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Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling awarded $35,000 grant to interrupt, resist, and respond to hate and bias

November 02, 2017

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    Funding is provided by the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement and Office of Management and Finance, Special Appropriations for Portland United Against Hate

The Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling has received a $35,000 grant from the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement and Office of Management and Finance, Special Appropriations for Portland United Against Hate (PUAH). The grant will support a collaborative endeavor by the Graduate School’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and Community Counseling Center (CCC) to provide the Portland community with no-cost training and low-cost services to actively interrupt, resist, and respond to hate and bias.

In early 2018, the Center for Community Engagement will begin offering a series of workshops that focus on skills-building training around interruption and de-escalation of hate and bias, provide information on historical and cultural context, and facilitate coalition building and resource sharing among community organizations.Free and open to the public, the workshops will be offered between February and June 2018 and will kick off with a cross-disciplinary panel discussion: Friend, Neighbor, Ally: Community Response and Supportive Engagement with those Targeted by Hate and Bias.

“It’s exciting to expand the scope of who we can serve, reaching beyond our primary audience of licensed mental health practitioners and educators and into the general community,” said Matsya Siosal, director of the Center for Community Engagement. “While many existing CCE workshops are open to and regularly attended by the public, city funding will allow us to launch new workshops with existing collaborators that are intentionally designed for a broader audience, and allow us to offer them at no cost both on our campus and in the City of Portland.”

Simultaneously, the Lewis & Clark Community Counseling Center will become established as a point of contact for individuals and families who have been targets of hate and bias in the Portland area.

“We see the goals and mission of Portland United Against Hate as being aligned with the CCC mission and the mission of the Graduate School. This work will be integrated within our culturally-informed and trauma-informed services that we provide to the community,” said Justin Henderson, Counseling Center director and assistant professor of counseling psychology.

The Counseling Center is currently in the process of updating protocols, assessments, and practices that are in line with being a point of contact in the community and will enhance their capabilities to provide support and resources to those who have been targets of hate. They will also be providing trainings on hate/bias response and support for student-therapists, supervisors, and administrative staff who are involved at the center and with its operations.

The Graduate School of Education and Counseling stands as the sole institution of higher education to receive funding from the grant in 2018, highlighting its mission-driven commitment to social justice, equity, and access. Siosal furthered this connection, calling attention to the fact that offering these services and trainings at no-cost removes a significant barrier to high quality personal/professional development and enables the networking, resource sharing, and coalition building that can take place at the trainings to include people of varying demographics and resource levels.

“Participating in PUAH efforts is a natural extension of what we strive to do in providing community education and counseling services,” added Teresa McDowell, professor of counseling psychology and chair of the department. “We are excited and honored to be collaborating with an amazing group of community activists and agencies who are also being funded by PUAH grants.”

Scheduling for the workshop series is underway. The most up-to-date information is available on the CCE’s website. Resources and support for victims of hate and bias activities are available through the Community Counseling Center.

This project is supported by the City of Portland, Office of Neighborhood Involvement and Office of Management and Finance, Special Appropriations for Portland United. The content is solely the responsibility of the grantee and does not necessarily represent the official views of the City of Portland.

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