Los Angeles Chapter  California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Los Angeles Chapter — CAMFT

LA-CAMFT Member Article

12/31/2023 7:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

Stara Shakti,
Committee Chair

The Future of Diversity is . . .  Intersectional!

Hi, I’m Stara Shakti, LA-CAMFT’s new Diversity Committee Chair for 2024! If you don’t already know me, I’ve been active in DC leadership roles, since being one of its Founding Members, including: Visionary, Co-Founder, and Co-Facilitator of the Therapists of Color (TOC) Support Group, AAPI Therapists Circle Co-Facilitator, Member of / Mentor in the TOC Mentorship Program, and Board Member-At-Large. 

Since Diversity Committee (DC) was founded in 2017, it’s been focused on racial and ethnic diversity, which made sense at the time, with the murder of George Floyd, a summer of racial protests, etc. Many of us have felt it’s now time for LA-CAMFT to move into the future—a future that is intersectional, where young people are more queer, mixed-race, non-binary (NB), etc. than ever before. To continue to be relevant to younger generations, our organization needs to evolve with the times. 

As the new Diversity Chair in 2024, I want to go beyond DEI awareness / integration work—to increase broader awareness in LA-CAMFT membership of the “diversity within diversity,” what we in the DC affectionately call “Race AND . . . 

Together, we’ll do this by educating our community on intersectionality: what is it and how it impacts those with multiple marginalized identities, the increased minority stress that comes from belonging to two or more of identity groups, i.e.: LGBTQ+, POC / BIPOC, immigrants or 1st-generation Americans, Neurodivergents, and/or other over-colonialized, under-nourished populations. 

My vision for LA-CAMFT: Let’s build upon the success of our Diversity Committee to redefine the future of the DC.—one that is more inclusive to therapists with multiple marginalizing identities. 

Let’s create more spaces for those who are “more than one thing,” i.e., race AND…LGBTQ+, neurodivergents, etc. Let’s raise up more intersectional leaders, so the leadership in our thriving, diverse community reflects the fullness of who we are! 

Wanna help the DC grow this focus on intersectionality? 

Wanna be an active participant in the next level of de-colonializing ourselves?

Then let us know! 

We are looking for new leaders and helpers to step up into their power in 2024, especially: Co-Chair, Secretary, and other positions. 

Never been in a leadership position? We’ll help guide and mentor you. What’s it like working on the DC? It can be intense and emotional, but also extremely validating and supportive. When doing this important work in the world, we share the load—but also encourage initiative, creativity and ownership in the group. 

If you feel called to be part of this, please join us! 

One Last Note

If the idea of joining the Diversity Committee sounds exciting to you, but maybe you fear burnout . . . please, just come to one meeting and check it out! 

All are welcome to say “hi” and explore whether this might be for you! 

Also . . . I am passionate about finding ways to nurture our DC leaders to create more sustainable community, i.e., I’m pushing for a TOC support group Facilitator Retreat, and, who knows . . . ? Maybe monthly D.C. Socials / Happy Hours, where we can learn about each other in non-work ways
and . . . have FUN! And REST! Because YES . . . we, especially we, need to give ourselves permission to live lives we truly love! Let’s take care of each other, y’all!

Stara Shakti LMFT, is a Trauma Specialist, and Healer/Lightworker with a private therapy practice in Los Angeles. Stara helps young adults in their 20s and 30s who are queer (LGBTQ+), people of color (POC/BIPOC), first-gen Americans, and neurodivergents heal from past trauma so they can learn to love themselves, fully express all of who they are in the world, and have healthier adult relationships in a healthier world. Website: www.StaraShaktiLMFT.com.

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