Diversity makes us stronger, wiser, and more effective. The clinical training program at Penn is committed to training clinical scientists who are positioned to serve the needs of a diverse public, including, but not limited to, individuals from traditionally under-resourced or marginalized groups. We recognize that celebrating and supporting the unique experiences and backgrounds of all of our trainees is a central part of that mission. Our differences -- of age, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, ability status, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, skills, ideas, experience, and more -- enrich our perspectives, inform our clinical work, and enhance our ability to achieve clinical psychology's core missions of public service, education, and research. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and pledge to do our best to provide a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment to every trainee throughout their time in our program.
In pursuit of that goal, we have formed the Clinical Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action (IDEA) Workgroup. The workgroup began by undertaking a thorough Diversity Climate survey of both alumni and current students. We have instituted a number of changes as a result of that survey. For example, in response to challenges noted by students who are parents, we developed a comprehensive parental leave policy for clinical externship training that subsequently was adopted throughout the region through the PENDELDOT externship system. Within our program, we sponsored a diversity lecture series, are undertaking an empirically supported review of graduate course syllabi with an eye toward inclusive practices and reading lists, and have established an interdisciplinary multicultural consultation group for trainees in Psychology and Psychiatry to facilitate learning and clinical work with diverse patient populations. Several of these new initiatives were launched by student members of the IDEA Workgroup. We aim to continually evaluate and improve our offerings relevant to multicultural competence, and to foster a culture of inclusion in our program and in the Department of Psychology more generally.
"The dynamism of any diverse community depends not only on the diversity itself but on promoting a sense of belonging among those who formerly would have been considered and felt themselves outsiders." - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor