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Cher Edwards, Rachel Gremillion, & Kaley Mitchell PowerPoint Presentation
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Cher Edwards, Rachel Gremillion, & Kaley Mitchell

Cher Edwards, Rachel Gremillion, & Kaley Mitchell

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Cher Edwards, Rachel Gremillion, & Kaley Mitchell

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  1. Cher Edwards, Rachel Gremillion, & Kaley Mitchell

  2. Social Justice Roots • Multicultural Competencies • Framework that works to guide counselor’s cultural awareness, cultural biases, and cultural interventions • Counseling profession began to find value in addressing issues of diversity (Toporek, Lewis, & Crethar, 2009)

  3. Social Justice Roots • Professional awareness • That counseling paradigms focused predominately on individual factors and ignored systems of oppression (Ratts, 2009)

  4. Building on the Foundation • Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ) • AdvocacyCompetencies (2003) • Systemicadvocacyaddresses issues in social justice counseling • Individual, community, and public levels • Addresses issues related to equity, fairness, privilege, power, harmony, and oppression (Ratts, Dekryuf, and Chen-Hayes, 2007)

  5. School Counseling and Social Justice • We are called to be social justice advocates • Literature • Initiatives • Professional framework • Ethical guidelines • Position statements

  6. School Counseling and Social Justice • Literature • School Counselors have a “unique” position in schools that allows them to execute social justice advocacy and challenge inequities within schools and communities (Bemuk & Chung, 2005; Dekryuf & Chen-Hayes, 2007; House & Martin, 1999)

  7. School Counseling and Social Justice • Transforming School Initiative • Worked in collaboration with Education Trust to develop a new vision of school counseling with advocacy at its core • Focused on the transformation of graduate level preparation programs (Toporek, Lewis, & Crethar, 2009; Singh, Urbano, Haston, & McMahon, 2010)

  8. School Counseling and Social Justice • ASCA National Model • Defines advocacy as a school counselors role • Leadership, advocacy, and collaboration all lead to systemic change

  9. School Counseling and Social Justice • Ethical Standards for School Counselors • American School Counselor Association states that “each person has the right to be respected [and] be treated with dignity” (ASCA, 2010, Preamble) • ASCA also states that “the professional school counselor is concerned with the educational, academic, career, personal, and social needs and encourages the maximum development of every student” (ASCA, 2010, A.1.) • American Counseling Association states that “the primary responsibility of a counselor is to respect the dignity and promote the welfare of clients” (ACA, 2005, A.1.a).

  10. School Counseling and Social Justice • American School Counselor Association Position Statements • i.e. Equity for all students

  11. Social Justice Counseling • What is social justice counseling? • The deliberate act of promoting equity, access, participation, and harmony to eliminate environmental and individual injustices • Acknowledges issues of power, privilege, and oppression • Addresses social, political, economic and cultural conditions that impact students academic, career, and personal development (Constantine, Hage, Kindaichi, & Bryant, 2007; Fouad, Gerstein, & Toporek, 2006; Goodman, 2001; Ratts, 2009; ACA Governing Council, 2003)

  12. Social Justice Counseling • Is this happening in the schools? • Questionable • Research is limited but some social justice advocacy counseling has been reported • Field and Baker (2004) researched how and when school counselors advocate for students • Singh, Urbano, Haston and McMahon (2010) explored the strategies used by professional school counselors to advocate for social justice and systemic change in their school community • Angel Dowden

  13. Social Justice Counseling • Advocacy Competencies Self-Assessment (ACSA) Survey (Ratts, 2007)

  14. Barriers to Social Justice Advocacy • School counselor’s lack of training/education (Lerner, 1998) • Lack of empirical research

  15. Barriers to Social Justice Advocacy • Nice Counselor Syndrome • Little interest in social and/or political change • Isolation (Bemak &Chung, 2008)

  16. Barriers to Social Justice Advocacy • Burn out • False belief that they need to know more (Roysircar, 2009)

  17. Advocacy Competencies • Origin • Current state • Implications for professional school counselors • Resources

  18. Retrieved from

  19. Advocacy Competencies Client/Student Empowerment • An advocacy orientation involves not only systems change interventions but also the implementation of empowerment strategies in direct counseling.  • Advocacy-oriented counselors recognize the impact of social, political, economic, and cultural factors on human development.  • They also help their clients and students understand their own lives in context.  Client/Student Advocacy • When counselors become aware of external factors that act as barriers to an individual’s development, they may choose to respond through advocacy. • The client/student advocate role is especially significant when individuals or vulnerable groups lack access to needed services. Community Collaboration • Their ongoing work with people gives counselors a unique awareness of recurring themes.  Counselors are often among the first to become aware of specific difficulties in the environment. • Advocacy-oriented counselors often choose to respond to such challenges by alerting existing organizations that are already working for change and that might have an interest in the issue at hand. • In these situations, the counselor’s primary role is as an ally.  Counselors can also be helpful to organizations by making available to them our particular skills: interpersonal relations, communications, training, and research. Systems Advocacy • When counselors identify systemic factors that act as barriers to their students’ or clients’ development, they often wish that they could change the environment and prevent some of the problems that they see every day. • Regardless of the specific target of change, the processes for altering the status quo have common qualities.  Change is a process that requires vision, persistence, leadership, collaboration, systems analysis, and strong data.  In many situations, a counselor is the right person to take leadership. Social/Political Advocacy • Counselors regularly act as change agents in the systems that affect their own students and clients most directly.  This experience often leads toward the recognition that some of the concerns they have addressed affect people in a much larger arena. • When this happens, counselors use their skills to carry out social/political advocacy.

  20. Competency in Action • During educational training as a student • Coursework • Practicum/internship experiences • Additional professional development • In practice as a professional school counselor • Professional development (self) • Building • District • State • Nationally