Xenophobia, the growing international prejudice toward immigrants

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 16, 2015 2:22:30 PM

A guest post by Dr. Oksana Yakushko, Chair of Pacifica's two doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology.

Xenophobia or prejudice toward immigrants appears to be exploding in political and cultural landscapes around the world. Although the prejudice has been around and part of historical narratives in the past, the current refugee crisis in Europe, as well as migration into the “developed” world by individuals seeking economic and political stability, has resulted in open vitriolic discussions of “dangers” of immigrants and immigration. My recent interviews with the Atlantic and Discovery News are among many contributions, discussions, arguments, and public dialogues on immigration.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Social Justice, Psychology

Community Reparations for Victims of Jon Burge's Torture Techniques

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jun 10, 2015 1:47:00 PM

Community Reparations

A guest post by Liz Diligio, a 2nd year student in the Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology Specialization of the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program (C.L.E. program)

In May of 1972 Jon Burge, a Vietnam veteran, was promoted to police detective on Chicago’s south side. For the next twenty years Burge and other officers used torture techniques Burge learned in Vietnam to force confessions from men arrested in the neighborhood. Jon Burge eventually sent over 200 hundred men to prison based on confessions obtained through torture. The practice finally came to light during proceedings before the Police Board in 1992, when City lawyers admitted that the evidence of Area 2 (Burge’s district) use of torture established "an astounding pattern or plan… to torture certain suspects… into confessing to crimes.”

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma, Connecting Cultures, Social Justice

Becoming an Embodied Ally

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 9, 2015 8:45:00 PM

A guest post by Rae Johnson, Ph.D.

Like many of us over the past several months, I’ve listened, read, and talked a lot about the issues arising from the recent tragic deaths of black men at the hands of police – about systemic racism, institutionalized violence, and intersecting forms of oppression.  Although the words exchanged in these important conversations have been necessary to my developing understanding of the issues, it is the images that have haunted me. I've found myself poring over photographs of hundreds of people lying down in Harvard Square as part of a "die in" mass protest, replaying the surveillance video footage of Tamir Rice’s sister running to his aid, and returning again and again to the photograph of Devonte Hart hugging Portland Oregon police officer Bret Barnum. The potency of these simple bodily gestures strikes a chord inside me that the words alone don't quite reach. 

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Posted in: transformative, Social Justice, somatic bodywork

The Work of Creative Maladjustment: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 6, 2015 2:38:00 PM

" Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word 'maladjusted.' This word is the ringing cry to modern child psychology. Certainly, we all want to avoid the maladjusted life. In order to have real adjustment within our personalities, we all want the well‐adjusted life in order to avoid neurosis, schizophrenic personalities.

But I say to you, my friends, as I move to my conclusion, there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good‐will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self‐defeating effects of physical violence…"

On Sunday, January 18, 2015, Pacifica Graduate Institute hosted a lecture and panel discussion honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Ladera Lane Campus. The event was co-sponsored by Pacifica’s Alumni Association and the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara. Below is the taped live event.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Social Justice