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Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advancement


The Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advancement team (IDEA Team) was generated on October 6, 2017 in response to a presentation from Dr. Jordan Harrison and Joshua Redding regarding the DSA Strategic Planning for Inclusion.  Cook Counseling Center staff was surveyed on October 27, 2017 regarding goals for the work to be completed.  Initially dubbed Cook’s Diversity Task Force, the first formal meeting was held January 24, 2018.  The name was changed to IDEA Team on May 23, 2018 and since has been meeting for 90 minutes twice monthly, with retreats in May/June.  Please see below for information on the committee’s ever-evolving goals and progress to ensure Cook Counseling Center’s work is inclusive of all facets of its diverse populations. 

IDEA Team Strategic Plan

Tailored for Cook, this plan’s language mirrors the strategic plan of Division of Student Affairs

1.      Elevate the multicultural competence of Cook staff

2.      Increase well-being of minoritized students & reduce barriers to service utilization

3.      Attract, hire, and retain staff with diverse identities

4.      Eliminate all forms of oppression in Cook language, procedures, and physical environment

IDEA Initiatives

In 2018-2019 IDEA Team:

>studied SCHEV peer institutions' websites for their counseling center diversity initiatives

>created staff specialization listing to aid in collaboration

>increased awareness of campus diversity events through email and inputting in Cook clinical calendar

>served on caucuses and search committees

>advocated for weekly smaller groups to be able to more easily include cultural issues in case staffing

>shared journal articles


Cook all staff multicultural trainings offered and attended:

-Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) Clients: Clinical Issues and Treatment Strategies 5/6/18

-Ethics of Multicultural Exploration 5/22/18

-Expanding on Transgender and GNC Clients 11/9/18

-Microresponses to Microaggressions 4/5/19

-Many Hands Retreat 5/28/19


How can we serve our students?

IDEA Team met with Cultural and Community Center (CCC) Directors on Sept. 11, 2018 to brainstorm increased communication and collaboration. IDEA Team took action on 5 of 7 steps suggested by CCC staff. These 5 steps included:

1) Therapy group creation for Under-Represented Minority (URM) students,

2) Cook outreach events hosted at the CCCs,

3) Cook staff attendance at CCC events,

4) Outreach promotion to CCC student leaders (planned for August 2019), and

5) Increased communication between CCC student organizations and Cook.

Two steps have not been actualized:

1) Repeated events within the CCCs and

2) Drop-in timeslot creation that allows Cook staff increased opportunities to receive potential first-time clients.


Diversity-Related Outreaches

73% of full-time counseling staff and interns participated in at least one diversity-related outreach this year, compared to 55% last year

65 diversity-related outreached were conducted this year, not including 49 Q*munity Group and Our Voice group sessions

83% of the 65 diversity-related outreached were planned or conducted by the same 3 Cook staff/interns


Plans for the Coming Year

-Further dialogue on cultural identity and privilege throughout summer 2019, all-staff trainings in August 2019, weekly staffings in upcoming academic year

-Facilitate goal-setting in Cook existing committees related to multi-cultural competence in August 2019

-Share focus group findings with Cook staff, develop and implement action plans

-Continue building relationships with Culture and Community Center directors and other campus partners

-Utilize data Healthy Minds and client satisfaction surveys to identify service gaps and areas for targeted outreach/intervention

-Increase Cook presence on social media with focus on de-mystifying therapy and personalizing clinicians for the benefit of groups less likely to engage Cook

Academic Year 2019-2020

IDEA Team has led efforts to address issues of diversity, equity, and social justice for the center during the past three years. During the past year, the team worked to increase the cultural competence of staff by offering trainings on privileged identity and issues among individuals from the American Indigenous population, sponsored virtual breakfast discussions in which small groups of staff discussed their own cultural journeys, and presented to staff on two occasions to help us envision a more collaborative, inclusive center.

The center added support groups for first generation students and international students. Staff have participated with the Interfaith program. The undergraduate and graduate support groups for students of color and Black students grew in membership as did the LGBTQ group. The center went into the varied cultural and community centers to provide coffee and donuts. The increase in outreach events to students who belong to underrepresented populations showed very strong growth, as this year our count reached 126 events.  In AY 18-19 this number was 75 and in AY 17-18 this number was 55.  Also of note, the spread of clinicians participating in these outreaches has grown remarkably to 93% of all full time staff engaged in at least one diversity-related event.  Six clinicians completed 80% of the diversity-related outreach, demonstrating a broader effort by staff.

Center staff are examining recruitment procedures for faculty and staff positions as well as the psychology internship program. The IDEA team has worked with other staff members in the development of the Cook Connect model to ensure that clinicians assess the impact of minority stress when recommending resources and therapeutic interventions to students. We added more peer supervision groups so that the groups are smaller, providing a space for staff to consider issues of race and ethnicity and how these issues affect our work with students and one another.  

Academic Year 2020-2021


Understand and name our culture  Multicultural statement revision


Staff meeting devoted to exploring this



IDEA Team led staff meeting


Increase frequency of naming / addressing an ‘ism’

Create methods for staff to use in doing so, Devote staff meeting to this

IDEA Team led staff meeting

Increase cultural competence and  fluidity in exploring culture in individual therapy  


Discuss Beverly Greene article and role play in small group how to explore identity and culture in session, share Helm identity model

IDEA Team led staff meeting

Increase vulnerability within small group, help people feel known/seen

Continue full staff meeting post processing on our diversity-focused meeting days & community breakfast days

'Time Together’ staff meetings

Increase cultural competencies in group therapy

Identify priorities with help of new group coordinator

New group coordinator

Increase POC on staff

Review intern selection plans & share ideas from last year with Training Director. Review ideas generated for reg. staff hires.

IDEA Team, Training Director

Increase transparency in advancement of staff

Ascertain leadership structure, identify which roles go through formal university hiring process, and which roles go through another identified hiring process

Director / Management Team

Evaluate how minority stress intersects with treatment type

Pull out data from Ti and review

Connect Coordinator / Assessment Coordinator / IDEA Team