The Wright Institute Counseling Program Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Wright Institute has a long history of addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion since its inception. Its mission of "Educating Clinicians to Society" has served as an organizing focus leading to the training and mentorship of many counselors, psychologists, and therapists over its 50-year history. The work to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has changed over time to meet the needs of its students, and ultimately, society. Most recently, our students organized to request additional support and called for the allocation of resources and the creation of the current office of DEI. In collaboration with a consultant, the board, staff, faculty, and students helped to create the current office within the clinical and counseling programs. In its first year, the counseling program DEI office seeks to focus on two goals:

  • Support the training of a diverse student body to meet the needs of our community
  • Support a culture of belonging

To carry out our goals, we have created the following events, programs, and support systems:

DEI Student Fellows: We are finalizing the DEI student fellow roles and responsibilities with the goal of recruiting in the upcoming months. Student DEI fellows will provide mentoring to other students and support the goals of the DEI office.

Individual Student Support: The DEI office is available to support students' DEI needs.

Group Student Support: We are providing online and in person meet-ups for students to connect on DEI issues.

Consultation and Collaboration: The office provides consultation to administration, staff, and faculty on DEI issues. We collaborate with our accessibility office, admissions, numerous committees, mentoring program, field placement office and with the clinical program.

Faculty Consultation: The DEI office is available to support faculty around curriculum, resources, and classroom needs.

Trainings: On Being Program: is a series inspired by the On Being Project and is an opportunity for us to examine our lived intersectionality through the lens of faith. Events take place on the last Wednesday of each month.

Strategic Planning: Both directors of DEI are engaged in the strategic planning for the school. Dr. Briscoe-Smith facilitated the kick-off opening events where we had a chance to articulate our vision for the school. We will be integrating the feedback and a focus on DEI throughout the strategic planning process.

Faculty Survey: We conducted a faculty survey to learn about the needs of the faculty and how the DEI office can best support faculty. More details to follow.

Student Events and Resources: At the start of the year we held several welcome events, including an event for our Latinx entering students and one for our incoming Black students. We also held a POC mixer during new student orientation. We will be holding a social mixer for students, staff, and faculty who identify as Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and/or have AAPI heritage. The DEI office has provided support via Zoom group meet up to students, staff, and faculty of Asian descent/heritage to come together to talk about the increased xenophobia, assaults and violence targeting our Asian and Asian American community during COVID-19. In addition, Professor Dunlap is working with APA Division 45 (The Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race), Asian American Discrimination Task Force and Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) members Drs. Sumie Okazaki, Cixin Wang, and Munyi Shea to create resources for Asian American children and families dealing with discrimination during COVID-19. When complete, we will provide the link to these resources.

Conferences: The DEI office (with faculty and students) will present at numerous conferences and has already presented at the Asian American Psychological Association Conference. Students Judy Huang, Ananya Rajaraman, Marie Tajon-Scott with faculty members Dr. Chen and Professor Thakore-Dunlap presented, "You (only) Have A Master's Degree?": Revisioning Internal And External Narratives Of Achievement And The Model Minority Myth. In this well attended session, students shared their personal experiences of the model minority myth in pursuing a masters degree and with faculty discussed strategies for institutions to consider in supporting Asian and Asian American masters level students. We have also co-sponsored Healing Justice: Ending Mass Incarceration, an interdisciplinary conference at the intersections of psychology, mental health, and organizing to end mass incarceration.

DEI Related National Involvement: Professor Dunlap is a current training advisory committee member for the American Psychological Association, Minority Fellowship Program where she advises, and provides mentoring to STAY Fellows across the country. Several of our current students and alumni have received funding and mentoring from this program.

Who are we?

Ulash Thakore-Dunlap, LMFT
(She/her/hers)

Professor Dunlap is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and holds a PPSc (School Counseling Credential). In addition, Professor Dunlap maintains a private practice in San Francisco where she provides counseling, coaching, and clinical supervision. Professor Dunlap has extensive clinical experiences working with children, adolescents, schools, families, and adults.

Professor Dunlap has over 20 years of teaching experience at high school, community college, and university level in the United Kingdom and United States. She is a trained school counselor and has extensive experience providing therapy in school-based settings. Professor Dunlap's interest and passion for Asian American mental health, South Asian clinical needs, school-based mental health, supporting immigrant clients, and mentoring emerging leaders who identify as a person of color have led her presenting at national and international conferences and publishing articles and textbooks which include: Guidelines On Bullying and Victimization for AAPI K-12 Students to School Professionals and Parents (in 4 languages), Motherhood: A Guide to Surviving the First 30 Days, and Group Counseling with South Asian Immigrant High School Girls: Reflections and Commentary of a Group Facilitator. Professor Dunlap is working with Drs. Devika Srivastava and Nita Tewari on an upcoming book with Routledge on Counseling South Asian Americans, it's the first of its kind in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

In her free time, Professor Dunlap is active in the community and is on several committees and boards including: board member for the San Francisco Mental Health Commission; current training advisory committee member for The American Psychological Association (APA) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP); past board member for The Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) and past chair on Division on Practice.

DEI Student Fellow

We are finalizing the DEI student fellow roles and responsibilities with the goal of recruiting in the upcoming months. The student fellows will provide mentoring to other students and support the DEI office. More details to follow.

How to contact us: deioffice@wi.edu and udunlap@wi.edu