BEST CULTURAL AWARENESS PROGRAM - This category will demonstrate how successful the chapters were in developing cultural consciousness within their membership, educational programs, and Board. See all the awards
Santa Clara Valley Chapter (251+ members)
Position statement/DEI Action plan
- Early in January, the chapter posted for the first time, and with the guidance of our Director of DEI, Moitreyee Chowdhury, our statement and position in terms of DEI.
- The action plan for 2022 was to increase diversity oriented programs and start to think about how to refine such programs (as events and articles for our newsletter) for 2023.
- Throughout 2021 and early 2022, the goal was to increase diversity within the board of directors, which resulted in bringing on members from various backgrounds, personally and professionally.
Education Programs and Speakers
Diverse topics were addressed throughout 2022 in our events programs:
- The athlete population, its associated mental health issues, and ways to address them therapeutically, a luncheon offered by Megan Hankins-Maldonado, LMFT, an athlete herself
- A luncheon program about how to heal the Latino population of intergenerational trauma through community involvement, a presentation given by Ana Morante, LMFT
- Partnered with Sacramento Chapter to offer a luncheon online presentation by Shawan Worsley, LMFT, about strategies for effective discussions around race and racism
- In an effort to address issues pertaining to the transgender community, we offered a hybrid program led by Maureen Johnston, LMFT, that covered how to understand and assist families of gender expansive children.
- Linda Johnson, LMFT, LAADC, presented a very well received workshop on the mental health trends and needs in juvenile justice, emphasizing the need for unwavering governmental and community support for mental health programming in this population.
- We have addressed an important issue within the Indian community by providing a luncheon on the topic of the immigrant child within a South Asian perspective. Kalpana Asok, an Indian LMFT and writer was our choice to address this topic.
- We created a Social Justice column in our newsletter and reached out to individuals from the BIPOC community to speak about their involvement in various areas:
- Ellie Vargas, LCSW, founder of BACIE (Bay Area Center for Immigration Evaluations) was interviewed by Liliana Ramos, LMFT, our Director-at-Large, to speak about the relevance of therapeutic skills in doing immigration evaluations, her own work doing these evaluations and her continued quest for therapists to get involved.
- Dr. Sherry Wang, professor at Santa Clara University, was also interviewed by Liliana Ramos, about cultural humility and social justice in the therapeutic encounter.
- One of our community focuses was Perry Clark, LMFT, interviewed by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT, our president and discussed his role and experiences as a self-identified neurodiverse, LGBTQ, black male therapist.
- Coffee talks in the summer time that reached out to our diverse membership community and the prior registrants to our various programs who are non-members.
- In an effort to connect various groups through the understanding of and exposure to diverse celebrations, Moitreyee Chowdhury, our Director of DEI, has been offering multiple email blasts on a monthly basis recognizing the contributions and celebrations of the various communities our chapter is made of. Some examples are: religious and spiritual holidays, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, Elders months, with supporting educational offerings such as linked articles and videos.
Special interests groups/committees
- We are proud to offer a Black Therapist support group, led by Erica Jenkins, LMFT; the participants are members and non-members, some finding support from far regions such as Washington, DC and Mexico (providing therapy in the Bay Area).
- We continue to brainstorm to integrate other special interests groups and to look for volunteers interested in leading special interest committees.
Membership and volunteer outreach
- The outreach was done through our Facebook and Instagram presence as well as by using the CAMFT list, and posting in various therapy listings with the intent to bring on students, trainees, and associates as a priority.
- Our chapter is in the process of devising a scholarship program to encourage the new generation of therapists to join the chapter: it would aim at mental health students, trainees, associates in various universities/graduate schools around the bay area.