*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
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Saturday, March 7 • 2:25pm - 3:25pm
Social justice identity as experienced by feminist multicultural-trained counselors

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Despite counselors’ involvement with social justice work, little empirical evidence has explored how social justice advocates themselves experience their social justice identity. Three aspects of social justice identity were present in the literature: (a) social justice identity is personally meaningful, (b) different factors impact one’s commitment to social justice identity, and (c) social justice identity relates to other social identities. In contrast from prior research, this study utilized qualitative methods to develop a participant-centered understanding of social justice identity. Feminist-constructivist paradigm informed the research, including the use of focus groups. With purposeful sampling, participants were recruited due to their participation in an elective, one year, social justice-oriented, feminist multicultural practicum. 20 individuals consented to participate (30% of 65 recruited); the majority (60%) were professionals with the remaining seeking their degree at the time of data collection. Data collection included focus groups and follow-up interviews. Phenomenological design and analysis were used to examine participants’ perspective. Analysis yielded five themes: (a) Acknowledging: I notice injustices, (b) Personalizing: I’ve made it my own, (c) Reflecting: Am I taking enough responsibility?, (d) Sustaining: I sustain my efforts with support and self-care, and (e) Engaging: My social justice-oriented action positively impacts others and me. Among the themes, both internal and contextual aspects of social justice identity were prevalent. Results were consistent with the existing literature on counselors’ social justice identity, and the study extended empirical support to the literature.

Saturday March 7, 2015 2:25pm - 3:25pm