Black Psychology: A Historical Review and Outline of Today’s Challenges (2-17-12)

Dr. Michele Nealon

President, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

TCSPP-wide symposium – “Black Psychology: A Historical Review and Outline of Today’s Challenges.”

Friday, February 17, 2012


On behalf of the faculty, staff, students, trustees, and leadership of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, I welcome you to this very special event – the first of several symposia we will be hosting over the course of the year that highlight our personal and institutional commitments to diversity.

Here at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, we celebrate diversity – recognizing that the fabric of our society is woven from multicolored threads that are our differences.  Diversity is a goal.  It is one of our institutional learning goals and is an essential partner with scholarship, professional behavior, and professional practice.  Our faculty strive to develop professionals who exemplify a commitment to understand and respect individual and cultural differences.

We believe it is imperative that our graduates have the ability to combine and apply theoretical and practical knowledge about racial, gender, sexual, cultural and religious, age, and disability differences in their professional practice.

Diversity is also a commitment.  We are dedicated to building an environment of mutual respect and inclusion where all individuals are valued for who they are and what they contribute and, in turn, are expected to be active, participatory members of our learning community.  Our learning community promotes cultural awareness, competence, and understanding of diversity.  Whether our students are in the classroom or in the community helping those in need; the curriculum, the experience, the learning opportunity, is infused with the commitment to diversity and the understanding that we are not all the same.  Recognizing differences, accepting them, and moving on to complete the task at hand is what sets our graduates – as well as our faculty, staff, and leadership – apart from their peers – a true commitment to diversity.

Please note that we are all enjoying this event via videoconference with audiences from across the nation watching and listening.  We believe in the transformative power of diversity of thought, diversity of belief, and diversity of expression, and feel that experiences like this should be shared with the goal of sparking earnest conversation around the issues discussed in the coming presentation.  After the presentation, I encourage you all will participate in the question-and-answer session.  I hope the conversation we start today continues in our classrooms, our hallways, our offices, and our communities.

Before I bring Dr. Taylor to the podium, I would like to introduce a few special guests:

At the Washington, DC, Campus:

  • Dr. Tiffany G. Townsend, Senior Director, Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs, Public Interest Directorate of the American Psychological Association
  • Mr. Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

At the Los Angeles Campus:

  • Ms. Yvonne Styles, Director of the Counseling Center at A Place Called Home
  • Ms. Lynne Macer-Rhodes, Outreach Coordinator, A Better LA

Thank you for being with us today.

Now, to introduce our speaker, please welcome to the podium, Dr. Orlando Taylor, President of the Washington, DC, Campus and Vice President of Academic Affairs for The Chicago School.