Developing Social Justice Competencies: A Consultation Training Approach

Michelle P. Flores, Lisa de la Rue, Helen A. Neville, Maria Valgoi, James Brooks, Eun Sul Lee, Rebecca Ginsburg, Sammy Santiago, Kemuyah Ben Rakemayahu, Robert Garite, Michael Brawn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The social science and education fields are increasingly looking to non-traditional pedagogical methods as a way to increase students' awareness of social justice issues. Critical inquiry projects, human rights education, and service learning models are some of the theoretically grounded approaches that advocate for novel ways of increasing social justice awareness in education. In this article, we propose a model of social justice consultation training activities that build on key principles of social justice work, core components of social justice competencies, and the American Psychological Association Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists. We present the Climate Initiative case study to illustrate consultation training activities designed to promote social justice competencies. The Climate Initiative was a collaborative project between class members in a multicultural issues in counseling course and a social justice-oriented prison education program. We have included a summary of self-reflection experiences and evaluations of the process by counseling psychology trainees and students. Future recommendations for utilizing the consultation approach as a non-traditional teaching method are also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1020
Number of pages23
JournalThe Counseling Psychologist
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • consultation
  • cultural competency
  • prison education
  • social justice


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