Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training works with ACPE

“Surprisingly transformational.” This is how one ACPE certified educator, Trina Williams-Johnson, described her recent ‘Anti-Bias’/’Anti-Racism’ training with Crossroads’ Antiracism and Organizing Training Group, one of the lead speakers of this years’ ACPE annual conference. 

“I arrived with ambivalence and a large amount of apathy. I did not want to be re-traumatized or given the responsibility of doing the heavy lifting of hearing from white people who arrive late to the party that I have lived all of my life. I have been through too many lip-service events, so I was prepared to check out and hold my peace….There were honestly more people of color than I expected. The best way I can express my experience is to refer to the Grinch, when his heart grew, and how many sizes it grew.” 

Over the past two months, Crossroads has been meeting with members of ACPE, including educators, psychotherapists and staff, to train these fearless, justice-oriented folks on how to serve as Catalysts during the upcoming conference which is centered around the theme of Anti-Racism and Anti-Blackness.  

Another participant of the training, Certified Psychotherapist Melissa Lemons, stated, “After many years of leading anti-racism training, preaching to promote inclusion, and teaching diversity courses to future counselors I was not expecting to learn much from another workshop. The Crossroads workshop surprised and encouraged me in the wider work and gave me ideas for restructuring some specific coursework with counseling students. For example, counselors are asked to attend to power differentials in the room and we can become more intentional about asking about the power differentials clients and counselors face outside the room that influence therapeutic interactions. Educators, supervisors, and clinicians attend to what we say, how and when we say it, and the Crossroads workshop reorients those questions to include conscious and unconscious biases. As a newcomer to ACPE from the SIP community (spiritually integrated psychotherapy), it felt good to find so many awake and aware colleagues who understand the importance of ongoing personal and professional vigilance in identifying and dismantling white supremacy.”  

ACPE leadership and staff are excited about all that our hearts and minds will experience at this year’s annual conference. We look forward to the new and exciting calls to justice that will be spurred in our membership. Crossroads will prove to be an indelible aspect, leaving a mark of inspiration among conference attendees to better create not only a more just ACPE organization but larger society. 

ACPE Certified Educator Amy Canosa added, “I really appreciated participating in the Crossroads training with my ACPE colleagues.  While I have participated in other anti-racism trainings in the past and even through other organizations, I found myself feeling more hopeful and engaged as my colleagues and I talked about ACPE and the ways in which it (we) have failed to be an anti-racist association and the ways in which we as a collective can work together to dismantle white supremacy in our institution.  While I continue to recognize this is not an easy task because white supremacy is embedded so deeply in so much of what we (and I) do, I am ready to lean into this work and find comfort and strength knowing that others are also wanting to make this investment and are ready to lean in, challenge, and dismantle!  Though I’m still learning what the role of a catalyst may look like as we move forward in this intentional anti-racism work though ACPE, I am committed and ready.” 

After attending a Catalyst training, Williams-Johnsons confidently added, “I moved into a feeling of motivation and excitement about being a catalyst. Being a catalyst is no longer a chore: it is now an honor, a challenging one that I am up to. It is amazing how being heard and seen can affect a person. Ashe!” 

Have you registered for the conference yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Now is the time!