Morning Workshop 1

Cultural Differences and Socioeconomic Justice in Mental Health Services

Bonnie Cushing, LCSW and Jeff Hitchcock, MS, MBA
Center for the Study of White American Culture
CEUs: 1 Clinical, 1 Cultural Competence


This workshop will examine white normative culture and explore historical conditions and current disparities that exist across race in the realms of housing, employment, wealth accumulation, education, foster care placement, incarceration rates, and primary and mental health care. Based on this exploration, the workshop will begin to examine how normative culture, a history of oppression, and current disparities specifically bear upon the clinical setting and the provision of mental health services. Clinicians will learn strategies for forming more effective cross-racial therapeutic alliances.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain importance of considering the intersections of power and race in the context of clinical work.
  2. Define white normative culture and examine its components.
  3. Describe the impact of historical and current racial disparities in the provision and outcomes of mental health services and other measurements of well-being.
  4. Integrate this knowledge with strategies for developing effective cross-racial therapeutic relationships.

About the Presenters 

Center for the Study of White American Culture has been educating people for nearly 20 years about white racial identity, white culture, how to talk about race, and what white people can do about racism.

As executive director and co-founder, Jeff Hitchcock, MS, MBA has researched, written, created curriculum, and taught about the nature of whiteness and its dominant impact on the whole of society. He is the author of Lifting the White Veil: A Look at White American Culture, and has served as editor to numerous books on whiteness and racism.

Bonnie Cushing, LCSW has been a licensed clinical social worker in private practice for more than 25 years, and an anti-racist organizer and educator with both CSWAC and the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond for the last 12 years. She is the lead editor of Accountability and White Antiracist Practice: Stories from our Work. Her special interest has been on educating colleagues in the field of human services about the impact of race, institutional racism and, in particular, white privilege (both internalized and manifested) on the provision of social services and the unfulfilled promise of a just, humanistic society.

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