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Phil Laidlaw, PsyD

Kermit A. Crawford, PhD

Reflections on Black History Month

Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.

—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
March 14, 1968

As a beneficiary of those who lived out the words of this statement, many of whose names I know and many of whose names I will never know, I am committed to pass on its assurance to future generations. This excerpt is taken from a speech by Dr. King in 1968 less than one month before his death. A life given, at the hands of an assassin, for the benefit of others. To me it is truly profound and prophetic. As director of the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology (CMTP) at the Boston University Medical Campus, along with our faculty, we attempt to exemplify the principles of this message everyday. We were founded in 1972. Since that time we have remained unapologetic and unashamed about our unwavering commitment to the highest standards of multicultural Psychology training. Five such programs began across the nation in 1972 but, today, only CMTP remains. It was not “safe” to be a multicultural training program in 1972 or in 2010. We have remained true to our mission. When the winds of political change demanded that we become more like “mainstream” internship training programs, we asserted our unwavering commitment to remaining a multicultural training program. When we were told that “… multicultural training is not a viable training model”, CMTP maintained its steadfast commitment to the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists. Through fads and trends in the field of Psychology, CMTP has stayed its course even when “popular” opinion swayed in other directions. We have done this not for safety, not to be politic, and not for popularity. At CMTP we continue to help assure equitable mental health services for generations for come. We continue to help ensure a competent and diverse workforce in the field. We continue to help assure that individuals get services in their preferred language and at the appropriate level of literacy. We continue to maintain discourse about effective provision of services to all, especially to the under-served and disenfranchised. We are committed to change the field of Psychology to benefit all. Why? Simply, profoundly, because it is right!

Kermit A. Crawford, Ph.D.
Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology
CMTP Intern, 1981-82

Updated 10/5/11