In Diversity, Special Topics

The Diversity and Inclusion Council Mission Statement

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 an 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.

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