Demographic changes and interconnectedness in American Psychology and American Law have drawn attention to the need for diversity in the AP-LS community. To collaborate effectively with people representing diverse backgrounds and experience requires an informed understanding of others and, perhaps most critically, an informed understanding of one’s own social and cultural origins. In other words, cultural responsiveness is based on integrating the awareness, knowledge-base, and learned skills required to effectively and sensitively work with and serve people from diverse backgrounds, orientation, and social or cultural identities.
In my role as Diversity Liaison, I begin a new journey, to serve people from diverse backgrounds, social identities, and abilities within the AP-LS student community, and in the broader general population. In doing so, I promise I will hold myself to a particularly higher standard; a higher standard that engenders my clinical training, legal background, multicultural background and awareness, and empathetic understanding. My plan, for 2020-2021, includes working with my fellow AP-LS committee members, to continue developing this role, as well as to provide information regarding opportunities for higher education and/or research opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students of ALL backgrounds, social identities, and abilities. Furthermore, on an ongoing basis, I will conduct a thorough review of open sources, that facilitate the exchange of information or experiences, to aid in diversity development for the betterment and good of all.
In accordance with the AP-LS Student Committee goal of diversity and inclusiveness, I will strive to be inclusive of the entire community, regardless of social or cultural identity, background, age, perspective, orientation, or origin. Why? Because historically, certain groups (e.g., ethnic minorities, women, religious groups, people with disabilities, and other groups) have been excluded from, marginalized or oppressed within their community, higher education, research and/or legal institutions, thereby creating legacies of certain advantages for some people, and disadvantages for a many others. In the role of Diversity Liaison, and on behalf of the student committee, I promise to promote the principles of equality and diversity-- which are defined within a specific historical, social, and cultural framework—and create an intellectual environment that is inclusive of all people, in order to overcome the historical legacies of exclusion.
Claire D. Scott-Bacon Clinical Psychology PhD Student | University of Notre Dame Diversity Liaison | AP-LS, APA Division 41