Excellence through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
“Psychology should not reflect the ills of society, but rather, be a model for what society should be—a place where diversity is mainstreamed and where mutual appreciation exists for the contributions of all.” —APA Presidential Task Force on Enhancing Diversity, 2005, p.11
Our Clinical Psychology Department aims to achieve academic and professional excellence by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion as fundamental values in the department. To achieve this goal, we are engaging in dedicated, multidimensional efforts (1) to diversify our student body and faculty, and (2) to increase our community members’ cultural humility. We are committed to fostering an interpersonally safe and culturally empowering community, which celebrates the richness of thought, perspective, and experience shaped by dimensions of identity such as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, national origin, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
Diversity and Equity Matters
Although, the United States is rapidly becoming more diverse, the field of psychology has not fully integrated multicultural perspectives and has been inadequately responsive to the needs of many underserved and marginalized groups. A critical contributing factor to these challenges is the paucity of clinical psychology graduate students and psychologists from diverse backgrounds (e.g., racial/ethnic, religious, geographical, socioeconomic). Therefore, our Department welcomes and actively recruits students and faculty who represent the country’s diversity to create a psychology workforce capable of providing competent, responsive, and compassionate care to all people.
Limited cultural humility and unconscious biases among mental health professionals are significant contributing factors to mental health disparities disproportionately experienced by historically marginalized and underserved groups. Therefore, our Department has adopted a forward-looking curriculum guided by the American Psychological Association’s 2017 Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality. Our systemic adoption of cultural competence standards enhances our students’ professional psychological practice and is a significant step toward a collaborative, empathic, and inclusive learning and working environment.
Values Underlying Our Department’s Diversity Efforts
- Celebration: We believe that diversity and the richness of our multiple identities should be celebrated and wholly integrated into the fabric of our department through deliberate efforts.
- Complexity and Openness: We believe that our department is strengthened by complexity and that our community benefits from an openness to innovative ideas.
- Social Justice and Fairness: We are committed to dismantling institutionalized inequities and discrimination by encouraging our community’s engagement in difficult and courageous dialogue and civic action.
- Impact: We are committed to ensuring that future generations of clinical psychologists are capable of bravely examining their own beliefs and biases as well as effectively addressing issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their professional practice.
A Glimpse of Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts
2015: Received award from APA's Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention and Training in Psychology to provide professional development training and consultation to the Clinical Psychology faculty on designing pedagogical activities that promote diversity and multicultural competency and enhance the learning environment for students.
2016: Received award from APA's Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention and Training in Psychology, in recognition of innovative strategies for recruitment, retention, and graduation of racial/ethnic minority students in psychology.
2018: Established Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment and Retention Practices to develop a systematic, 3-year plan to be adopted, implemented and, sustained over time for the recruitment and retention of students and faculty from diverse backgrounds.
2019: Established Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Team established to annually monitor the progress of our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Reference: American Psychological Association. 2017. Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/about/policy/multicultural-guidelines.pdf