Southwest Chapter Fall Forum: Counselors Impacting Change: Serving Marginalized Populations
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend

When: September 19, 2019
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Where: Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
One Partnership Circle
Abingdon, Virginia  24210
United States
Contact: Todd Stanley

Online registration is closed.
« Go to Upcoming Event List  





Social Justice Advocacy:  Taking Meaningful Action Toward Change

Counselors are easily overwhelmed by the idea of social justice advocacy when we are already spread thin.  In this keynote presentation, three action steps are offered to conceptualize ways we can effectively and efficiently engage in social justice advocacy work with and on behalf of clients and students who represent diverse identities, including race/ethnicity, gender identity, affectional and sexual identities, religion/spirituality, ability, and socioeconomic status.  Social justice advocacy strategies will be discussed in the context of schools and community-based settings.

As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to:

1. Identify and describe action steps for the three areas of social justice advocacy work: educate, demonstrate, advocate.

2. Develop ideas for engagement in social justice advocacy in their work setting.

3. Describe a range of advocacy interventions through a systemic framework using Bronfenbrenner's bioecological model.



8 - 8:30 am Registration

8:30 - 10:30 am - Keynote Speaker - Dr. Laura Farmer, Ph.D.

10:30 - 10:45 am - Break

10:45 am - 12:15 pm - Breakout Session 1A & 1B

1A: Mr. Jonathan Wiley, M.S. - Medicare Policy and Rural Mental Health Disparities: Strategies for Advocacy and Practice

Professional counselor exclusion from Medicare creates disparities in the accessibility and availability of mental health and rehabilitation counseling services for older adults and individuals with a permanent disability. This presentation addresses the rural mental health care disparities resulting from counselor exclusion from Medicare on older adult and permanently disabled clients.  

1B: Dr. Carrie Sanders, Ph.D. - Set Sail: Motivation Through Relationships

During this session participants will discuss relationships in the school setting and the impact on outcomes of young adolescents. Research will be put to life by utilizing metaphor and identifying ways in which members of a school community can connect with young adolescents to promote positive student outcomes. Participants will leave the session with evidence-based strategies to support positive connections between young adolescents and with caring adults in the school setting.

12:15 - 1:30 pm LUNCH: (There will be a SHORT talk from a sponsor at the start of lunch. We also hope to have some exhibitors, e.g. local non- profits, universities, etc. with tables set up in the hallway)

1:30 - 3:00 pm - Breakout Session 2A & 2B

2A: Dr. Theresa Burris, Ph.D.  - Layers of Marginalization: The Case for Appalachia and Serving the Region's Diverse Population

Appalachia has endured decades of stereotyping and stigma, serving others in power for various reasons. In this cultural awareness session, Burriss will discuss the effects on residents and providers alike. Additionally, participants will learn how enduring values may impact patient compliance and how behavioral health providers can address systemic injustices.

2B: Ms. Jennifer Condon, Ed.S. - Advocating for Clients with Disabilities

The goal of this session is to provide counselors with information and resources to best prepare them to work with and advocate for clients who identify as people with disabilities. This fits the theme because people with disabilities are often a marginalized population within our society.

3-3:30 - Closing, door prizes, evaluations


 Participants that attend this workshop in it's entirety will be given a NBCC Verification Form documenting 5 NBCC contact hours!

Registration Fees:

VCA Student Members: $35

Student Non-Members: $45

VCA/Southwest Chapter Members - $55

Non-Members - $75




Complaint Policy: If you have a complaint or dispute regarding this event, please write a letter and include the following: Your name, address, telephone number, email, name of event, date and location of the event, complaint and desired resolution to: Todd Stanley, P.O. Box 1653, Abingdon, VA 24212 or send an email to You will receive a reply in 30 days from the date you submitted the complaint/dispute.

Cancellation Policy: To receive a full refund, minus a $10 administrative fee, registrants must cancel at least 5 days prior to the start of the workshop. Cancellations and/or no shows with less than a 5 day notice will be reviewed after all expenses have been paid, a determination will be made regarding the ability to honor the request minus cost of guaranteed meals/special event fees. An administrative fee of $10.00 will be assessed for any refund with less than a 5 day notice. Submit cancellations/refund requests to: Todd Stanley at

Virginia Counselors Association has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 2047.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Virginia Counselors Association is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Virginia Counselors Association
316 Hodges Cove Road, Yorktown, VA 23692 | Ph: 757.766.5466 | Fax: 757.766.5467 |