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. Now in its 4th year, the counseling program DEI office seeks to focus on the following goals:

  • Enhance visibility and respond to our program mission to “prepare and inspire a diverse student body”
  • Develop shared language to support community wide inclusive language and a language of compassion and belonging
  • Sustain a community of belonging and provide more opportunities for community building, socializing, and connecting within affinity groups and between groups
  • Drive systemic accountability and respond to system wide DEI initiatives and strategic planning process

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

Funding Opportunity - DEI Student Fellowship: The Counseling Program DEI office staffs three incoming students and three continuing students as DEI fellows. The fellowship is intended to support the recruitment of a diverse student body, reduce financial barriers, and support retention efforts. The DEI office provides each of its fellows $5,000 in scholarship funds and a maximum of $5,000 in work study funds for a combined total of $10,000 in annual financial support. DEI Fellows receive training, supervision, a community of support, and the opportunity to impact the future of the Counseling program as a student leader. DEI fellows also provide mentoring to other students and support the goals of the DEI office. The Fellowship is a one-year commitment with the possibility of an additional one-year extension. The Fellowship application is included in the admissions application for prospective students. Applications will be reviewed following each admissions deadline.

Student Support: The DEI office is committed to supporting a community of belonging. The DEI Director and student fellows are available to meet with students online or in person to engage in 1:1 and collaborative conversations, facilitate difficult dialogues, and provide space to explore and discover areas of resource at the Wright.

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: DEI fellows partner with faculty members to review courses and provide consultation on how to intentionally weave and add upon DEI content throughout course curriculum. Further, the DEI fellows Library Project includes helping the counseling program and MA library create a DEI section, review current videos for span of representation, and research and suggest new resources for the curriculum.

Training and Events: The DEI office provides training and events. Training and events are designed to build community and awareness, foster inclusion, bridge intersectional identities, and empower and amplify a broad range of voices.

Strategic Planning: Prior to 2020, the institute engaged in a rigorous strategic planning process. The counseling psychology program in conjunction with the PsyD program will be integrating feedback and focusing on multiple DEI related initiatives throughout the upcoming academic year as described and laid out in the strategic plan. Current strategic planning outcomes that have already been developed and sustained include, but are not limited to: an institute wide Anti-Racism Task Force, program wide Multicultural and Sensitivity (MAS) Course Curriculum Committee and faculty consultation group, an expansion of the counseling psychology DEI fellowship program from 2 DEI fellow to 6 DEI fellows and a Postgraduate DEI Office Assistant, an expansion of the counseling psychology mentor program to include an affinity group only track, the creation of Bienestar: Spanish Speaking Clinical Consultation group, and the addition of Dean of Students to the counseling psychology administrative team to support our mission to “prepare and inspire a diverse student body”.

Student Events and Resources: The DEI office provides ongoing resourcing to students, staff, and faculty in the program. Typical events and resources include: community wide speaker series event, community wide community care events, student led affinity groups and affinity group outings, individual peer to peer mentorship and student led mentor workshops, faculty and staff based affinity groups, and opportunities to participate in systemic accountability projects. We strongly encourage 1st year students to reach out to their student mentors in the mentoring program and all students to explore affinity groups and other community connections.

Who are we?

RebeccaRebecca Stevenson, PsyD (she/her)
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dr. Rebecca Stevenson has extensive experience working clinically and non-clinically within K-12 schools, foster systems, juvenile corrections systems, and the community. Much of her work has had an overlying emphasis on complex trauma and systemic empowerment of children, youth, families, and young adults. Dr. Stevenson began her administrative academic career advocating and developing Project Pipeline, a grant based scholarship program that provided educational access and professional development opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students from marginalized and underserved communities.

Prior to the Wright, Dr. Stevenson was the Director of School Based Services at Seeds of Awareness. Further, she has engaged in program research ranging from positive youth development programming efficacy, sport based youth empowerment program efficacy for under-resourced youth, parenting program efficacy in communities of color, and assessment of best practices when working with alternative families. Dr. Stevenson has also worked clinically, been an advocate, and developed programs in the disability community. She has been a mentor in Adult Day Service programs, a clinician working with children and families with medical, physical, and cognitive disabilities, and has created and ran exploratory play and gymnastic programs for Autistic children and their families.

Dr. Stevenson is both the Assistant Program Director and DEI Director for the MA Counseling Program at the Wright. She also teaches courses including, but not limited to, Professional Development Seminar, Child and Adolescent Counseling, and Family Violence and Protection. Dr. Stevenson is dedicated to building authentic connections, strong relationships, and engaging with individuals and communities to become the most empowered and integrated version of themselves.

IzzyIzzy Smith (she/her)
DEI Post Graduate Assistant

Izzy Smith is the DEI Office Post Graduate Assistant. She served as a BIPOC affinity group co-facilitator during her first year, as a mentor, DEI student fellow, and Pride affinity group co-facilitator her second year, and will continue to work with the Wright Institute as a postgraduate. Izzy's most salient identities include Lesbian, Biracial, SouthEast Asian American, and Woman of Color. She is dedicated to supporting others in their identity exploration and feelings of belongingness on campus. Outside this role and working as an associate therapist, you can catch Izzy hiking with her pup, camping, and playing board games.

LenaLena Murphy (they/she)
Senior DEI Student Fellow

Lena Murphy is the Senior DEI student fellow. Lena is a Queer, Black woman who received their BA in Media and Communications Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Lena is passionate about connecting with and serving their community and does this as a volunteer Support Group Facilitator at the Pacific Center for Human Growth, an LGBTQIA+ center in Berkeley. In their free time, Lena enjoys weaving, hiking, second-hand fashion, dance, creative writing, and camping with friends. Lena looks forward to connecting with others in the Wright Community who are passionate about improving diversity and inclusion and encouraging belonging among students, staff, and faculty.

MorganMorgan Booker (she/her)
DEI Second Year Student Fellow

Morgan is a second year part time vegan, poet, and student at the Wright Institute and current DEI fellow. Morgan is at heart just a kid from Oakland running around believing in fairytales. From artist, to educator, to case manager, to psychology this is part four of her wild strange journey and this part feels the most authentic. She loves the work of Octavia Butler, Audre Lorde, bell hooks and adrienne maree brown. Her nerdiness knows no end.

NathalieNathalie Tinoco (she/her)
DEI Second Year Student Fellow

Nathalie is a second year DEI student fellow and a second year student in the MA Counseling Psychology program. As a first generation immigrant, Nathalie has a passion for connecting with people with a bicultural background and providing a safe space to share their experiences. In her free time, Nathalie enjoys trying new restaurants, looking at cute dog videos and watching reality TV. She’s looking forward to connecting with other students and the wider community by serving as an advocate for mental health!

GraceGrace Stephenson (she/her)
DEI First Year Student Fellow

Grace Stephenson is a first year DEI student fellow. Grace received her BA in Public Health and International Studies from The University of Washington, Seattle. As an LGBTQ+ person coming from a mixed/immigrant household, she is passionate about serving under-represented communities and building greater liberation and healing in relationships, trauma-recovery, community care, and across gender, sexuality, racial, and cultural intersectionalities. Grace's previous paths have led her to building an LGBTQ+-centered mental health start-up, working in community health, and as a Crisis Counselor at The Trevor Project. Outside of studies and work, Grace enjoys yoga, biking, movies, spending time with her two cats, playing Animal Crossing, and reading dystopian sci-fi, fantasy, or queer fiction.

NolaNola Vlasek (she/her)
DEI First Year Student Fellow

Nola Vlasek is a first-year DEI student fellow and first-year student in the MA Counseling Psychology program (weekend cohort). Nola received her BS in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis and has been working in systems and technology in the non-profit sector for several years. She currently holds a position at the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland. In her free time, Nola is an avid reader and will always be happy to chat about books (ask her about her book club). She is often hiking with her partner, cooking Mexican food from scratch, or dreaming up interior designs for her apartment.

How to contact the DEI Office: or

Recurring Events
  • Affinity Group Meetings
    Hosted by Student Mentors
  • Student Mentor Drop-in Office Hours
    Hosted by Student Mentors
  • DEI Drop-in Office Hours
    Hosted by DEI Director and Student Fellows
  • 2023-2024 Events
  • Forest Therapy Mini Retreat
    April 20, 2024
    Hosted by the 2nd year DEI Fellows & Ryja Testa, PhD
  • Speed Friending
    March 15, 2024
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • Blackness is not a Monolith
    February 21, 2024
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • Communi-Teas
    August 23, 2023
    Hosted by Affinity Group Leaders
  • 2022-2023 Events
  • Wellness Popup Event
    June 10, 2023
    Hosted by the Student Mentors
  • Duolingo Event (not sponsored)
    June 3, 2023
    Hosted by the 1st year DEI Fellows
  • Dr. Dunlap's Book Release Event
    May 24, 2023
    Hosted by the DEI Office and Dr. Clarke
  • Community Building Circle Workshop
    May 17, 2023
    Hosted by Circles for Social Change
  • Meet the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team: for incoming and prospective students.
    May 11, 2023 (Rescheduled from March 23)
    Hosted by DEI Department
  • Night @ the Wright
    February 28, 2023
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • Applying for Practicum: Ask the Mentors
    February 7, 2023
    Hosted by Student Mentors
  • Applying for Practicum: Ask the Mentors
    December 13, 2022 and January 10, 2023
    Hosted by Student Mentors
  • Hot Chocolate and Chat
    December 6, 2022
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • New Student Ice Cream Socials
    November 20 and 25, 2022
    Hosted by Student Mentors
  • 2021-2022 Events
  • Building Beloved Communities Using Restorative Practices
    June 14, 2022
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • LGBTQQIP2SAA+ Ice Cream Social
    June 10, 2022
    Hosted by LGBTQQIP2SAA+ Affinity Group
  • Cultivating Community Care Events
    May 3 and 4, 2022
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • Identifying & Interrupting Microaggressions: How to Navigate the Rupture and Repair Process with Taunya and DeAngela Black-Cooks
    March 24, 2022
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • DEI Social event on “Gathertown”
    March 3, 2022
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • Ask a Mentor: Practicum Applications and Interviews
    February 22, 2022
    Hosted by Student Mentors
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Foundations for Mental Health Providers, with Dr. Sand Chang
    January 13, 2022
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • Applying to Practicum: Ask the Mentors
    December 2, 2021
    Hosted by Student Mentors
  • DEI Social Mixer
    November 3, 2021
    Hosted by DEI Fellows
  • Cultivating Community Care
    October 21, 2021
    Hosted by DEI Office and Student Mentor Team
  • Orientation Day Meet and Greet for BIPOC Students and First Generation College Students
    August 16, 2021
    Hosted by DEI Director and Student Fellows
  • 2020-2021 Events
  • BIPOC Community Event to Connect
    July 12, 2021
    Hosted by DEI Office and Program Diversity Committee
  • Immigration Series Open Forum
    June 24, 2021
    Hosted by DEI Student Fellows
  • Holding Space for Racialized Violence
    June 12, 2021
    In collaboration with the Clinical Program DEI Office, mentoring program, and students
  • Immigration Series Student Panel
    May 13, 2021
    Hosted by DEI Student Fellows
  • Sharing The Diverse Ways We Care For Ourselves and Each Other
    May 5, 2021
    Hosted by Program Diversity Committee
  • Breaking Barriers as BIPOC/First Gen Grad Students in Psychology
    April 29, 2021
    Hosted by Wright Institute Pipeline Diversity Recruitment Program