Diversity, Social Justice & Inclusion Committee Statement
The Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Committee (DSJI) of the District of Columbia Psychological Association aims to advance the understanding of the impact of differences in race, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, language and ability on our daily lived experiences as practitioners, students and community while advocating for social change. We believe in education as a powerful tool for social change and work closely with the Professional Development committee to provide educational and professional opportunities to foster an environment of interracial, interethnic and cultural dialogue.
We are so grateful for the interest and responses we received from the DC Psychological Association members and non-members following our call for committee members. This heartwarming response enabled us to expand the DSJI committee and its’ activities while serving our community. We partnered with academic institutions and organizations such as Howard University, Greater Washington Urban League, Georgetown University and collaborated on statements and a series of educational webinars for educators, psychologists, counselors, students and members of the community. DSJI team addressed various media requests ranging from microaggressions to domestic violence. We also grew our student membership and engagement, waived all fees for their participation in CE webinars and conducted webinars to address their needs led by our student representative. Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Committee collaborated with the DC Psychological Board on enacting changes to ensure inclusion and retention of our diverse members while advocating for students’ rights. The DCPA board was actively engaged and received an anti-racist training that addressed biases, microaggressions and tools to become a better ally for the community. Lastly, we worked closely with the Professional Development Division to ensure the provision of monthly educational webinars listed below.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the DC Psychological Association Board for supporting DSJI team efforts. I would like to also acknowledge our President’s support, Dr. Suzan Stafford and our President Elect Dr. Victoria Sylos-Labini for advocating fiercely for change. Special gratitude to Dr. Stephen Stein whose compassion, relentless belief in our collective efforts and unity as a source for growth and the path to move forward kept us inspired.
I would also like to acknowledge each of the DSJI team members Dr. Shavonne Moore-Lobban, Dr. Donitra Ross, Dr. Keri Kirk, Dr. Georica Gholson, Dr. Douglas Favero , Dr. Laurie Paul , Dr. Angelina Nortey and our Student Representative Joniesha Hickson, MA (Jojo) whose participation, engagement and passion for diversity, social justice and inclusion continues to shape our future in this field. Lastly, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the DC Psychological Association members whose involvement with us whether via social media, listserv, e-mails or attendance of webinars continues to inspire us as an association.
The professional Development component of DCPA is designed to meet the educational and professional needs of our membership. In addition to providing Continuing Education for licensure a crucial objective of professional development is to provide training, programs, and continuing Education that addresses the emerging needs and challenges of the mental health profession and the community. To accomplish this, the professional development component works closely with the Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Committee (DSJI) to provide empathic attunement, awareness and clinical training, skill acquisition and capabilities designed to meet the challenges we collectively face. A list of the webinars is as follows;
1. Addressing Racial & Political Issues from Black Perspective; Dr. Donitra Ross & Dr. Jackie Darby, moderated by Jojo Hickson (MA)
2. De-Colonization of Mental Health, Nurturing Student Activism-hosted by Howard University; Dr. Samira Paul
3. Psychotherapy in Black and White; Dr. Laurie Paul
4. Unpaid Externship Student Panel; Jojo Hickson (MA)
5. Race, Racism & Racial Trauma; Speaking to the Unspeakable in Professional Psychology; Dr. Shavonne Moore-Lobban & Dr. Carlton Green, moderated by Jojo Hickson (MA)
6. Coaching Black Executives; Dr. Gregory Pennington
7. Enhancing Safety for Psychology Trainees; Dr. Keri Kirk
8. Racial Microaggressions In Clinical Practice; Dr. Keri Kirk
9. Upcoming webinar: Deepening our Understanding and Affirmation of LGBTQ+ Clients; Dr. Laurie Paul and Dr. Antoine Crosby
We believe that by marshalling and coordinating our resources we can maximize our effectiveness in this time of uncertainty and crisis to provide both professional and personal support to our members and community.
Simply put in unity there is strength and wisdom, in solidarity there is hope. We invite you to join us
Samira Paul, Psy.D.
Chair, Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Committee
Stephen Stein, Ph.D.
Director, Professional Development