Advocating for Social Justice in Our Career Practice

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Webinar Description: Social justice problems permeate our society. Specifically for career professionals, these problems include higher than average unemployment rates for marginalized individuals, hiring, firing, evaluating, and promoting decisions, harassment (sexual, racial, cultural, religious), and salary discrimination.

Career professionals are needed to help clients prepare for injustices they may encounter, support clients on career decisions they make regarding the injustices they experience, and provide resources for clients to help them in their decision-making regarding discrimination. Counselors may choose to do social justice work not only with individual clients but also with employers, communities, even on a national scale.

Career preparation programs help practitioners with knowledge and understanding of cultural differences but fall short on offering training on how they can help with social justice issues such as discrimination and harassment. To help close the gap, this webinar will cover the breadth of social justice issues that career professionals might encounter, a review of social justice competencies, a discussion of the reasons professionals do not engage in social justice work, overcoming those obstacles, and suggestions on actions we can take at the individual, group, community, and national levels.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the connection between social justice and career development
  • Receive suggestions on how to overcome reluctance to participate in social advocacy
  • List strategies for promoting social justice through social advocacy in career practice.

Kathy M. Evans, President of the National Career Development Association, is an Associate Professor of Counselor Education at the University of South Carolina. She received her Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University. Before receiving her doctorate Dr. Evans held career counseling positions in high schools, community and four-year colleges and universities as well as in a non-profit organization. She has been a counselor educator for over 25 years and has taught the career counseling course for 20 of those years. In addition she teaches doctoral courses in multicultural counseling/advocacy, supervision and pedagogy. Five years ago, she developed a graduate certificate program for Career Development Facilitators.

Dr. Evans has published extensively and decided to write “Gaining Cultural Competence in Career Counseling” because there were no available texts that helped students understand the synthesis of culture and career. For some of the same reasons, she also co-authored “Experiential Approach for developing Multicultural Counseling Competence” with Dr. Mary Fawcett of Winona State University.