Diversity and Inclusion Council
The Diversity and Inclusion Council commits to actively support an inclusive, equitable, culturally competent educational community that respectfully welcomes, engages, and supports the richness of diversity (e.g., cultural, racial, gender, sexual orientation, class, geography, religion, learning style, able-bodiedness, age, and appearance).
Diversity in the student body, faculty, staff, board, and administration is an essential component of the learning experience at Pacifica Graduate Institute. The purpose of the Diversity and Inclusion Council is to nourish an atmosphere at Pacifica that promotes, respects, and encourages diversity in its fullest sense.
In order to achieve greater diversity, concerted effort is necessary in decision-making processes, recruitment practices, and retention efforts. To build an atmosphere of hospitality toward differences, Pacifica encourages cross-cultural dialogue, explores pedagogies that enlist awareness of diversity in the learning process, and regularly reviews its policies and procedures, as well as the curriculum with regard to issues of diversity.
Appreciation for diversity begins with thoughts and attitudes that support multicultural environments. Pacifica engages in a process of self-evaluation regarding institutional, collective, and individual racism, and other bias in order to work toward a more inclusive learning environment. To this end, Pacifica encourages regular dialogue on issues of diversity among the staff, faculty, and student body. Depth psychology is a historical, philosophical, and practical conversation of diverse voices with multiple, yet related, points of view on interiority, culture, context, the unconscious, imagination, dialogue, transformation, myth, symbol, symptom, and healing.
Practitioners of depth psychology who are struggling to become conscious about issues of cultural bias, Eurocentrism, xenophobia, colonialism, and domination in the field find that many theories of depth psychology can be used as a valuable guide to the hosting of diversity. Depth “psychologies” may more aptly describe the complexity of voices that comprise any situation: intrapsychic, interpersonal, intercultural, or interspecies. They ask us to acknowledge our point of view at any moment as one among many. This attitude helps allow space for alternate perspectives to emerge, thus augmenting, challenging, confirming, and critiquing points of view with which we have identified. Depth psychologies see this discipline as a necessary and ongoing process that is sensitive to shifts in what calls from the margins of a culture at any particular time.
The movement from singularity of voice to polyphony, from identification with a fixed viewpoint to a critical and contextualizing viewpoint, parallels psychology’s own contemporary movement from a universalist standpoint that often covered over cultural context and bias. Just as the individual seeks to open a space for other viewpoints to emerge, some depth psychologies are presently struggling to be clear about their origins in Euro-American culture and the implicit values underlying their predominant foci of research, clinical and community practice, and favored methodologies.
This struggle allows psychology thoughtfully to extend its research and clinical and community practice to groups and issues previously under-represented by a more monocultural discipline, by working in concert with members of such groups. Therefore, at Pacifica, we seek to view diversity within the container of plurality, tolerance, and debate.
In accord with Pacifica’s commitment to depth psychology, we actively support an educational environment that respectfully welcomes the richness of cultural, racial, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, learning style, able-bodiedness, age, appearance, political affiliations, and other even as yet unnamed differences, which all who study and work in this Institute bring as gifts for a learning community.
Jana Hendricks, Student representative
Jana Hendricks is a doctoral candidate in Pacifica’s Depth Psychology, Somatic Studies specialization. Her multiple residences across the U.S. and overseas have shaped her into an advocate for diversity and social justice, engendering in her a desire to foster an inclusive and equitable atmosphere wherever she is. Jana looks forward to supporting students in co-building a welcoming and safe community for everyone at Pacifica. Please reach out to Jana for assistance and questions, or let her know what diversity values are important to you––and together we will work to realize them at Pacifica.
Dianne Travis-Teague, Alumni representative
Dianne Travis-Teague is the Director of Alumni Affairs who is dedicated to creating and maintaining pathways for alumni participation that advance the goals of the Institute and partnering with colleagues to identify, cultivate, and steward alumni giving in a multiplicity of ways. She believes that the alumni are, in so many ways, the blood soul of Pacifica and that their work is an expression of Pacifica’s mission, to tend to the soul of and in the world.
Jorge de la O, Faculty representative
Jorge de la O, M.A., STR, L.M.F.T., is a Jungian analyst and faculty professor in the Counseling Program at Pacifica. Jorge is a registered Sandplay Therapist with The Association for Sandplay Therapy and a member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analyst. He recently published a chapter entitled, “Image and Experience in Multicultural Training and Supervision,” in Culturally Sensitive Supervision and Training. Routledge (2016). In the upcoming months, The Journal of The Sandplay Therapist of America will publish his article that explores the “Homie” action figure known as the Veterano, an image of the mature Chicano masculine and its use in sandplay, as well an amplification of a dream. “Homies” document the important struggle for unity of indigenous and new world soul and spirit.
Mary Watkins, Faculty representative
Mary Watkins, Ph.D., is chair of the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute and co-founder of its specialization in Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology. She co-founded Pacifica’s Diversity Committee in 1997 with Jim Peal. She is the co-author of Toward Psychologies of Liberation, Talking With Young Children About Adoption, and Up Against the Wall: Re-Imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border and author of Waking Dreams and Invisible Guests: The Development of Imaginal Dialogues.
Lauren Lastra, Staff representative
Lauren Lastra, M.P.P.A., is the Director of Academic Affairs. She is particularly interested in fostering an inclusive work environment and believes in the collective wisdom of diverse groups. Lauren has previously served as the Internal Communications Coordinator and Sustainability Associate at Pacifica. Prior to coming to Pacifica, Lauren lived in the Valparaiso region of Chile where she served as an Educator for the United Nations Development Program. She studied multicultural literature (B.A.) at University of California, Berkeley and sustainable development policy (M.P.P.A) at California Lutheran University.
Norma Mesa, Staff representative
Norma Mesa, M.S., has been in the Human Resources field for over 15 years and has worked in various industries including transportation, manufacturing, education and not-for-profit agencies. As a Hispanic woman, she takes pride in her culture and her first language of Spanish. Norma has a strong committee to diversity, equality and inclusion. She has served on many committees to promote and train staff on diversity issues in the workplace. She received her B.S. from San Francisco State University and her M.S. in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University.
Marcy DeVeaux, Alumni representative
Dr. Marcella “Marcy” De Veaux, Ph.D., associate professor of Journalism at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), is an educator, media expert and diversity consultant. Currently, De Veaux organizes workshops on diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competency for faculty, staff and students around the split that divides our nation – race, class, gender, geography, and generation. She arranges workshops for faculty on building a culturally competent curriculum and classroom.