Providing Mental Health Services in a Racially-Structured Society

Presented by Bonnie Cushing, LCSW, Charley Flint, PhD, & Jeff Hitchcock, MS, MBA

This course will examine cultural conditions in the U.S. through the exploration of historical and current disparities across race. Participants will gain insight into the ways in which these disparities manifest within institutional systems and structures and, consequently, how this manifestation is reflected in socioeconomic status, education levels, and other cultural factors that contribute to an individual’s world view. In addition, the course will examine how white normative culture, a history of oppression, and current disparities specifically bear upon the clinical setting and provision of mental health services within the context of a cultural competence framework (Sue 2001). This framework focuses on individual, programmatic, and organizational levels of practice, and illustrates the ways in which each of these levels of practice are interwoven and connected in a racially-structured society.

Participants will be able to:

1. Explain the 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.
4. Identify ways in which this knowledge can be integrated with a broader understanding of what it means to be culturally competent.

Presenter Biographies:
Bonnie Berman Cushing, LCSW
Bonnie has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 25 years. She has worked in many settings, including a community mental health center, a high school and a jail. She is currently a family therapist in her hometown of Montclair, NJ. She is an anti-racist organizer and trainer with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. Bonnie also does curriculum development and training with The Center for the Study of White American Culture.

Charley B. Flint, PhD
Charley B. Flint, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at William Paterson University, where she directed the Race and Gender Project. Her areas of expertise include the intersectionality of race, gender and class in criminal justice; whiteness and white privilege; and gender, crime and society. She is a facilitator for the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP). Charley has presented several staff and professional skills development workshops for around the issue of whiteness and social services. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Rutgers University; where she became the first African-American female to do.

Jeff Hitchcock, MS, MBA
Jeff Hitchcock has masters degrees in social psychology and business administration and he has worked as a manager in several for-profit and non-profit corporate settings. Jeff is currently serving as Executive Director of the Center for the Study of White American culture, an organization he co-founded in 1995 with Dr. Charley Flint. He is author of the book Lifting the White Veil: A Look at White American Culture, which is available in more than 300 university and public libraries worldwide.

Location: Eisenhower Conference Center, 80 Beaufort Avenue, Livingston, NJ 07039
Date: June 10, 2016 Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Registration and continental breakfast will take place between 9:00-9:30a.m.
The workshop will begin promptly at 9:30a.m.


Welcome and introductions
Icebreaker group exercise
Oppression of People of Color
White Affirmative Action
Racism in Mental Health Services
Connecting with current issues
12:30-1:30pm Lunch on your own
Our (color)blind spot
Multidimensional model of cultural competence
2:30 – 4:00pm
Four levels of cultural competence: Individual, Programmatic, Organizational, Societal
Unpacking the levels
The intersectionality of praxis and power
Wrap-up & Evaluations

Target Audience: Social Workers, Counselors, and other Mental Health Professionals.
This course is appropriate for intermediate level participants.

Continuing Education Credits:
UPDATE: This course has been fully approved for CE credits for Social workers by the ASWB. 
FAMILYConnections, Provider #1252, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. FAMILYConnections maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB ACE Approval Period: 01/10/2014 – 01/10/2017. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval.
This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards – ASWB NJ CE Course Approval Program Provider #34 Course #786 from 5/26/2016 to 5/26/2018. Social workers will receive the following type and number of credit(s): Clinical Social Work Practice 2.5 Social and Cultural Competence 3.0.

FAMILYConnections, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6604. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Counselors will receive 5.5 CE hours.

FAMILYConnections is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

In accordance with ASWB guidelines, all participants must sign in and sign out and complete a course evaluation in order to receive CEUs. Partial credit will not be given to those arriving late or leaving early. Certificates will be awarded to participants after they have signed out at the completion of the course.

Directions, Parking, & Facilities:
For general directions, please click here. Detailed directions and information will be sent to registrants in a confirmation email.

For information on nearby lunch options, please click here.  There is also a full service cafeteria on-site at Eisenhower Conference Center.

If you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Niki DeVonish, Coordinator, at 973-323-3454 or by email at

Priority & free registration will be open to staff of DMHAS-contracted mental health agencies and self-help centers until June 6, 2016. Public registrations will be accepted based on space availability for a $35 fee. Course fees include materials and lunch. Cancellations must be made by June 6, 2016. Refunds will be not be issued for registrations cancelled after June 6th.

Registration is full and has been closed. 

Grievances: Please contact Niki DeVonish, Coordinator, at 973-323-3454 with any grievances.

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