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Thursday, September 9 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Responsiveness in Schools via Inclusion of Cultures and Ethnicities Systemically: From ‘Just Us’ to Diversity and Justice*

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“Responsiveness in Schools via Inclusion of Cultures and Ethnicities Systemically:
From ‘Just Us’ to Diversity and Justice”*:

Matthew R. Mock, PhD
Professor of Psychology
John F. Kennedy School of Psychology
National University

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Course Information -

Presentation and Workshop Description:

We must continuously increase school personnel mental health therapists’ understanding of cultural humility and social justice in order to support their effectiveness as practitioners in a diverse, multi-cultural world. This is readily evident, all the more so, in the context of current times of layered challenges. Schools, K-12 and colleges are prime settings for social, relational and mental wellness. On March 18, 2021, in California, took historic action with an ethnic studies requirement in high schools. This provides a key opportunity to uplift narratives and histories of marginalized communities. With increased educational opportunities, comes social and relational challenge, including addressing racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc. While addressing the California State Board of Education, civil rights leader Dolores Huerta stated “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said racism is a sickness, and we have become the healers.” She closed her remarks with “Si se puede!” The inclusion of multicultural education must be at all levels.

*Rather than “Just US” (i.e. those privileged via colonization and White supremacy in the U.S.) there must be acknowledgement of social “Justice” for all, or Just I.C.E. (Inclusive of all Cultures and Ethnicities). We must keep Hope alive by always “Serving Community Needs”.

Through understanding the role of culture as it shapes the school mental health practitioner’s own perceptions, this presentation offers attendees an opportunity to increase their awareness of their own cultural views and social justice. Individual commitments are essential for systematic and systemic innovative change. Clarity about one’s own culture-informed reality, combined with a genuine curiosity and openness to the experience of others, enables school personnel and practitioners, within educational systems, to more accurately and empathically understand the emotional lives, values, rituals, family structure, traditions, spiritual precepts and aspirations of clients from different, as well as similar, cultural backgrounds. This presentation underlines commitments for practitioners in schools examining racial, class, cultural, ethnic, gender, sexual identity issues, etc. within the context of institutionalized racism, sexism, and economic inequality, exploring the psychological impact of privilege and oppression and reasserting social justice. As a result of this presentation, the attendee will be able to understand culturally responsive therapeutic approaches via a stance of cultural humility. The dynamic, engaging presentation will provide examples of readings and discussions, film presentations, experiential exercises, experiences in the field, and interpersonal dialogues among attendees.

This presentation will first address the significance of the adoption of the 2021 Ethnic Studies requirement for California education, and its key relationship to student health and wellness. Using this as a timely foundation, there will be dynamic and engaging teaching and learning via audience participation.

As a result of this presentation, attendees will be able to:
1. Speak with greater awareness about their own culturally contextualized perceptions, assumptions and experiences, including the effects of privilege and oppression and the need for social justice to increase equity in schools;
2. Become more aware of their role in including other and all racial/cultural groups from which they were previously less aware, learning from the experience and articulating it;
3. Utilize empathic listening, open-ended questions, genuine interest and authentic curiosity in building a better understanding of the cultural realities and life experiences of those they work with in schools from different and similar cultures;
4. Honestly and open-heartedly discuss the historical and current realities of privilege and oppression, with members of the dominant culture and with members of oppressed groups, demonstrating an understanding of the psychological consequences of both privilege and oppression in the context of current times;
5. Appreciate knowledge of traditional healing modalities and spiritual practice of one non-dominant culture, and be able to discuss possible ways these practices can be integrated into the modern practice of wellness education in school contexts;
6. Apply the knowledge acquired from the presentation for more effectively working with students in schools with various cultural backgrounds, inclusive of all cultural and ethnic communities (i.e. moving from “Just Us” to “Justice” for all i.e. inclusive of all ethnicities and cultures).
7. Articulate an understanding cultural humility and social justice as they relate to cross-cultural issues for school children, adolescents and families in wellness activities and therapeutic relationships.

As noted above, this dynamic, multi-modal presentation may include brief readings, film clip presentations, audience engagement via experiential learning, and interpersonal discussions of issues between and among attendees. The issues and subject matter of this presentation encompasses a range of topics with intellectual but also emotional responses. The intention is to create an environment conducive to sharing experiences and ideas. Respect and accountability are two essential qualities in creating such an environment. Collective learning agreements will be reviewed supporting the engaging and dynamic learning process.

Brief Biographical Statement:

Matthew R. Mock, Ph.D., has led dynamic courses, workshops and presentations on the relevance of social justice, community mental health, cultural responsiveness, ethnicity and multiculturalism in psychotherapy throughout California, nationally and internationally. He is currently a Professor of Psychology with John F. Kennedy University in the Bay Area. Prior to this, he was Director of Family, Youth, Children and Multicultural Services for Berkeley Mental Health for over 20 years. While there he led initiatives establishing school-based mental health services in Berkeley. For several years he then worked throughout the State of California as the Director of the Center for Multicultural Development with the California Institute for Mental Health addressing disparities throughout all 58 counties. He has had a longstanding private clinical practice in Berkeley providing services to children, couples, adults and families, as well as consultation to organizations. Dr. Mock is third generation Chinese-American, passionately committed to community mental health concerns, competent and responsive services with diverse communities, as well as social justice policies and practices, throughout his career. He has received numerous awards from professional organizations, guilds and programs including the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA) and CAMFT. Most recently, in 2019, Dr. Mock was bestowed the Distinguished Contributio


Matthew R.

Professor of Counseling Psychology, John F. Kennedy University
Matthew R. Mock, Ph.D. has led dynamic courses, workshops and presentations on the relevance of social justice, community mental health, cultural competence, ethnicity and multiculturalism in psychotherapy locally, throughout California, nationally and internationally. He is currently... Read More →

Thursday September 9, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm PDT