Request for Consultant: Dismantling Anti-Black Racism in SCP

Issued by:

The Society of Counseling Psychology

September 25, 2020

Background about the Society of Counseling Psychology

The Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP) is a professional organization and a Division of the American Psychological Association that brings together counseling psychologists, students, and affiliates dedicated to promoting education and training, scientific investigation, practice, diversity and public interest in professional psychology. SCP has over 2,500 members located throughout the world (primarily in the U.S.). The Executive Board meets two times per year in person (typically) and monthly via the Zoom virtual platform. Additional information about SCP can be found at: http://www.div17.org/

In a September 14, 2020 message to members, the SCP Executive Board restated its commitment to uprooting anti-Black racism and interrogating white culture in society and in our own community. The ongoing suffering caused by the violence of police officers among Black communities goes against the social justice values that we hold and practice as counseling psychologists. That this violence is occurring only three months after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and in the middle of one of the largest movements for racial justice in U.S. history, makes these deaths all the more shameful. These police-involved shootings and murders of Black people affect all of our members, especially our Black colleagues and our colleagues of color. It affects those we serve as mental health practitioners and educators and affects all Black and Brown people in our country.

The full statement can be found here:  https://www.div17.org/home-slideshow/black-lives-matter/

As SCP, we are not absolved of anti-Black racism and upholding structures of white supremacy and white culture in our organization. We recognize that anti-Black racism exists in the Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP). For instance, we acknowledge that our members did not elect any of the five Black candidates who ran for top leadership positions in SCP this year. We are committed to gaining a critical understanding of this outcome in order to move forward and strengthen our Society’s work towards decreasing and eradicating anti-Black racism. Furthermore, we are committed to identify internalized whiteness within ourselves and our organization and to help our members do the same.

While the statement referenced above contains information about some of the way’s SCP has started to address these structural issues, we are committed to doing more. Therefore, SCP seeks to hire a Black consultant, who can observe and examine SCP at work, advise on ways for SCP to dismantle current racist and harmful structures, and recommend best practices around rebuilding and institutionalizing anti-racist thinking, operations, and actions.

 The consultant’s time may be spent identifying where anti-Black racism and internalized whiteness resides in our following SCP policies, procedures, and practices:

  1. Examining SCP’s current strategic plan (developed in 2018):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gvedy0q988um9mn/SCP%20Strategic%20Plan%202019-2021.pdf?dl=0

While we did center advocacy and focus attention on social justice and equity within our strategic plan, we are painfully aware that we did not make a commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization, to uprooting anti-Blackness, and dismantling internalized whiteness through our strategic plan. We are determined that all future plans and efforts should incorporate this lens.

  1. Observing monthly 90-minute Executive Board and weekly cabinet meetings.
  2. Reviewing SCP’s bylaws, governance structures, and practices (both formal and informal).
  3. Holding focus groups of both SCP members and non-members who are counseling psychologists to explore their experiences with, and perceptions of Anti-Black Racism within the organization and ideas for creating an anti-racist SCP.
  4. Studying SCP’s nominations, appointments, elections, awards, and other leadership pipeline processes.
  5. Advising on statements and initiatives related to Black Lives Matter from a lens of liberation and intersectionality.

Deliverables

SCP is seeking a comprehensive document identifying the steps/processes needed for SCP to build on its commitment to become an anti-racist organization. This includes recommended best practices around rebuilding and institutionalizing anti-racist thinking, operations, and actions. This would also include a tool that can be used by SCP leaders to monitor and measure SCP’s progress over time.

The consultant will work with the Executive Board of SCP and the SCP Executive Director who are available to offer organizational history, information, and access. The consultant will be expected to present a detailed proposed process for approval. The consultant will carry out the process with guidance and assistance from the Executive Board and Executive Director.

It would be ideal for this process to:

  1. engage counseling psychologists who are members and non-members of the SCP, members of SCP governance, and students.
  2. reflect the values of our organization (e.g., multiculturalism, social justice, advocacy, liberation, strengths-based approaches, prevention), and assessing the voices of all members and affiliates, and collaboration, while also providing constructive feedback.
  3. utilize grassroots and/or community-organizing oriented tools and processes in order to engage us in new ways of viewing and envisioning our organization; and
  4. lay the groundwork for ongoing attention to this process within the organization.

Specifically, this involves seeking clarity in purpose, mission/goals, values, and objectives for our organization. This also involves identifying the challenges and opportunities and identifying specific steps (strategies, and tactics/accountability tools) to help move SCP to the next step. Essentially the charge is to understand what we need to do to rebuild/re-envision SCP as an anti-racist organization, identify anti-Black racism and white cultural practices, processes, and procedures that may cause harm and do not serve our SCP members and the larger profession of counseling psychology.

The consultant will be responsible for:

  1. requesting organizational information from SCP Executive Director and Executive Board.
  2. proposing a process for approval by the Executive Board and maintaining communication with the Cabinet and Executive Board throughout the process.
  3. developing a budget with justification for approval by the Executive Board.
  4. gathering input from counseling psychologists who are members and non-members of the SCP, members of SCP governance, and students.
  5. synthesizing information to guide the SCP in developing mission, vision, goals, objectives, and strategies; and
  6. helping the staff and leadership establish an ongoing process for assessing and maintaining progress.

 Submission Guidelines & Requirements

 SCP is accepting materials in response to this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in order to find a qualified consultant to provide a comprehensive plan. The following submission guidelines & requirements apply to this RFQ:

  1. Material should be submitted by October 16, 2020. Please submit materials via email to deb@div17.org with the subject heading “SCP RFQ RESPONSE.”
  2. Only qualified individuals or firms with prior experience on projects such as this should submit proposals in response to this RFQ.
  3. If possible, consultants should provide a list of completed projects that are substantially similar to this project as part of their response, including references for each. Examples of work should be provided as well.
  4. Consultants who have a standard set of terms and conditions should submit them with the materials. All terms and conditions will be subject to negotiation.
  5. SCP anticipates selecting at least two consultants with whom more in-depth discussions will take place. Consultants will be asked to submit a timeline and price proposal that indicates the overall fixed price for the project or hourly rates and an estimated total number of hours.

RFQ & Project Timelines

RFQ Issuance 9/25/20
Deadline for material submission 10/16/20
Selection of top two consultants 10/23/20
Interviews of top two consultants 10/28/20
Consultant selection/notification 10/30/20
Consultant start date (Tentative) 11/2/20

Initial project timeline: November 2, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

Budget

A current budget of $40,000 has been proposed. This anticipates an average of 20 hours monthly over a ten-month period. Additional funds can be requested based on the detailed budget and timeline, provided by the consultant.

Evaluation Factors

The evaluation factors include:

  1. Responsiveness to the requirements set forth in this RFQ
  2. Relevant past performance/experience/education
  3. Work samples
  4. References

Contact Information
SCP Executive Director
deb@div17.org

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