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Discussion 8
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Link (Links to an external site.)Watch Video – Why Doctors Should Care about Social Justice

It is espoused that a psychologist cannot be culturally competent/responsive without also being social justice competent. In watching this video – Do you agree or disagree with this expanded role of psychologist?  What benefits and/or hindrance to your clients and society do you anticipate social justice competent psychologist might present?  How do you anticipate fulfilling such a role as a future psychologist?

First Post Due – December 03

Final post due by December 07

1) Students need to post at least one thoughtful response with references to this video by Tuesday.

2) Students need to post one thoughtful question. In formulating the question, it should advance the discussion of the topic that is the focus of the particular Discussion Forum and/or present ancillary, critical relevant information by Tuesday.

3) Students will respond to at least one of their classmates questions by Wednesday.

Although not required, students may continue to dialogue/interact beyond these required components. All final responses/posts are due by Sunday of each week. It is expected that students will respond to the question of a different classmate, each week.


After watching the Ted Talk video, I would definitely agree with Mary Bassett’s view that it is the psychologist’s responsibility to become competent in systems of social justice. Who better than psychologists, who have worked throughout their career to understand others, to take a stance and help clients dealing with social injustices? Additionally this appears effective because such social injustices may be contributing to the spread of diseases such as AIDS. Without the recognition of social injustices, the fight for justice and equality between all members of society cannot be advocated for. It has to be established where social injustice lies in countries like Zimbabwe, where Bassett has worked to help so many people (Bassett, 2015). Despite providing good treatment, Bassett was not addressing structural changes (Bassett, 2015). Racial disparities and institutionalized racism are two examples of impactful social injustice which Bassett has witnessed (Bassett, 2015). Bassett explains that ‘sounding the alarm’ to these injustices as New York City’s health commissioner is required for her to do her job most effectively (Bassett, 2015). She feels remorseful about not having done more to speak up earlier (Bassett, 2015).

Bassett describes how unfortunate it is that the medical community stands by while ongoing discrimination and other systemic injustices continue to impact the disease profile and mortality rates, leaving black and brown people as a disparity (Bassett, 2015). Bassett regrets all of the times that she did not speak up in witnessing social injustices in Zimbabwe, but says that she is now ready to rise up against structural inequality (Bassett, 2015). Bassett will utilize future opportunities as the New York City health commissioner to speak out against similar occurrences. Some of the daunting statistics demonstrated that inequalities in health care, such as the fact that black babies are three times more likely to die than white babies in their first year of life (Bassett, 2015). It is admirable that at this point in her career, Mary Bassett is working to address structural change and provide a more complete service to her patients by becoming more competent in the knowledge of social injustice, marginalization, exclusion, and other inequalities. For myself, I hope to become highly competent in the area of social injustice, as well as addressing injustices as they come, instead of staying quiet. As a psychologist, my goal is to help others. Addressing injustices can help people individually, as well as assisting in helping society evolve toward a more proportionate state of equality for all individuals.

My question this week is: What are some examples of ways to ‘sound the alarm,’ aside from just public speaking or making videos addressing social injustices?


Bassett, M. (2015). Why your doctor should care about social justice. https://www.ted.com/talks/mary_bassett_why_your_doctor_should_care_about_social_justice

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