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Leadership and Advocacy

Professional counselor advocacy involves the promotion of the profession with importance placed on eliminating or decreasing barriers to providing mental health services. Social justice advocacy to counseling recognizes the importance of responding to systemic inequality and social oppression. This viewpoint acknowledges issues related to power, privilege, and oppression and how they affect clients and society. Advocacy is the vehicle to address these conditions and factors that impede development, mental health, and life satisfaction.

Advocacy involves behaviors and actions directed toward changing processes, policies, and decisions that affect and influence people's lives within a sociopolitical and economic framework. Doctoral programs in counselor education address professional roles as core areas which include leadership and advocacy. According to the CACREP standards, the advocacy process must address institutional and social barriers that hinder equality, access, and client success. According to the ACA Code of Ethics, when appropriate, counselors should advocate at the individual, group, institutional, and societal levels to address potential barriers and obstacles that inhibit access.

Leadership, according to CACREP, can involve theories and skills in leadership, development in professional organizations, and leadership in counselor education programs.

I have presented at State Level American Counseling Association (ACA) conferences. The topics have included discussions concerning African American mental health. My advocacy efforts will seek to enhance multicultural awareness and the inclusion of diverse perspectives into the counseling field. I desire to advocate for the marginalized community, specifically the African American community. The intention is to advocate for more diverse research in treatment and access to mental health counseling. My future endeavors include taking a pivotal role in leadership with multicultural development or human rights injustice branches within the ACA.

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