Commitment to Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism

A promise from CAPS Staff to our Black students, staff and faculty...

Dear UC Community: 

We, the staff at CAPS recognize that the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Riah Milton and countless of Black Americans by law enforcement and community violence towards the Black Community, is a long-standing, systemic human rights violation. We believe that racism is a pandemic. Racism was officially declared a public health crisis by Cincinnati in July 2020. It’s a pandemic that affects our UC Community and is detrimental to the health, safety and well-being of our Black Bearcats. We as a staff at CAPS are committed to anti-racism, and are aware that we have a lot of work to do to be able to better support Black UC students. We believe that creating equity and an inclusive environment based on principles of justice benefit the entire UC campus community.

Thank you to the students who have reached out to let us know how we can better show up for the Black community at UC. Your voice is a gift and know that we are listening and are committed to do better for you. We will continue to welcome feedback from students who utilize CAPS counseling services and students who have not sought services at CAPS. We are open to feedback from all students to improve the ways we can serve you. We will have an open feedback form in Campus Link. Click here to share your thoughts. A Student Health and Wellness Advisory Group is beginning this fall to assure an open communication pathway between students and CAPS.

Furthermore, we at CAPS will make a sustained commitment to enhance our ability to become a center trusted by Black students as a safe and healing environment. We must be ready to engage in our community. It is not enough for CAPS to solely exist as an office; we must also be part of the community and advocate alongside one another when issues of social justice and anti-racism arise. It will be expected that CAPS staff will be engaged in our campus community with and for Black students and participate in events and programs on our campus and in our community that enhances diverse relationships. 

Next, we will examine our policies to assure that they reflect our values of equity, safety and justice. We as staff will continue to engage in work related to fostering our cultural competencies. This involves ongoing training that promotes specific skills targeted at dismantling racism, examination of our inherent biases, and soliciting feedback from our clients regarding areas of growth. This also will be an expectation as a team and individual level.

We are prioritizing increasing the diversity of our clinical staff, and recruiting, hiring and retaining Black clinicians. CAPS will also be engaging in anti-racism work by seeking to culturally adapt our interventions to align with diverse worldviews, understanding that treatments are most effective when they consider culture, race, and other intersecting identities. 

Our first action will be to update our website to reflect our solidarity and anti-racism framework. Please visit our race and stress based trauma resource page https://www.uc.edu/campus-life/caps/resources/student-resources-/RacialTraumaResources.html for information about CAPS and community resources for racial trauma.

Signed, 

Tara Scarborough, PsyD - Executive Director of Health and Wellness

Elizabeth Lehman, PhD - Assistant Director of Training

Kristina Irby - Program Manager

Michanne Davis, LISW-S - Senior Social Worker

Samantha Cook, PsyD - Staff Psychologist

Shane Gibbons, PhD - Interim Co-Associate Director

Elise Romines, PhD - Interim Co-Associate Director

Julie Lineburgh, LPCC-S - Clinical Counselor

Robin Davis - Registration Technician

Kim Jackson - Records Managemen

Statement of Commitment to Diversity

University of Cincinnati Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to embracing and celebrating diversity that works towards the inclusivity and belongingness for all in our campus community. Our staff is dedicated to promoting an environment of respect and appreciation for the race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, and socioeconomic status of all students. We take a stance against discrimination and oppression in any form and encourage the utilization of our services by all students, especially those who might be reluctant to seek traditional forms of treatment. To this end, we strive to create an atmosphere of affirmation, openness, trust, and safety where all attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors can be openly shared and explored.