What We Do

Statement on Diversity and Social Justice

We, the staff of the University of South Florida's Counseling Center, define "social justice" as a process of building individual and community capacity for collaborative action with the purpose of empowering all people, including disadvantaged and marginalized persons, to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential. Therefore, we:

  • Strive to maintain an environment in which all individuals receive the respect, acceptance, positive regard, and safety conducive to maximum growth.
  • Acknowledge diverse world views and the implications these have on daily interactions.
  • Aim to promote fairness, empowerment, and advocacy for each individual because we believe that each individual has the right to civil liberties, to equal opportunity, to be treated fairly, and to enjoy a sense of safety and security.
  • Commit to challenging both the historical roots and the existing framework of oppression and injustice in order to enhance the intellectual, social, and emotional functioning of the individual regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, age, religious or spiritual beliefs, sexual or affectional orientation, veteran, marital or socioeconomic status, physical ability, lifestyle or political ideology.

We celebrate the multifaceted diversity represented by our staff and also strive to enhance the quality of services by acting as a channel for the promotion of awareness and appreciation of diversity. Our staff and trainees:

  • Are intentional about engaging in a process of self-exploration to increase awareness of diversity issues.
  • Support each other in the process of self-exploration and professional development and continue to identify and provide the necessary resources to achieve multicultural competence.
  • Seek continually to increase our understanding and appreciation of the pluralistic nature of self and others within our environment and strive to eliminate prejudice and/or insensitivity toward individuals of diverse backgrounds.
  • Proactively challenge ourselves to reach out to all that may benefit from Counseling Center services.
  • Demonstrate our commitment to diversity and social justice through our liaison relationships.
  • Engage in the provision of specialized services for disadvantaged or marginalized populations.
  • Fully support the USF Diversity Statement.

Examples of our efforts to implement and routinely practice our commitment to diversity and social justice include the following:

  • Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
    • Promoting enhanced development of multi-cultural counseling skills by increasing awareness of and appreciation for diversity among the Counseling Center interns and staff.
    • Investigating and initiating ways the Counseling Center might better serve members of diverse and underrepresented student populations.
    • Maintaining and enhancing working relationships with offices that serve diverse student groups in the campus community.
  • Professional Development
    • In-service-training on specific diversity issues and populations
    • Multicultural Cases Conference
    • Safe Zone Training