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MCA President Statement - July 16, 2020

Maryland Counseling Association July 16, 2020 President Letter

 Maryland Stands with International Students

On July 10, 2020 the American Counseling Association and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision published a joint statement in opposition to new regulations issued by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  These regulations will withdraw visas from foreign students whose courses move fully online which will threaten the health and welfare of these individuals and impact our community negatively beyond measure.

The Maryland Counseling Association (MCA) are in alignment with this position and support these students.  In Maryland and the surrounding area, our institutions of higher education house some of the foremost educational programs in our country and this ICE position not only threatens the lifeblood of these international students but also the professions that they represent as a whole. 

It is unconscionable to have to choose between your life and your education.  MCA wants all international students potentially impacted by this to know that we support you in your efforts to peaceably resist this ICE policy and empathize with your situation.  As professional mental health practitioners and advocates, we hope for a better world through the services that we provide at every level of human development.

For counselors and students who are training to become counselors, client caseloads are increasing due to undue pandemic stresses of unreasonable workload expectations, unemployment, isolation, and aspects of safe social distancing.  These clients often rely on field experience and internship students to receive care and this forced face-to-face educational policy threatens to interrupt these services. 

As professionals who are often tasked with speaking out for those who do not have a voice through advocacy and aspirational care. MCA stands  with everyone in our community who will be negatively impacted by this ICE policy change.

Please find the ACA and ACES joint statement here.

Stay safe and be well,

Carol ZA McGinnis PhD, BC-TMH, LCPC, NCC
2020-2021 MCA President

MCA President Statement - June 3, 2020

The Maryland Counseling Association mourns the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna
Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee and the countless others who have died due to state sanctioned
violence. The pain, grief and trauma is cumulative, indescribable and unrelenting. This is a call-in to
every member of our community.

It is important that we grieve the loss of life and center our Black community members’ needs,
experiences and voices and engage in anti-racism work. We must challenge white supremacy and the
systemic racism and oppressive systems that perpetuate injustice. Maryland Counseling Association
stands in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

When I was elected as the President of the Maryland Counseling Association, I signed up to represent all
counselors in the state and to advocate for effective, accessible, and culturally competent care for all
clients and communities we serve. Today, we are addressing the egregious acts of violence against our
Black community members.

As Counselors we have a responsibility to serve as advocates and allies, not in name but in action. We
must proactively work to address our implicit bias and privilege. We must also use our voice to disrupt
the narratives that contribute to discrimination, dehumanization of Black people in media and the
decolonization of therapy. Race-base trauma and cumulative loss (of safety, of life, of justice) is
wreaking havoc on the mental and physical wellness of members of our Black and BIPOC communities.

Call-to-Action:

We call on elected officials in the State of Maryland to denounce the killing of Black people by the
police and pledge to partner with Black leaders in our community and local government to dismantle
and eradicate anti-Black systems, policies and policing. Additionally, a commitment from state and local
governments to invest in systems that expand mental health services, mental health parity, addictions
treatment, education, housing and assisting with rebuilding and strengthening minority owned
businesses.

We call on the American Counseling Association to identify and partner with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous,
and People of Color) counseling students, faculty, practitioners, and staff to intentionally create a
strategy to incorporate multicultural and social justice counseling in teaching, supervision and across
professional leadership trainings.

We call on non-BIPOC counselors, students, faculty, staff and community members to listen, educate
yourself and actively engage in anti-racism work. Donate your time and money to support causes that
repair, restore and enhance the lives of BIPOC communities. Engage in the uncomfortable but necessary
dialogue about race and privilege with your friends, and family. Advocate for reform in policies that
uphold institutional and structural racism and oppression. Stand in the gap. Do not act BIPOC folx to
expend emotional labor on educating you about your privilege. If BIPOC folx decide to partner with you in doing this work, compensate them well.

The mission of the Maryland Counseling Association is to promote public confidence, and trust in the counseling profession and to influence policies that affect professional counselors and the welfare of the diverse clients they serve. MCA supports professional counselors and counselors-in-training through a variety of professional development opportunities and support services.

Dr. Ajita M. Robinson
President, Maryland Counseling Association

Resources and ways to contribute to help support BIPOC communities:

National Museum of African American History and Culture has a collection of resources to help you explore issues of race and have the conversation with your peers, family, children, and community.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund was established to help support efforts against excessive criminalization of black youth

Shawna Murray-Browne, LCSW-C is a local therapist who is offering a webinar Decolonizing Your Therapy. Attend and donate.

Locate your local representative and write to them or call the office and share your concerns about social justice matters.

Reclaim the Block fighting to reallocate city funds from police departments to other parts of the budget, including community safety and public health

Resources such as books, podcast, articles on anti-racism work has been compiled here

Read Me and White supremacy by Layla Saad and do the work

Anti-racism kit for white people

Tending to racial trauma during crisis

Healing from Internalized Whiteness’



Maryland Counseling Association

5430 Campbell Blvd., Suite 113

White Marsh, MD 21162
info@MDCounseling.org

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