Diversity Value Statement

diverse group of students at an MSA event

Northwestern CAPS is fully committed to providing services that affirm the dignity, worth, and value of all individuals. We believe in creating an atmosphere of openness, trust, respect, and safety where diverse attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors can be explored and discussed. We seek to understand and honor individual differences, including but not limited to experiences related to: race, ethnicity, national origin, religious and spiritual beliefs, gender, sexuality, physical and mental abilities, size and appearance, and socio-economic status.

Mental health concerns are often affected by social forces in the environment related to power and privilege, such as racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, heterosexism, and other forms of marginalization and oppression. Often pervasive and institutionalized, these forces are unacknowledged in many settings, leaving the impacted individuals to feel alone, voiceless, and invalidated. Our staff and trainees consider these forces in the struggles of students who seek help at CAPS, and actively address them in a culturally sensitive manner, employing approaches that include empowerment and advocacy.

Our commitment to culturally sensitive communications extends to interactions with colleagues, trainees, faculty, staff, parents, and the greater local, national, and international community. We strive to make CAPS an open, affirming, and safe working environment in which all parties feel understood, valued, and accepted. We take personal and organizational responsibility to grow in our awareness, reduce barriers and bias, and strengthen our multicultural competence.

We understand that inclusiveness and social justice require an ongoing endeavor, and we can never assume to have reached the final point. At times, values may conflict, but we are committed to supporting and challenging each other through difficult dialogues. Courage and empathy are necessary building blocks for a community in which differences are celebrated.