Appendix P: Brandeis Counseling Center
Mission and Vision Statements
- Mission Statement: We are a multicultural counseling center that responsibly and compassionately addresses the diverse psychological needs of our university students. We offer a variety of services on campus and facilitate referrals to outside resources. We are committed to social justice and dismantling systems of oppression, while fostering healing and wellness. We value the participation of all students inclusive of all intersecting identities.
- Vision Statement: We strive to promote positive social change and deep appreciation for the strengths represented cross culturally at Brandeis University. We continue to engage in culturally responsive training to further understand ourselves and our social location. We believe in transformation through dialogue and collaboration with students and campus partners. We will take collective, sustainable action to heal and transform ourselves, our students and our community.
Response to the Black Action Plan of 2020
Upon receipt of the BAP, the Brandeis Counseling Center Multicultural Committee met to review the demands. We began to work on a report summarizing the BCC’s current status on each demand mentioned. The multicultural committee then facilitated a 2 hour staff meeting focused on reflecting and mobilizing in reaction to BAP. In the meeting we read through the plan and worked in small groups to discuss the plan, our reactions, and ideas for meeting each demand. During this meeting we determined “current action steps” in response to the BAP, listed in the chart below.
Current Relevant Context at the BCC
The BCC’s multicultural committee meets weekly to guide the direction of the BCC’s multicultural development. We are currently working on the strategic plan for the multicultural goals for the remainder of 2020 and 2021.
Following the 2015 Ford Hall, the then director of the BCC, Joy von Steiger PhD, prioritized the demand to hire clinicians of color. Under Joy’s leadership several clinicians of color were hired between 2015 and spring of 2020, and a multicultural committee was assembled at the BCC. The co-leaders of the committee were Martin Pierre, PhD and Dennis Tyrell, PhD, later expanding to include Joy von Steiger, PhD and Amy Scobie-Carroll, LICSW. Presently, the multicultural committee remains intact, and is responsible for steering the direction of the BCC’s multicultural development. Since 2015, much of our professional development has been focused on diversity, equity and inclusion principles and development. The BCC benefitted from external training events and in particular, an extended series of workshops led by Mark Brimhall-Vargas, PhD, and Allyson Livingstone, PhD over a 2 year period from 2018-2020.
History of the BCC in Response to Our Student Activists since 2015 and Present Response to BAP
Additional Information Regarding the BCC’s Future Direction
Key Initiatives of the BCC Strategic Plan for 2020-2021
- The BCC is currently designing plans for a student advisory group. The goals for this group are in development, with the overarching themes of: bridging the gap between the student body and the BCC by improving communications, helping in advising future programs and initiatives, and serving as a liaison between the BCC and the students. There will be special emphasis on recruitment of Black students and Students of Color, as well as students with other diverse identities. Estimated timeline: spring 2021.
- Training Program update: The BCC will provide weekly learning opportunities for trainees in areas of equity, diversity and inclusion. The goals of the training is to further foster culturally competent clinical practice and self reflections. The center is committed to aligning our mission, vision and strategic plan to meet the needs of historically underserved and marginalized communities, and fostering the development of multiculturally competent professionals.
- Hiring update for Associate Director: Student representation from BAP as well as other students will be invited to interview the candidate(s) for Associate Director
- Full strategic plan is in the final stages of review. Estimated completion of plan spring 2021.