Alfred Adler’s focus on community life, prevention, and population health is the inspiration for the Social Justice Practicum (SJP). Adlerian psychology emphasizes the human need and ability to create positive social change and impact. By participating in the SJP students are getting a ground level experience by working alongside communities to support ameliorative transformation.
Critical to the understanding of socially responsible practice is an emphasis on individuals in the context of society and on social justice defined in terms of equity of resources. Interest in populations, for example, is consistent with social responsibility because it is concerned with people in terms of groups differentially affected by social constructs, habits, practices, and policies–and therefore unequally able to access resources. The social context in which individuals live often serves as a determinant of their health and well-being; their personal decisions or health behaviors are often significantly supported by or attenuated by this social context. As health workers, socially responsible practitioners account for this contextual influence, address it in their interactions, and strive to affect it personally and professionally. The SJP will allow interns to acquire some of these skills employed by professionals mentioned above, to advance social change.
Social responsibility also requires an appreciation for human diversity, as well as different viewpoints, theories, disciplinary perspectives, and worldviews. Recognition and respect of difference enables socially responsible practitioners to identify common interests and goals that enable them to connect with others across these differences by being immersed within communities across the Chicagoland area.
Specifically, the Center for Civic Learning and Community Action, formerly known as the Department of Community Engagement, has adopted the use of the Cultural Competence for Social Justice model and the Adler University SRP Project to frame the intended outcomes for this experience. These documents are located in the SJP Knowledge Repository. Please take a moment to review all of these materials so that you will have a better sense of the personal and professional growth we expect for this experience; and to assist you in developing your skills and professional toolbox for enacting social change. It will be helpful to review these documents from time-to-time to make sure you are getting the most out of your SJP experience.