Advocating for Social Change: Techniques and Tools

Social Change Presentation: Let’s End Racism in America

Advocating for Social Change: Techniques and Tools

A critical part of your development as a counseling professional involves working for positive social change. In fact, your ultimate goal of becoming a clinical mental health counselor means working with clients to help them understand and work through their issues and strengthen their overall well-being. In addition to your profession and its impact in effecting social change, you are also in a position to learn about emerging issues your clients may be facing that should be addressed.

Advocating for social change often means getting the word out. Over the years, the methods for making the public aware have grown from flyers, brochures, and poster sessions at conferences to advocating online, including blogs, wikis, and social media. But the central goal of these communications remains focused on presenting the issue and the goal as clearly and succinctly as possible.

For this Discussion, you will develop skills that will help you become an agent for social change. You will create an informational product advocating change with a current issue facing a population that interests you.

To Prepare:

· Review the Optional Resources and consider the possible technology tools to use for the creation of your Counselor’s Role as Advocate for Social Change informational product (brochure, flyer, PowerPoint, wiki, blog, etc.).

· Select a digital tool to create your Social Change informational product. It may be in the form of a flyer, brochure, wiki, blog post, webpage, or other format of your choosing.

· Review the Learning Resources and select a current event no older than 12 months concerning a setting/population you are interested in.

· Include the following in your post:

. Title and Introduction

. An attachment or link to the informational product you created

. An evaluation of the current event/problem area you selected that includes the following:

3. A description of the setting/population you would like to work with (Mental Health, Addiction, Campus, etc.)

3. A description of the problem, issue, or event that led to your interest

3. An explanation of why you chose the issue you selected and why change is needed. Make sure to cite at least three scholarly resources (these may include your course text and scholarly, peer-reviewed sources from the Walden journal databases).

3. A list of action steps one might take to address the problem

. Reference list: at least three resources

Reply 1

Introduction

Racism is prevalent in the world, today. It was been around for many years and continues to progress at an alarming rate. But, when will it end? What can society do to end racism, once and for all, or atleast, slow it down? It seems overwheling to think about where to begin, but the first step is acknowledging that racism exists. If we choose to sweep it under the rug, it will simply build up. Establishing a proactive mindset can cause great strides, towards the elimination of racism. “American racism has been a major issue in the country, since before its founding. Historically dominated by White settler society, race in the United States as a concept became significant in relation to other groups. Generally racist attitudes in the country have been most onerously applied to Native Americans, African Americans and some “foreign-seeming” action against Mexican immigrants among others. The Chinese, Japanese and Irish had trouble in America, during the 19th century, but the Blacks fell afoul of the Jim Crow Laws which once racially separated the racist parts of America between Blacks and Whites. Millions of Africans were killed while they were held as prisoners, or as slaves, by the Europeans and Arabs. The United States’ legal system has been accused of racism. In the 21st century, certain groups of non-white people hold the idea that all white people have advantages based on their skin color, with disregard to family background, personal history, or current situation” (Racism, 2018).

References

Erford, B. T. (2018). Human development throughout the lifespan. In B. T. Erford (Ed.), Orientation to the counseling profession: Advocacy, ethics, and essential professional foundations (pp. 435-485). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Meyers, Laurie. (2017, January 25). Counseling Today, Facing the Realities of Racism. Retrieved from

Racism. (2018, September 11). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://simple.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Racism&oldid=6247967

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Reply 2

The topic that I am going to discuss is trauma in law enforcement.  In today’s society there is a great push to either be on one side of the argument or the other for having law enforcement officers.  Some people want to demonize them while others want to praise them.  What many do not understand is that all of the law enforcement officers are human just like everyone else and they have to suffer with so much trauma every day.  Recently there was an incident that made nationwide news in Florence, South Carolina in which several officers were involved in a shootout with an individual and several officers lost their lives because of this encounter.  We truly need to advocate for better counseling services for these individuals.  As Erford (2018) noted part of the advocacy concept is because it serves the community and what better way to serve the community than to make sure that those who protect the community are mentally healthy after dealing with the traumas of their job.  After this incident LEAP was brought in to assist the officers, but thankfully the Chief of police for Florence was intelligent enough to realize that his officers and his community needed more.  They brought in an outside counseling agency to assist the law enforcement officers and the local community deal with the loss of these two officers.

Officers deal with trauma everyday with their jobs, from seeing a child that is hurt or killed to having to deal with an accident scene where there may be body parts and blood spread across the highway.  They are expected to deal with this and then continue on with their daily lives having to cope with and adjust themselves to what they have seen and experienced.  There have been many concepts of how to deal with trauma over the years as noted by Victoria, Melissa, and Kathleen (1994), but many officers do not want to seek the help, because there is a mentality that they are just supposed to be strong enough to deal with it on their own, because that is there job.  Thankfully this concept has began to change in the realm of law enforcement.  Manzella and Papzoglou (2013) provided new concepts and trends for law enforcement officers showing that there is a growing trend of officers seeking help to deal with the trauma that they face in their daily jobs.

We as counselors need to seek for greater advocacy in this area because in a similar fashion to those who serve in the military we have many officers that suffer from PTSD and other mental illnesses due to the stress of their job.  Seeking those to assist with this problem is crucial, but difficult, because many officers do not want to speak about it, because there is still that stigma associated with seeking assistance.  We seek to be the strong ones that are there for everyone else in their time of need, but we do not always take the time to take care of ourselves.  I have started to notice similar trends in the realm of law enforcement and counseling, because we need to seek help for ourselves to deal with the stresses of our jobs, and we need to be seeking better training and assistance for those that serve our community and protect us.

 

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