Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The MFT program's diversity statement is consistent with that of the College: The
College of Education at San Diego State University is a vibrant community of scholarly
engagement and professional practice where diversity, equity, and inclusion drive
innovation across our teaching, learning, counseling, research, and community service
endeavors. We draw on our strengths as a college within a Hispanic Serving Institution
(HSI) — uniquely positioned in the San Diego-Tijuana transborder region and ancestral
land of the Kumeyaay Nation — to effect educational and social change at local, regional,
national, and international levels.
As a diverse and interdisciplinary community of educational researchers and professional practitioners, we are committed to sustaining a responsive and supportive teaching, learning and working environment for all members of our community. We are also committed to establishing collaborative partnerships with local, regional, national and international universities, community agencies and organizations that embrace this mission, particularly with regard to educating, serving, and supporting students, faculty, staff, and community members across the spectrum of races, ethnicities, cultures, social classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, linguistic identities, body identities, religious or secular beliefs, spiritual traditions, creeds, political views, ages, abilities, citizenship, and veteran status.
We intentionally acknowledge the value of the diverse backgrounds from which we approach our work and endeavor to advance personal, educational, and social well-being drawing upon the variety of human experiences, perspectives, identities, and positionalities that enrich our university and college community.
We critically recognize that educational institutions and other related service organizations often function within extant neo-colonial structures of racial-ethnic, socio-cultural, and socio-economic oppression that systematically function to reproduce social injustices and inequality. In the same way, we also acknowledge the power and responsibility of these institutions to serve the ethical imperatives of social transformation.
As such, we commit to working to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, belongingness, and social and racial justice through the identification and implementation of democratic, transformative, and anti-racist practices in all our endeavors. In addition, we commit to harnessing the creative dynamism and power found in true participatory and democratic approaches to institutional engagement.
As a reflective and supportive community committed to social and racial justice, we strive to be socially aware, collaborative, mindful, and fearless in our inclusive, equitable, and democratic pursuits.
SDSU Nondiscrimination Policy
The MFT program also supports the University nondiscrimination policy, which states: “San Diego State University shall maintain and promote a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, pregnancy, medical condition, and covered veteran status. This policy incorporates by reference the requirements of Federal Executive Orders 11246 and 11375 as amended; Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended; Title IX of the Educational Act of 1972; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, secs. 503–504; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, sec. 402; Equal Pay Act of 1963 as amended; Age Discrimination Acts of 1967 and 1978; and other applicable federal statutes as well as pertinent laws, regulations, and executive directives of the State of California, including regulatory procedures set forth in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. Persons covered by these regulations shall be considered members of protected groups.”
San Diego State University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, or sexual
orientation in its education programs or activities. Title IX of the Education Amendments
of 1972, and certain other federal and state laws, prohibit discrimination on the
basis of sex, gender, or sexual orientation in employment, as well as all education
programs and activities operated by the University (both on and off campus), and protect
all people regardless of their gender or gender identity from sex discrimination,
which includes sexual harassment and sexual violence.
Kumeyaay Land Acknowledgement
For millennia, the Kumeyaay people have been a part of this land. This land has nourished, healed, protected, and embraced them for many generations in a relationship of balance and harmony. As members of the San Diego State community, we acknowledge this legacy. We promote this balance and harmony. We find inspiration from this land, the land of the Kumeyaay.
MFT Program Denounces Anti-Blackness and Racism
Acknowledge that racism is embedded into our organizational structures and acknowledge
that we, as a program, need to continuously educate ourselves to be agents of positive
and impactful transformation for our students, alumni, and community of African descent.
The members of the MFT program at SDSU unequivocally stand in solidarity with communities
of African descent who experience racial discrimination, bias, trauma, and violence.
We strongly condemn anti-blackness and racist ideologies and practices, and white
supremacy that permeates the entire system of social relations in which we exist.
Experiences of anti-blackness, racism, inequity, and violence can profoundly influence how families, couples, and individuals of African descent relate within and outside of their familial system. Further, race-related stress can cause considerable mental and physical health challenges that are often perpetuated by race-related disparities in health care accessibility and quality. Despite the intra and interpersonal harm caused by anti-blackness and racism, clinicians, including MFTs, continue to silence Black voices while upholding a system of white centering and white supremacist ideology. As MFTs, we must unite in our collective power to diligently and persistently eradicate white supremacy from our field.
To help protect and promote the wellness and needs of the Black community, we in the MFT program at SDSU are committed to taking the following actionable steps:
- Encourage our students, faculty, and staff to disrupt and dismantle racism, systemic oppression, white supremacy, and white nationalism.
- Educate and train students using decolonial pedagogies.
- Educate and prepare students to adopt culturally responsive clinical ideologies and practices (e.g., promoting non-pathologizing frameworks and interventions) in therapy.
- Collaborate with traineeship sites that also condemn anti-blackness and racist clinical practices.
- Carefully listen to our students, faculty, and staff of African descent to understand their campus and off-campus experiences to make our program and university a more welcoming, healthy, and anti-racist community for them and others in our community.
- Promote the accomplishments and excellence of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni of African descent.
- Continue to ensure that our education and training opportunities are accessible to all of our students of African descent, providing more support and working to reduce barriers.
- Call upon our faculty, students, alumni, and affiliated community members who hold unearned power and privilege to take up the responsibility to fight against systemic racism and oppression in their clinical work with couples, families, and individuals.
MFT Program Denounces Anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander Violence
The MFT program stands in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. We unequivocally denounce the perpetual and widespread intolerance, bigotry, xenophobia, and violence towards Asian-American communities across the United States. The sharp increase in violence and hate crimes against AAPIs stands in sharp contrast to the values and practices of the MFT program and its members and should have no place in our community and society.
The scapegoating and targeting of the AAPI community in the US extend back to the mid-19th century. Racist and hateful rhetoric and actions against the AAPI community in this country tend to escalate during national crises. As of recent, AAPIs have been fighting against two pandemic crises, COVID-19 and hate. According to Stop AAPI Hate, there have been 3,000 + recorded anti-AAPI attacks nationwide since the pandemic escalated in March 2020. In contrast, in the year prior, there were only 100 such incidents reported. A federal report released in February 2021 warned that an estimated 40% of bias-motivated incidents and hate crimes went unreported to authorities; those reported were treated as a low priority for police to investigate. This indifference by law enforcement reflects the history of racism, and violence toward AAPI communities is deeply rooted in white supremacist ideologies and practices, which have long fostered and perpetuated the harmful stereotype of Asians as model minorities.
The MFT program will continue to collaborate with community members and organizations to uplift the voices of AAPIs, develop cross-cultural coalitions, and promote trauma-informed and culturally responsive mental wellness services. Further, we encourage supporting AAPI run or owned businesses/organizations and implore leaders at the local, state, and national level to adopt equitable policy solutions that provide long-term protection and assistance to AAPI communities.