As a way of practicing our values for social justice, equity, and inclusion, CAPS has a Diversity and Inclusion Committee composed of senior staff members and colleagues-in-training. This committee creates, facilitates, and evaluates programs that support UNC Charlotte students who hold marginalized identities such that they feel more connected, empowered, and seen at UNC Charlotte. Please see the list of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives/programs below:
Multicultural Mental Health & Equity Initiative (MMHEI)
The Multicultural Mental Health & Equity Initiative (MMHEI) was developed and proposed by the CAPS Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee in response to the recognition that additional innovative efforts were needed to support the mental health of students of color at UNC Charlotte in light of the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing racial injustices experienced by folx of color on a daily basis. Funded by the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, the MMHEI aims to provide culturally tailored services to racially minoritized students primarily via outreach and community engagement, and secondarily through direct counseling services. In cross-departmental collaboration with campus offices and stakeholders, it seeks to destigmatize mental health care among people of color, eliminate barriers to access, and provide support/resources in alignment with cultural identity/values. With the understanding that intersectional identities can influence students’ experience of mental health and wellbeing, it is our hope that this pilot program will allow for expansion and new opportunities to support other marginalized and historically underserved communities.
Healing & Empowerment Gatherings
Healing and Empowerment Gatherings provide a service to students of communities directly affected by oppression-based traumatic events. These workshops bring awareness of the impact of oppressive experiences on mental health and provide coping strategies for students experiencing culturally based trauma. Additionally, Healing and Empowerment Gatherings seek to provide additional resources to students needing higher levels of care by offering referrals to CAPS, referrals to community-based providers & resources and/or linkage to campus partners.
Diversity & Equity Speaker Series
The Diversity and Inclusion committee leads CAPS efforts to organize and promote campus events that recognize the impact of oppression and trauma, specifically in marginalized communities, even today. With the collaboration and support of campus partners, the student body has had opportunities to engage in rich dialogue with social justice advocates from around the world. The lived experiences of these dynamic speakers have resonated with so many of the lived experiences of those students that hold under-represented and minoritized identities. Our hope is that this speaker series will continue to underscore CAPS belief that naming and acknowledging oppression are essential in the process of healing.
Black Student Mental Health
Black students attending predominantly white institutions may be subject to institutional racism and structural inequities that make it more challenging to progress and success through the institution. Add to that a global pandemic that disproportionately impacts communities of color and a spate of shootings of unarmed black people it adds to the stress, pressure and anxiety that some students feel. As a result, the Black Student Mental Health Task Force is a cross-divisional committee established in response to the recognition that additional collaborative efforts were needed to support the mental health of Black students at UNC Charlotte. The committee is tasked with ongoing assessment of the mental health needs of Black students on campus and with coordinating efforts to provide resources and support that empower students to thrive as a part of the Charlotte community.
For resources and support, as well as to learn more about the Black Student Mental Health Task Force visit click here.
Women of Color Conversations
The Women of Color Conversations series is an opportunity to create and strengthen connections for women students of color at UNC Charlotte. In collaboration with the Office of Identity, Equity and Engagement, the Conversations will present an ethnically and professionally diverse group of thought leaders, experts and innovators from around campus. The dialogue focuses on topics that are particularly relevant to Women of Color, including but not limited to Imposter Syndrome, Colorism, Self-Worth and Navigating a PWI. In this space, we highlight how these topics can adversely affect our mental health. As a result, themes like advocacy, community and support are interwoven throughout each session.
For more information on current meetings, please visit https://caps.charlotte.edu/services/group-counseling or visit https://identity.charlotte.edu/events.
Queer & Trans Students of Color (QTSOC)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement (IEE) at UNC Charlotte aim to support all students on our campus and yet recognizes the importance of understanding the nuanced needs of Queer and Trans Students of Color (QTSOC). Attendees utilize this meeting space to share community with one another, discuss mental health concerns and process the general challenges of navigating life as a student with these marginalized and intersecting identities. Attendees have an opportunity to interact and receive resources from CAPS staff and other campus partners.
For more information about upcoming events, please visit https://identity.uncc.edu/events.
A Response to Racist & Xenophobic Rhetoric
At CAPS our hearts reach out to the many across the globe who have been affected by this pandemic physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. We wish to acknowledge that this time of uncertainty can create anxiety for many individuals. Additionally, we acknowledge the particular impact on our international students and professionals, those of Asian descent in our campus community, and those who are perceived to be a part of these communities, as many have been stigmatized and subjected to racist and/or xenophobic remarks and violence. We ask our campus community to join us in rejecting prejudice and racism during this time of ever-evolving public health emergency. Let’s be guided by compassion and understanding during this difficult time.
For more information on coping with oppression-based trauma click here.
Campus Support & Resources
- Bias Incident Reporting (Student Assistance and Support Services)
- Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement
- International Student and Scholars Office
- Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion
- Office of Disability Services