Advocacy efforts to help with Human Rights




As counselors, no matter the type or specialization, we all fulfill the role of advocates. As TCA’s Human Rights Committee, we acknowledge how we want to advocate for all human rights. At times our committee found ourselves stuck, because we could feel ourselves being pulled in too many directions. The reality is we want to continue to advocate for all human rights that affect our clients in the state of TN. For the focus of this post, we finally homed in on the children in the state of TN.

The state of TN legislators have become very focused on laws in the education system. Earlier this semester I was notified of a list of troublesome bills that would negatively affect our children in the school system. These bills were negatively targeting the curriculum in regards to social and emotional development, race and accurate racial history in our country, as well as censoring the curriculum of including any focus on individuals who are in the LGBTQIA+ community. If you are following legislation in other states, there are many similar bills popping up all over the country. As a committee we believe heavily in our job as counselors is to advocate for our clients, and we want to make sure you all feel equipped to advocate for our youngest of clients. We believe it is crucial that we are ensuring that our children are provided with an accurate and thorough education.

So, what can we do as counselors?

  1. Follow and track bills that are of relevance to the population and/or to the clients that you serve.
    2. Create an account at the above website, and you can create a personalized list of bills to track.
  2. Establish a relationship with your state representative and legislature.
    1. Invite them to coffee when they are not in session in Nashville. Get to know them on a personal level.
    2. Watch what committees they are serving on.
    3. Catch them when they are supporting bills we appreciate and/or when they vote the way we want them to. Call and/or send a handwritten card thanking them for supporting the bills we agree with, particularly the ones that help our clients.
  3. Work with others in TCA to brainstorm ways you can advocate for your clients.
    1. If you live in the same district, you can all have coffee with your above legislators.
    2. You can also plan your own town hall to get to know them better.
  4. Begin to evaluate how your professional environment addresses the needs of certain marginalized populations.
    1. Are you able to provide SafeZone training in your professional setting?
    2. How can you signal to your client that your office is a place that cares about their trauma?
    3. How can you broach the topics related to culture in a safe and effective manner with your clients?

We want to provide you with help and assistance in supporting all humans, but particularly the children in the state of TN. Maybe you are reading the above list and feel stuck. Maybe you would like some additional help or assistance in one of the above action items? Reach out the Human Rights Committee Chair at [email protected]. Tiffany Brooks is the chair of that committee, and she would love to connect you with someone on the committee who can help you brainstorm and create an action plan to help support you and your clients in this important advocacy work.



Tiffany P. Brooks, Ph.D., APC, NCC

Junwei Jia, MA

Share this post:

Comments on "Advocacy efforts to help with Human Rights"

Comments 0-100 of 0

Please login to comment