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Anti-Oppression Statement: Our Commitments & Practices

Prism Counseling & Advocacy wants to acknowledge that we are settled on unceded Mohican, Haudenosaunee, & Schaghticoke land.

We want you to know our values and practices so you can feel informed, think about whether our work fits for you, and choose what’s best from a place of connection and resonance. This statement includes information about us, our positionality, our commitment to anti-oppression work, racial justice and equity, our teachers and lineage, and the business practices we’ve implemented to mitigate inequity. We consider this to be a living document, as we are ongoing learners, listeners, vulnerable community members, and whole-hearted human beings who are highly fallible and always growing.

Prism Counseling & Advocacy (formerly Rainbow Access Initiative) has been fighting for the *2SLGTBQIA+ community since 2000. We do this work with the unearned privileges extended to some of us as we hold white, cisgender, able-bodied, educated, middle class, small and mid-fat size, and medically well identities. We are committed to examining and re-examining the ways we offer and develop our work over time. We push ourselves to be actively anti-racist as clinicians and business owners, and since 2000, we have been actively working to dismantle the ways white supremacy culture shows up in our organization.

Prism Counseling & Advocacy promotes diversity and inclusion as a core value in our work. We recognize all types of diversity including and not limited to size, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, citizenship status, religion, and abilities. As an agency, we welcome the ways this diversity will deepen our shared understanding of the applications of this work. We celebrate and honor the strength, creativity and growth that comes from experiencing different viewpoints, backgrounds and cultures.

We read, listen to, learn from, and attend anti-racism workshops with Black teachers. We seek ongoing training and consultation with equity and inclusion facilitators, and are continually working to make our offerings and business as inclusive as possible. These consultants evaluate new programs we create. We see this as a long-term commitment and process which unfolds at the speed of relationship and under the guidance of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) consultation.

Prism Counseling & Advocacy is heavily informed by social justice movements and has been greatly influenced by Bobbie Harro’s Cycle of Socialization and Cycle of Liberation, adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activism, Black Feminist Theory (Audre Lorde, bell hooks), Desiree Adaway’s Liberatory Praxis, Barbara Love’s Liberatory Consciousness, the work of Sonalee Rashatwar, Aubrey Gordon, Erika Hart, and Sonya Renee Taylor, radical self-love, motivational interviewing, self-compassion theory, relational-cultural theory, mindfulness-based approaches, and post-modern therapeutic thought. We have spent 20+ years learning, teaching, and fine-tuning our approach. We are committed to maintaining a lifelong learning posture. We consider this essential to doing the work we do at Prism Counseling & Advocacy.

Prism Counseling & Advocacy is always evolving as well as our collaborations with our clinicians and clients. We prioritize helping people understand the oppressive structural roots of daily culture and heternormative & cisnormative models of healthcare. We don’t believe that one can do this healing work without a social justice analysis and we are committed to helping people develop a liberatory consciousness and get connected to resources outside of Prism Counseling & Advocacy to help them further their journey.

We see and acknowledge how oppression and discrimination, as well as the furthering of the thin, cis, straight, white, able-bodied ideal, has created conditions that repeatedly reinforce trauma, shame, and self-blame, and separate people from their bodies and their own knowing, voice and truth.

We are committed to including as diverse a representation of administrators and clinicians as possible. We acknowledge the potential for harm to occur in multiracial spaces, therefore we co-create a container for maintaining an inclusive space, and provide education and guidelines regarding conflict, microaggressions, and giving/receiving feedback. We encourage all clients to investigate/name identities and intersections. We aim to decenter our own identities while centering lived experience as much as possible. We invite and pay trainers and contributors with marginalized identities, and we amplify the work of marginalized voices in our clinical practices.

Our learning is not always sufficient and our dominant identities, including whiteness, have the potential to betray us. We have caused harm and we can not be immune from doing so again. When we cause harm, we offer and engage in an accountability process with the parties harmed and an independent teacher and work towards repair (when possible).

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