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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

The leadership and faculty of the Clinical Psychology MA and PhD Programs are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. These values are ethical imperatives, enshrined in the ethical principles of the American Psychological Association, reinforced by the Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology, and supported by Northwestern University and the Feinberg School of Medicine.

The leadership of the Clinical Psychology MA and PhD programs has developed immediate, short-term, and long-term actions to make certain that our words of commitment become reality.

Immediate actions included some of the following:

  • Increasing access to anti-racism resources specific to clinical psychology for students and faculty.
  • Working with our Diversity Committee to hold department-wide "Action Hours" every quarter to facilitate students, faculty, and staff in taking specific actions to promote social justice locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Working with department leadership to increase the number of opportunities and venues for students to report, document, or process microaggressions and other forms of discrimination.
  • Identify a consultant to provide opportunities for students to obtain consultation on diversity-related clinical or research concerns.

Short-term actions include some of the following:

  • Restructuring our approach to teaching diversity in science and practice. Starting in Winter 2021, a new instructor is redesigning our Diversity course to focus on the fundamentals of diversity in clinical psychology as well as strengthening competencies related to diversity in clinical psychological research. We are also adding two year-long seminars. The First Year seminar will focus on facilitating our students in better understanding themselves in relation to a diverse world. The Second Year seminar will focus on diversity in clinical practice.
  • The Program leadership is working with the Diversity Committee to conduct an audit of course syllabi to identify and fill critical gaps (e.g., decolonizing research practice, reviewing the history of oppression of specific groups within clinical psychology) in the delivery of diversity-related knowledge and skill competencies across the programs' courses. For example, the programs' Ethics course will be integrating a 3-hour class devoted to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
  • Program leadership is participating in a comprehensive effort by the Council of Chairs of Training Councils to create a toolkit for integrating nine different areas of social justice into education and training programs within health service psychology.
  • Program leadership will work with the Diversity Committee to identify a unifying approach to guide the program’s anti-racism and diversity efforts. A subcommittee of faculty and students will be developed to identify models and theories that will serve as a foundation for guiding and facilitating the program’s efforts at addressing racism and diversity, including changes to the curriculum.

Long-term actions include some of the following:

  • Program leadership and the Diversity Committee are committed to improving the "pipeline" of diverse youth who will be interested in, and competitive for, our MA and PhD programs in Clinical Psychology. We will enhance current efforts at the undergraduate (e.g., Diversifying Clinical Psychology events in Chicago and throughout the nation via the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology) and high school (Northwestern Medicine Scholars Program) levels.
  • The program leadership will continue to work with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion within the Graduate School on a continual process of improvement with our admissions processes and recruitment efforts to increasingly diversify our student body.
  • The program leadership commits to increasing the diversity of faculty involved in the program to better reflect society and our students.
  • The program leadership commits to identifying and integrating opportunities to infuse diversity and social justice into all educational and training requirements within the MA and PhD programs.

The program leadership will continue to work with the Diversity Committee, the student body, and the community to identify other ideas and approaches for strengthening our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice at individual and systemic levels.

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