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POC Cohort Testimonials

“In Minnesota, we have hit what I consider a crossroads in that we have populations of color, immigrants, queer people, and others who are so over the traditional medical model that preaches pathology, and want support to tell our stories in new ways… in ways that make us stronger.”
– POC Cohort Member

“I love the cohort. I was surprised how quickly I felt at home. I can’t imagine where I’d be without it… Working with Felicia has been great. As a woman of color, its like this unexplainable alienation and discomfort that I and others have felt when working in professional circles. There is an invisible message that says you don’t really belong here and if you want acceptance in this circle, you have to prove yourself first. I have learned a lot from Felicia about how to navigate that and claim my spot and claim my own expertise as a practitioner of color.”
– POC Cohort Member

The cohort is critical because there is nothing else like it. Practitioners from marginalized communities are already coming into their professional work with all kinds of disadvantages, not even including racism, sexism, etc. Just the fact that marginalized communities have fewer financial resources means that as a member of a marginalized community you’ve had less access to support. The cohort helps counteract that. Whenever I talk about this people say they can’t believe it exists, and that reminds me of how rare it is…  I think the cohort will help to increase the number of mental health practitioners of color in the field, especially those with skills to work with LGBT communities.”
– POC Cohort Member

“The mentorship cohort is about being supported. It’s a place to call home in your professional life. For me, there was no landing space… I couldn’t go, “Mom, how do I do this?” And it wasn’t just my parents. I couldn’t go to anyone in my community at that time. No one in my world was doing what I was doing. There is a sense of loss. Can you imagine that getting an education means that you are losing something as well as gaining something? And there was a question of, can I really do this? Is this for me? Is this what black people do? What queer people do? I had support, but I always had this sense of doubt… Maybe if I would have seen people like me doing these things, perhaps I would have had more confidence in myself earlier on. Through the cohort, I am reclaiming my own sense of belonging.”
– Dr. Felicia Sy, RECLAIM Executive Director and former POC Cohort Facilitator