GSEP's Multicultural Research and Training Lab (MRTL) held its biennial conference for doctoral students in clinical and counseling psychology at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus on October 11, 2008. The topic of the conference was "Practices of Healing: Using Multicultural Psychotherapy to Confront Symbols of Hate," and keynote speaker Dr. Terrence Roberts spoke on "Navigating the Racial Terrain of America." Roberts was formerly the chair of the master's degree in psychology program at Antioch University in Los Angeles, California, and is CEO of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consultancy focused on racial and ethnic diversity and developing multicultural awareness.
In lieu of registration fees, the student planning committee, led by Erin Gabrielson, selected two charitable organizations to which conference attendees could donate school supplies and toys. The group chose Casa do Caminho in Brazil and Hope Gardens Family Center in Sylmar, California. The Casa do Caminho facility aims to shelter children and adolescents from vulnerable situations and to develop projects promoting education, health, sports, and culture. Hope Gardens offers transitional living and permanent supportive housing for women and children.
Conference participants donated school supplies such as markers, notebooks, crayons, pencils, and notepads, as well as gently used toys. GSEP students so enjoyed this effort that MRTL decided to continue this practice at future conferences. MRTL facilitates scholarly dialogue, collaboration, and networking among students committed to multicultural issues in psychology.