Clinical Psychology Diversity Committee
The Diversity Committee is an alliance of students and faculty which formed in Spring, 2008. The Diversity Committee meets monthly during the academic year.
To critically examine the presence of diversity-centered curricula in research and clinical training activities available to doctoral students in the Clinical Psychology Program at Boston University.
To work within the Clinical Program to increase awareness of, and attention to, issues of diversity.
The goal of these efforts is to ensure that students leave the program with a clear understanding of the manner in which issues of diversity should be approached in their roles as culturally competent scientist-practitioners.
The concept of diversity entails understanding and respecting differences, while also acknowledging similarities between individuals. Diversity may encompass multiple domains including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, immigration status, socio-economic status, religion, privilege, language, educational status, age, identity, and ability. Diversity exists between and within individuals.
The Diversity Committee uses the term cultural competence to describe practice that exemplifies the APA guidelines for providers who serve diverse populations.
Cultural competence requires awareness of, respect for, and curiosity about similarities and differences, knowledge of frameworks for exploring similarities and differences, and skill in applying these frameworks in interpersonal and professional contexts to people of all backgrounds in a manner that respects the worth of the individual and preserves their dignity.ii
Rather than an end goal, we suggest that cultural competence is a goal towards which we must continually work. As the forces shaping cultures change, so too must our understanding of any given culture. Therefore, we hope that the knowledge gained within the clinical program will be but part of each scientist-practitioner’s ongoing journey towards cultural competence.