ACCTA Diversity Initiatives

Diversity Commitment

ACCTA’s commitment to diversity is multi-faceted and longstanding and has evolved as the organization has evolved. This commitment initially took form at ACCTA’s annual conferences, as the composition of ACCTA membership became increasingly diverse. Members engaged in “difficult dialogues” across identities, challenged majority assumptions and worked to create mechanisms, such as the Standing Committee on Diversity, to ensure greater representation of diverse voices within the organization. ACCTA took on the explicit role of educating its members about the importance of respecting and valuing cultural factors in psychology training as well as in the organization itself. This commitment was officially integrated as a core component of ACCTA’s mission statement in 2001, which stated:















Fundamental to our values is appreciation of and support for diversity and the enrichment an inclusive multicultural community brings to the organization and to training generally. As an organization we dedicate ourselves to attending to the impact of oppression and privilege and are committed to addressing these issues within the organization, the training community and beyond.


Standing Committee on Diversity:

Mission:  The Standing Committee on Diversity (SCD) promotes cultural diversity, multiculturalism, social justice, and advocacy issues within ACCTA, and works to ensure that such issues remain in the consciousness of the organization. In support of this mission and consistent with the values of ACCTA, the SCD is involved in several initiatives and activities during the year. In particular, the SCD makes recommendations to the membership and the ACCTA Board about ways in which ACCTA can be more welcoming and inclusive to members of underrepresented groups. The SCD serves as consultant to the Board on issues related to diversity, multiculturalism, social justice, and advocacy. The SCD also strives to promote the professional development of our membership, through the coordination of the culture sharing program, and by ensuring that there are diversity-related presentations on the annual conference program. The SCD oversees the Diversity Scholars program, and presents a nomination slate for the annual Board elections. Once a year, the SCD meets at the ACCTA conference, and communicates throughout the year.

Culture Sharing: Culture Sharing is an ACCTA tradition that was first introduced during the Jekyll Island conference in 1992. Time is reserved at each conference for members to gather and share aspects of their cultural identities and experiences. Members have used the time to tell stories, share photos, music or videos, demonstrate cultural rituals and dances, or just talk. The goal for Culture Sharing is for members to learn, grow, share, understand and connect to one another. All conference attendees are invited to attend and to volunteer to present.

The Jay Zimmerman Diversity Mentorship Scholarship (JZDMS) Program: The Diversity Mentorship Scholarship Program was developed in 1993 to provide opportunities for culturally diverse professionals who have a strong interest in and commitment to training to attend the ACCTA conference. Two scholarships are awarded annually. Diversity Mentor Scholars present to the ACCTA membership on a topic of their choice related to diversity and/or excellence in training. Numerous Diversity Mentor Scholars have gone on to become Training Directors and ACCTA members.

Community Engagement Project: In 2009 the Standing Committee on Diversity (SCD) initiated a community action project in an effort to have a positive impact on the host city for the annual conference. Each year, cash and other donations are collected at the annual conference for a local social service agency.

Affinity Groups – Introduced in 2003 at the Cape May conference, Affinity Groups were created in response to the request of members who were seeking an opportunity to meet and discuss their professional and/or personal experiences as members who share a particular group identity. Affinity Groups are part of the organizations’ efforts to promote dialogue about multiculturalism and to continue to work toward inclusiveness and greater cultural awareness.


Standing Committee on Diversity (SCD)

Meet our current SCD Co-Chairs and Members


SCD Archive