"School Counseling to Close Opportunity Gaps addresses 6 key functions that should be proactively performed by school counselors across the nation. At its very core, it provides a blueprint on how culturally competent school counselors may actively address systemic and structural racism and oppression within our school systems.
I applaud Dr. Holcomb-McCoy’s tenacity for social justice and this earnest attempt to connect culturally relevant research to culturally competent practice. This text is passionate and deliberately delivers a viewpoint that is both poignant and ferociously honest. The book delivers a profound understanding of the devastating impact that systemic racism has on OUR society, especially as experienced by marginalized and oppressed People of Color. I am confident that the challenge put forth within this second edition will lead to action: game-changing, sustainable, and meaningful action. I love this book for our children, because they need us, the adults in the room, to step up our game. We are co-conspirators for positive change, and it is time for action. Let’s accept the challenge and get to work!
Dr. Holcomb-McCoy speaks truth and power to the overdue racial justice conversations and implores school counselors, and I add ALL counselors, to lean into discomfort and be an active part of the solution. The time is now for good people to do something; perhaps get into some good trouble, as posited by a great social justice advocate, John Lewis. As one of my favorite quotes states, 'the only thing necessary for the triumph of evils is for good [people] to do nothing' (Edmund Burke).
The preface states that the book is a labor of love, long overdue, and a ‘love letter to her beloved profession.’ Dr. Holcomb-McCoy delivers a profound call to the profession to “Wake UP.” I, too, echo this challenge! I implore readers to delve into the words and digest them well and with discernment so that they can come out of this on the right side of justice. For the established co-conspirators, the text will embolden you to step up your game and make a difference in your part of the world; for newcomers to the beautiful reality that is Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, sit back, take a deep breath, and get ready to be encouraged by the words that make up this text. Let each syllable build upon the other and create within you a desire to be a staunch advocate for our children. The school counseling profession needs you, in fact it needs all of us, to take a bold stance for justice, a momentous stand that helps us to see each other. Envision it with Cheryl and me, how WE the people…together…doing the right thing…collectivistic in nature…can advocate and positively impact each and every school environment that we enter."