Dr. Melanie Wilcox

Licensed Psychologist • Professor • Researcher • Speaker

> Intersectional racial justice and whiteness work
> Antiracism and trauma-informed care

Dr. Melanie

Licensed Psychologist •
Professor • Researcher • Speaker

> Intersectional racial justice
and whiteness work
> Antiracism and trauma-
informed care

Why did I became a counseling psychologist?

I became a counseling psychologist to learn how to better engage in antiracism work as a White person. Growing up, I had a rudimentary but clear understanding of my responsibility to address racism. My mother modeled a refusal to stand for racism regardless of the cost. This is perhaps why and how I began to understand racism (as much as I can as a White person) before I truly understood the sexism, classism, and ableism I faced.

Eventually, I came to better understand Whiteness. The more I learn about how White supremacy operates, the more it becomes evident to me the ways in which White supremacist patriarchal capitalism keeps all but the most powerful pitted against one another rather than in solidarity against White supremacy. My research is built on a foundation of understanding how White supremacist patriarchal capitalism limits our ability to address anti-Black racism and White supremacy in clinical, training, and higher education spaces.

The treachery of directly confronting Whiteness is itself White supremacy at work. I have spent my career honing my ability to address Whiteness with White people from a place of both steadfastness and love. I am imperfect but adept at talking about, confronting, and navigating Whiteness. I have also come to believe that the most insidious tools of White supremacy have included (1) miseducation that conceals how systems and structures of oppression operate and (2) misdirection to focus on individual rather than systemic and structural determinants. My recent work has focused on urging us to correct course and center systemic and structural frames of reference. If elected, I will use my presidential platform to advance counseling psychology’s commitment to uprooting anti-Black racism through confronting Whiteness and centering oppression-based systemic and structural determinants of mental health, educational, and professional outcomes within SCP and beyond.

My Nomination to be president of Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP): APA Ballot Statement

I am honored to be nominated for president of the Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP). In my decade of SCP leadership, I have seen us lead the charge for social justice and I have seen us struggle with the White supremacy that continues to be present in our work. As a White, heterosexual, cisgender immunocompromised person from a lower SES background, I sit at complex intersections of privilege and oppression but always have the buffer of Whiteness. I have dedicated my career to intersectional antiracism and critical Whiteness work. I take seriously the invitation to lead SCP in an era in which we have made an unequivocal commitment to uproot anti-Black racism.

I will lead by confronting Whiteness and continuing our work to uproot anti-Black racism. I believe that SCP must model shifting from a “multicultural” frame to analysis of interlocking structures of oppression. My substantial experience in leadership and critical Whiteness work has prepared me well to lead SCP. As both an academic and practitioner focused on Whiteness and racial justice work, my critical pedagogy and clinical skills will facilitate my ability to lead SCP in difficult discussions. Further, I have served on the SCP Executive Board (SAS and ECP) and in other SCP and APA roles (e.g., Board of Educational Affairs Member and 2020 Chair; member, APA Opioid Advisory group; Co-Chair, Equitable Admissions working group, and many more). I am grateful for the opportunity to leverage my experience and skills to further SCP’s work in uprooting anti-Black racism.