@thechicagoschool.edu
Issue Statement: Race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, physical ability, cultural and linguistic backgrounds play a pivotal role in our clients and providers lived experiences, and their approach to mental health and its practices from assessment to treatment approaches; Lack of racial, ethnic and cultural awareness create obstacles to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological conditions, and to the therapeutic relationship creating an imminent threat to our community’s and society’s mental and physical health.
Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Committee will achieve its objectives through the following action;
1. Community-Practitioner Continuing Education trainings designed to promote the understanding of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, physical ability, bias, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, power, oppression, trauma (e.g., complex, vicarious, relational, socio-political and transgenerational), equity and access on mental health and mental health treatment.
2. Guest lectures by diverse experts in the field of diversity and social justice aimed at promoting dialogue, cultivating awareness of institutionalized racism and mobilizing action in support of our diverse community.
3. Leveraging the diversity inherent in the DCPA community of practitioners to share knowledge and engage in ongoing dialogue and training with our members to better identify our blind spots and enhance growth.
4. Increase representation, recruitment, and retention of minority membership, specifically oppressed groups. This would include two student representatives from diverse backgrounds who would work closely with the student representative of the board.
5. Partnering with members of the black community to organize and develop a chapter dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement.
6. Partner with community organizations and institutions focused on diversity issues and social justice.
7. Create an antiracist ongoing educational program in cooperation with different organizations and local experts.
8. Provide written position statements on behalf of current events impacting members of varying ethnic groups with a consistent focus on the Black Lives Matter movement.
9. Organize ‘Share your Story’ events to provide ongoing support of the oppressed experience.
10. Maintain an accessible knowledge database for diversity questions or issues that may arise in practice. This committee will also provide consultation and support to clinicians, clients, and the community by creating a database of black people and brown practitioners in the DC area and pro-bono network.
11. Waive fees for students to attend all educational and CE training programs.
12. Award for Distinguished student contribution to Diversity and inclusion research –($300)
13. Create a book club and multimedia library to open dialogue about diversity issues (Movies, TedTalks, documentaries, music, 6 books a year that address topics of racism, power, oppression, privilege, religious intolerance, culture).
14. Creation of consultation/support groups for therapists/non-therapist psychologists and students of color.
Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Resources and Best Practices
Dr. Samira Paul, Chair
Dr. Robert Favero
Dr. Georica Gholson
Joniesha Hickson, M.A., student representative
Dr. Keri Kirk
Dr. Shavonne Moore-Lobban
Dr. Angelina Nortey
Dr. Laurie Paul
Dr. Donitra Ross
Dr. Suzan Stafford
Dr. Stephen Stein
Dr. Victoria Sylos-Labini