Diversity at CAPS
TWU CAPS fully supports and respects issues of multicultural diversity and individual uniqueness. We view diversity as encompassing a broad spectrum of intersecting identities including ethnic/racial identity, nationality, sexual identity, gender identity and expression, age, ability status, religious/spiritual identity, socioeconomic status, body shape/size/appearance, and family composition. We recognize the critical impact of these variables on a person’s lived experiences and are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment where all of our unique identities are nurtured and affirmed.
We acknowledge the effects of systemic oppression, discrimination, stereotypes, prejudice, power, and privilege on students’ lives. At times, these factors may limit our students from achieving their fullest potential in their educational journey, physical health, and emotional well-being. To counteract this, we take responsibility for contributing to a university campus community that is embracing and inclusive of all diversity. We strive to live this responsibility by committing to our own life-long process of enhancing our multicultural competence, advocating for our students when appropriate, and engaging in difficult dialogues about these issues individually, as an agency, and as a member of the broader campus and national community.
Response to Current U.S. Race/Ethnic Relations
Updated November 2022
This statement’s first draft was created by the TWU CAPS Leadership Team (Drs. Carmen Cruz, Linda Louden and Denise Lucero-Miller) in 2015. They have provided updates over the last six years.
Discussing and responding to race and ethnic relations in the United States remains complex as the issues continue to be divisive. Our nation is continuing to grapple not only with our history, but also with our vision for our future. While we may feel massive polarization and insurmountable distance between ourselves and others in the current social and political spheres, TWU CAPS would like to invite all of us into a middle space, one that perhaps can be summed up best by this phrase: both/and.
“Both/and” is repeated constantly at TWU CAPS. What it means to us is that any life event or situation can be viewed from different perspectives, and all of them have validity. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and. As mental health professionals (including those in training), we hold space for the both/and. We recognize the complexity of humanity and try to help others learn to embrace the acceptance of multiple points of view. We recognize that we live in a complex time, and that there is good and bad, love and evil, and hope and despair residing within all of us as we are first and foremost human.
The conflict and deep polarization of our political community continues past the divisive 2020 election, bringing to light the depths to which our nation is embedded in systemic and personal racism. We have witnessed what many of us cannot imagine seeing in our lifetimes: A deadly riot at the Capitol building and different versions of “truth” impacting the validity of a Presidential election. Some of this was fueled by neo-Nazi and white supremacists groups. We strongly and wholeheartedly condemn these actions and beliefs, and we directly challenge the bigotry and hatred exhibited.
As mental health professionals, we recognize that it is likely many of the individuals who ascribe to white supremacist and neo-Nazi beliefs have come to their views through their own painful experiences of fear, loss, interpersonal trauma, social and cultural isolation, implicit and explicit bias, and generational family teachings. We know that white privilege prevents awareness for those who have it to its effects by its very design. We know hate is learned, and it feeds upon fear. And we believe for those willing to lean into their own discomfort to examine themselves, when they are met with compassion, hate and pain can be disentangled and healed. Our nation has a long struggle behind us and in front of us as we forge our way forward.
The grief, fear, rage and shock elicited by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Botham Jean, Adam Toledo, Ma’Khai Bryant, Duante Wright and so many others are legitimate, important, and real. We have not forgotten Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and the hundreds of other Black lives lost to reported and unreported police brutality. #blacklivesmatter and the rallies that support it are legitimate, important, and real. Asian lives have also been disproportionately targeted in the last year given the hate and false information disseminated about the COVID-19 virus. Asian and Asian Americans have been persecuted and we at TWU CAPS stand against anti-Asian hate. We remember the six Asian women killed in Atlanta this year as well as countless others who are randomly attacked on the street for being of Asian descent. Our nation’s struggle to find solutions at our borders that acknowledge the humanity of asylum seekers and those longing for a better life for their families and themselves continues. We stand with those who are vulnerable and long for safety, security, and a future.
We continue to be aware of the visible and invisible processes that contribute to the experiences of racial and ethnic minorities, including but not limited to: racism, hate crimes, violence, discrimination, and microaggressions. We want to engage in and support the continued dialogue about how to facilitate change on an individual and systemic level.
We also continue to be aware that not all people view these visible and invisible processes in this manner, and that these individuals also need safety, respect, and a place to find support. We want to engage in and support the continued dialogue with all.
We call all of us to the highest versions of ourselves we can be during this time, and hold strong to our values of mutual respect, the dignity of all humanity, and the power of love.
Take care of yourself and check on your BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) friends. You will notice that you and other people around you are experiencing a range of reactions to social events. Remember for many, these reactions are compounding generational trauma in our Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. You may have questions and concerns about difficult topics, such as racism, systemic discrimination, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, oppression, white privilege, guns, policing, violence, protests, riots, social justice, mental health, and more.
These reactions can look and feel different for different people. For example, they may be emotional or physical in nature or they may be common or uncommon for you. Additionally, your reactions may or may not be similar to those around you. Reactions across the TWU community include sadness, outrage, a sense of helplessness, disbelief, racial fatigue, and many other experiences.
Whether you seek our services or not, TWU CAPS encourages you to find safe people and spaces to identify and process your reactions. Our mission highlights our focus on creating a safe and affirming climate for all individuals. We recognize that racism, bigotry and anti-Semitic views affects the degree of emotional, psychological, and physical safety individuals experience on our campus and within the community. We believe it is important to constantly evaluate and identify how we can and will serve as a safe support for students in their time at TWU and beyond.
We want you to know that we are available as a resource for you, and we are dedicated to helping foster a climate that is safe for all students on campus and within our beloved TWU community.
CAPS Contact Information:
• TWU CAPS- Dallas: 214-689-6655
• TWU CAPS- Houston: 713-794-2059
• TWU CAPS- Denton: 940-898-3801
Originally posted January 14, 2015
Revised June 19, 2015
Revised July 7, 2016
Revised July 8, 2016
Revised August 20, 2017
Revised April 26, 2021
Created by TWU CAPS Leadership Team
(Lucero-Miller, Cruz, Louden, Bewley)
Page last updated 12:02 PM, November 17, 2022