Springfield College Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology Class of 2020 graduate Sedale Williams was recognized by the Society of Counseling Psychology with the Division 17 Student Affiliates of Seventeen (SAS) Award for his dedication to social justice and liberation in counseling psychology.
“This award has helped remind me of my ‘why’ and made me think about the people I do the work for, specifically my family and friends,” said Williams. “To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his 1964 commencement speech at Springfield College, he stressed for individuals to be engaged participants and not detached spectators. That is something that we can all take with us and build on the successes we have built.”
Williams is a founding member and organizer of a community organization called B.U.I.L.D (Brothers United to Inspire Lifestyle Development). Through this organization, he has helped launch an annual one-day summit titled, “The Constructing Kings Male Youth Summit.” During this annual event, between 80 and 100 black students ranging from middle school through college engage in dialogue. The summit involves workshops on leadership, financial literacy, and career development, and this event has been a tremendous success in supporting the leadership development of black students, so successful that a sister summit is planned for young black women.
“I was honored to nominate Sedale for the Student Award for Outstanding Dedication to Social Justice and Liberation in Counseling Psychology,” said Springfield College Associate Professor of Psychology Sally M. Hage. “Both during and before entering our doctoral program six years ago, Sedale has consistently exhibited an exemplary commitment among graduate students in counseling psychology in advancing social justice and liberation.”
Williams also has been involved in the following:
• Served as a site leader during the Springfield College Humanics in Action Program, leading a day-long community service project.
• Served as an AmeriCorps school counselor, leading the Turnaround Initiative. He worked with at-risk middle school students to address issues related to attendance, academics, and disciplinary issues.
• Served as a Community Impact Intern for a United Way program called “Students Engage Springfield.” He helped develop their service projects, and developed a Students Engage Springfield Network that is geared towards building relationships with local colleges and agencies.
• Participated in another United Way initiative called “Youth-Generate Volunteer Engagement Initiative: Empowered Youth Empower Others.” This program engages youth in community service during or around National Volunteer Week.
• Engaged as a mentor in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program.
In addition, Williams continues to serve as a research coordinator for a youth of color organization called, ParaDYM Academy, which aims to empower youth through transmedia production and media literacy.
Since 2015, Sedale has completed 14 professional presentations on topics related to social justice, including mental health stigma and African Americans, community violence, and restorative justice.
Springfield College is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational institution founded in 1885. Approximately 4,100 students, including 2,500 full-time undergraduate students, study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its regional campuses across the country. Springfield College inspires students through the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy – educating in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.