Challenging the Nationalist Discourse in America: The Urgent Need for Social Change Agents in Community and Educational Settings

06/02/2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am
Grade levels:
All Grade Levels
Content areas:
All Content Areas
Social Justice
Lewis & Clark Graduate School - Center for Community Engagement

In this workshop with 2018 graduate school commencement speaker, Manivong J. Ratts, participants will be introduced to an emerging social justice model that will help students and working professionals address issues of equity in community, mental health and educational settings.

There is a growing urgency for there to be social change agents in community and educational settings. This urgency is driven by a nationalist discourse that serves to dehumanize and silence the voices of those who are marginalized in society. Those who support a nationalist discourse seek to reestablish power to those in the dominant group. Unfortunately, this discourse comes at the expense of those who are marginalized in society. Moreover, this nationalist discourse calls for a return to an era in which groups are pitted against each other and to an era when oppression thrived

Challenging the nationalist discourse is critical. Yet, this task that can be overwhelming for those who work in community and educational settings. Part of this challenge stems from the fact that many students and professionals lack their own discourse (e.g., ideas, language, theories, etc.) on how to use their professional roles to address the toxic conditions that a nationalist agenda imposes on those in marginalized communities in their professional roles.

This problem exists because many graduate training programs have not provided students and new professionals with the “tools” to address toxic environmental conditions that impede on the well being of those in marginalized communities. Thus, it is not uncommon for students and professionals to lack an understanding of how to parlay their roles as working professionals to create social and political change.

A new professional discourse is needed. A new professional discourse can be important in equipping working professionals with “tools” to better address the nationalist agenda that threatens the well being of those in marginalize communities.

Participants will be introduced to a framework that helps them understand how to integrate social advocacy and research into their professional roles so they may better advocate for social and political change. Moreover, participants will learn how to create research based advocacy interventions in their professional roles.

This discussion is free and open to the public. CEUs and PDUs will be offered.

About the Instructor Manivong J. Ratts is professor of counseling at Seattle University and chair of the Department of Leadership and Professional Studies (AEDT, Counseling, EDLR, SDA, and TESOL). Dr. Ratts received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Oregon State University (OSU). He holds an associate’s degree from Yakima Valley Community College, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Washington University, and a master’s degree in counseling from OSU. He is a licensed mental health counselor (L.M.H.C.) and past President of Counselors for Social Justice, a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA). His research is in the area of multiculturalism and social justice. He is one of the nation’s leading scholars in the area of social justice counseling. He coined the term “social justice counseling” and argued that social justice is a “fifth force” among counseling paradigms, following the psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and multicultural traditions.