story by Claire Miller
College of Education & Human Development Assistant Professor Erin Mason was awarded a $2,259 research grant from the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) to study how affinity groups – groups of people who come together around a shared interest – may make anti-racism training more effective.
Mason will work with CEHD alumna Vanessa Placeres (Ph.D. ’20) and CEHD doctoral students Mia Chang, Daniel Dosal-Terminel, Merideth Ray and Adrianne Robertson, as well as several current school counseling master’s students to recruit 20 K-12 school counselors who identify as white or Caucasian to participate in this research project.
Participants will be divided into groups and meet virtually during the 2021-2022 academic year to work through the White Folks Workbook, an eight-week anti-racist training program. They’ll also take a survey before and after the program to measure their cultural humility, and give feedback to researchers on the training.
“Nearly 80 percent of the American School Counselor Association’s membership is white while the K-12 student population continues to grow more diverse. Despite these changes in composition, there continues to be a lack of culturally responsive services in K-12 settings, and this gap requires greater attention to multicultural awareness and cultural humility among school personnel,” Mason wrote. “The purpose of the project is to create a space in which white school counselors can explore their racial identity development and privilege, and move toward doing anti-racist work in their schools.”
For more information about the ACES grant funding, visit https://acesonline.net/resources/research-awards-call-proposals.