This is a difficult time for our society, as well as for our ourselves, our clients, and our communities. This year has posed substantial challenges to those within the United States, as well as those around the world. Most recently, the #BlackLivesMatter movement laid bare once again the difficulties that many individuals in our department, community, and country continue to face. In times such as these, it is important to me that I express my unwavering support for this movement, and for the causes it represents. The tragic deaths and the resulting protests are a direct result the of the historic and systemic unequal treatment of racial and ethnic minorities. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and Philando Castile represent only a fraction of the violence against minorities in the United States now, as well as over our 400-year history. Black individuals and communities, as well as other minority groups, deserve equality. They deserve safety and freedom from oppression. A core mission of counseling psychology is for the advocacy of mental health and human welfare. Thus, it is important that we, united as a lab and academic community, stand firmly against racism, discrimination, and inequality. The PATS lab is in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter, and with all others who advocate for equality and justice. As a pillar of counseling psychology, we support and advocate for social justice and social change. I am proud to do so. We will continue to do so.
While these times are challenging, I am also encouraged by the recent ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States extending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to gender identity and sexual orientation. This ruling is a landmark decision which clarifies what we already knew as a profession – that all individuals are worthy of love, deserving of respect, and of equal value. Unfortunately, this monumental victory also comes in the wake of protections being rolled back to our LGBTQ+ community in health care settings. This is heartbreaking outcome to our lab considering we directly work to improve, implement, and disseminate research that supports clinicians providing empirically supported and diversity informed treatment. To this end, while also mourning the ongoing tragedies of racial and ethnic injustice, we celebrate Pride Month and the progress made during it. Positive steps in social change underscore our belief that change is happening, and that progress is possible. This change, and the beliefs espoused here, are central to our lab identity, culture, and mission