The CSPP Clinical Counseling program introduced a new award this year, the Audre Lorde Voice and Vision Award for Outstanding Social Justice Advocacy. This award was inspired by a quote from the Caribbean-American writer, radical feminist, womanist and civil rights activist Audre Lorde. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” For both Dr. Janie Pinterits and Dr. Tiffany O’Shaughnessy this quote has been a big influence on the framework of the Clinical Counseling program. The Audre Lorde Voice and Vision Award is given to individuals who go above and beyond social justice advocacy. Students are required to write a grant proposal as well as provide help to the community and public at large. The recipient of this award must stand out in these areas in addition to empowering clients and the community. They must be able to follow their vision and turn it into a voice and action.
The recent recipient of this award is Richelle Corbo, who has been described as a “powerhouse for social justice advocacy.” Richelle is the Student Government Association representative for the students within the program in San Francisco. She has fought for the rights and interests of the students on the SF campus and university-wide. Richelle was fearless and dedicated in presenting student issues to faculty and staff. One of her accomplishments has been raising funds for the MA programs within CSPP as well as building the recognition of the master’s programs. Equality between the masters and doctoral programs was an issue many students faced when it came to workshops and special classes. Richelle made this issue known and assembled fellow students to help raise this concern to the faculty. While fighting for the rights of students within the Alliant system, Richelle also gave 20+ hours of her week to treating children and families at the Edgewood Mental Health Agency. She has also collaborated with two other students to submit a grant proposal for $75,000 to benefit Ala Costa Adult Transition Program. The goal of this grant is to provide mental health services for young adults with intellectual disabilities.
Now that Richelle has graduated from the Clinical Counseling program this month, and she is running for the student/intern representative on the California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors Board of Directors. She currently serves on the Legislation Committee, where she monitors developments in Sacramento on the new license for mental health professionals at the master’s level. Richelle’s vision goes beyond her cohort, Student Government Association, Alliant and reaches the state level.