Advocacy and Creativity in Community: A Social Justice Project for Counseling Students
Keywords:advocacy, counselor education, creativity, experiential learning, social justice competence
The proven effective teaching of social justice advocacy competencies while recognized as important by the counseling profession and counselor education programs, remains somewhat nascent in its implementation. Evidence suggests that experiential and constructivist approaches to the teaching of multicultural and social justice counseling competencies represent a worthwhile pedagogical foundation and set of tools in furthering multicultural and social justice counseling competencies in counseling students. The author relates, in detail, the implementation of an experiential, client/community-based, social justice and mental health advocacy project, the Advocacy and Creativity in Community (ACC) Project as a final class assignment in the last term prior to graduation within a CACREP-accredited clinical mental health counseling program in the Northwest region of the United States. Descriptions of student projects, the multitude of benefits for clients/participants and students as elicited from student reflections, and the author’s reflection after three years of implementing this project are presented. This project exemplifies the benefits within the literature of taking an experiential and constructivist approach to social justice advocacy training in counselor education programs.
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