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University News | 06.06.23

Adler University launches the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative with support from the Hearst Foundations

The My Brother’s Keeper Initiative at Adler University launches with a $125,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations to provide scholarships and persistence support for students who have an intrinsic interest in providing counseling services to men of color.

Research shows that a client-to-counselor ethnicity match is more highly correlated with positive therapeutic outcomes. However, current demographic trends in the psychology workforce are insufficient to provide the ideal intracultural therapeutic match for men of color, with therapists of color (regardless of gender) comprising less than 15% of the psychology workforce in the United States. With the help of the Hearst Foundations, Adler University aims to change this demographic trend through the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.

The My Brother’s Keeper Initiative will address the lack of male-identified Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) therapists by nurturing future clinicians prior to and during the graduate program and after entering the workforce. This initiative will enhance counselor preparation to support these underserved communities via intrusive counseling before and during enrollment, programming to prepare students for graduate study, scholarships, mentoring, support groups on professional issues specific to men of color, and postgraduate success workshops.

“It is an honor to launch the My Brother’s Keeper initiative at Adler,” says Kahan Sablo, D.Ed., vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Adler University. “From toddlers to the senior years, society has yet to embrace the notion of males engaging in emotionally affirming mental health practices. Young boys are socialized to ‘be tough’ and never cry. With insufficient opportunities to develop and nurture positive mental health skills, young boys risk maturing into men who struggle to manage anger, sadness, and confusion.”

Dr. Sablo, who has graduate degrees in counseling and social work shares, “For men of color, systemic racism, and cultural masculinity norms further dissuade their cries for help.” In response, programs like My Brother’s Keeper are essential to health equity and the training of socially responsible mental health practitioners. Such programs decrease opportunities for psychological harm and increase the likelihood of a culturally competent therapeutic relationship. Ensuring access to culturally inclusive health care is of paramount importance to a social justice institution.”

After a thorough pre-entry orientation process, five program participants will be awarded scholarship funding to defray the cost of earning a master’s degree in mental health counseling beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year. Interested applicants must have a desire and commitment to provide counseling services to men of color. In addition to other available scholarships and financial aid, students will receive $12,500 annually from the Hearst Foundations grant for two consecutive years to help with tuition, fees, and expenses.

This initiative will provide students the support they need to join the workforce as socially responsible behavioral health providers and advocates for the mental health needs of men of color. My Brother’s Keeper provides a student support framework rooted in evidenced-based retention strategies (academic, financial, and social). The support and tools provided will help students attain the much-needed mental health practitioner credentials and an intrinsically rewarding career path.

About Adler University

Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952, the University continues the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist. It enrolls more than 1,900 students in academic programs for social change at its Chicago, Vancouver, and Online campuses.

About The Hearst Foundations

The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health and social services. We aim to identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and satisfying lives.

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