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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Social Justice Collaborative


The Social Justice Collaborative (SJC) at GSEP's Irvine Graduate Campus was developed to provide a forum for students to engage in critical dialogue around sociopolitical and cultural issues that impact families and communities.

SJC supports graduate-level psychology and MFT students and trainees in fostering sociopolitical and cultural awareness as well as response to issues of oppression and inequity. The "collaborative" aims to initiate student involvement in activities that promote social responsibility; encourage students to interact in a stimulating forum; and foster the sharing of experiences, curiosities, and critiques related to multicultural issues, social inequalities, and working in diverse, underserved communities.

Specifically, SJC is interested in issues related to:

  • Social responsibility in clinical settings
  • Techniques of assessment and treatment of specific groups with attention to social location, context, and diversity within the therapeutic relationship
  • Collaborative, multisystemic, relational, and socially responsible therapy approaches
  • Community demographics and intervention with children and families in Southern California and surrounding geographical areas
  • Personal biases and values, and how to manage self-of-the-therapist issues and subjective experiences
  • State and federal legislation and the impact on children and families, as well as the impact on MFT and psychology training and education
  • Clinical research and assessment with diverse and underserved communities
  • International issues as they relate to families; race-related trauma and the family; and children, families, and communities in crisis

Strategies for Dialogue and Action

SJC aims to acknowledge, respond to, and raise diversity-related issues as they pertain to therapeutic settings. SJC also provides an interactive, stimulating forum for students, trainees, and interns to share their experiences, questions, critiques, curiosities, challenges, and stories of success. To create this community of rigorous discourse and wellness that supplements academic and clinical pursuits, SJC organizes the following forums:

  • Monthly student leadership meetings
  • Biannual open house
  • Immersion experiences in the community
  • Panel discussions
  • Social and team building events
  • Guest speakers

Student Leadership

Leadership roles are a way to enhance academic and training experiences, professional development, and personal growth. SJC student leaders provide support to colleagues, Pepperdine University, and the community.

SJC events are open to Pepperdine students, alumni, faculty, staff, family, and friends. These positions are voluntary and appointed according to a student's level of commitment and availability. Officers are expected to attend SJC meetings and SJC-sponsored events. (Only enrolled students may hold officer positions.)


SJC was inspired by GSEP faculty and the GSEP Diversity Council. Professor of Psychology Dr. Amy Tuttle serves as the faculty sponsor, and facilitated the development of the "collaborative" in Fall 2008.  

To learn more, e-mail: social-justice-collaborative@pepperdine.edu