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S4E5: Affirming LGBTQIA+ Youth is Imperative—And Sometimes a Challenge

It’s vital that communities support LGBTQ youth—but for clinical psychologists seeking to provide affirming care, this treatment can be a minefield. Especially in cases when there is not parental support, how do therapists and psychologists provide necessary care for their LGBTQ clients? To answer these questions, guest host Gina Pasquale sits down with Dr. Tenika Jackson, the new chair of the MA in Clinical Psychology programs at Antioch Los Angeles. Tenika has years of experience working with LGBTQ youth and their families, and in this episode, she shares her insights into how best to go about this work in our current political climate. 

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Episode Notes

Visit Antioch University’s website to learn more about the Traditional MA in Clinical Psychology at Antioch Los Angeles, the Low-Residency MA in Clinical Psychology based at Antioch Los Angeles, and the PsyD in Clinical Psychology at Antioch New England.

To access a full transcript and find more information about this and other episodes, visit To get updates and be notified about future episodes, follow Antioch University on Facebook.

This episode was recorded on September 2, 2022, via Riverside.FM and released on October 26, 2022. 

The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University.

Guest Host: Gina Pasquale. 

Host: Jasper Nighthawk. 

Editors: Lauren Instenes and Johanna Case. 

Digital Design: Mira Mead. 

Web Content Coordination: Jen Mont. 

Work-Study Intern: Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion

A special thanks to Karen Hamilton and Melinda Garland.

Guest Bio

Dr. Tenika Jackson is the chair of the traditional and low-residency MA in Clinical Psychology programs at Antioch Los Angeles, where she also directs the specialization in LGBT-Affirmative Psychology. She has years of experience as a clinical psychologist, counseling LGBTQIA+ youth and their families. She holds a PsyD from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University with a Multicultural Community Proficiency.

S4 Episode 5 Transcript


Gina Pasquale: This is The Seed Field Podcast, the show where Antiochians share their knowledge, tell their stories and come together to win victories for humanity.


I’m your guest host today, Gina Pasquale, and today we are joined by Dr. Tenika Jackson. Tenika is the Chair of the Traditional and Low Residency Masters in Psychology Program at Antioch, Los Angeles, as well as the director of the LGBT specialization. She has years of experience being a clinical psychologist who counsels LGBTQ youth and their families. Today, we’re going to be talking to her about the unique moment in time that we find ourselves in, in our country, where supporting LGBTQ youth has become extremely controversial. We’re so excited to have you on the podcast, Tenika.

Tenika Jackson: Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

Gina: Traditionally on this podcast, we start with introductions with positionality. It’s one of our efforts toward social justice and making sure we acknowledge the privilege that we have in our conversations. I’ll start and then I’ll pass it off to you. I am a White cisgender woman, and I come from a financially very secure childhood and background, where education was a priority. My pathway to becoming a clinical psychologist was paved for me, I did not have boulders to have to jump over or huge obstacles in front of me. I carry that privilege into the work that I do.

I’m also a mother and a spouse, an avid mountain biker living here in New England. I’ll toss it to you.

Tenika: Awesome. I’m an African-American cisgender woman. I did not grow up in privilege. I grew up on the south side of Chicago, very inner city, very urban, and so we had to fight for everything, basically. I don’t know if it was luck, or blessings, or prayers, but I was able to be bused to Whitney Young High School, the same high school as Michelle Obama, and that’s where my education began.

I was able to go off to college and all of those types of things. Eventually, I was able to get my doctorate in clinical psychology, but it was based on working full-time, student loans, grants, and scholarships, all of that combined to make it happen. It was a journey, and I think I also appreciate it a lot because of the sacrifices my family made. I’m also a mother. I’m very happy to be a mother. I have three little girls, who we see identify as girls now. They’re 6, 4, and 14 months.

Gina: Full house.

Tenika: They keep me super, super busy. Yes, they keep me busy. I love it though. I often joke and say, “What was I doing before the children? Because I could have been writing books, I could [laughs] have been running multimillion-dollar corporations.” Because your time is so limited once the children come, you have to cherish every moment with them. That colors a lot of what I do now working around their schedules.

I absolutely love what I do. I love being a psychologist. I love being in this field and I love being an educator. That’s me in a nutshell. [laughs] I currently live in Los Angeles, California.

Gina: Awesome. Great. Thank you. Welcome. Thank you for sharing all that with our listeners. I’m curious to hear about your path to working with youth. You’re a mother, you love children. You could have done a million things in clinical psychology and you’re focused on youth. Can you tell us about that?

Tenika: Absolutely. That started in the ’90s. I’m dating myself now. [laughs]. I was an undergrad in New Orleans, I went to Xavier University. Going back to the financial need, I really needed to work. I couldn’t just go to school and enjoy that process alone, I had to work and go to school. I went to the psychology department and I said, “You know what? Where do you send your students to get their training in psychology? I know you all send them to work with clients and you do all these types of things in the field and I want to start that now.”

Ironically, just as a side note, her name was Dr. Williams. She was the granddaughter of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois. She was my counselor and the granddaughter so we got all kinds of stories throughout my education, but that’s just a side note. She told me, she said, “Look, you can work. We send them over here to residential placements, but it’s going to be work. You have to work and go to school and keep your grades up and all of that.” I said, “I just have to do it.”

I said, “It’s going to serve two purposes. One, it’s going to help me [laughs] stay in school financially, but it’s also going to give me a look into the field.” I wanted to start, I was ready. I said, “Let’s start there.” That’s where I began in residential placements. These were for children who had chronic behavior challenges. These were children who had been through multiple foster placements and then they were placed in residential facilities.

That’s where I started. It allowed me to go to school because they were typically 24 hours a day, I could do a 2:00 to 10:00 shift or a 3:00 to 11:00 after classes were over, and things like that. That’s where I started. Then I said, “I’m just going to get as much experience in the field as possible before I decide who I want to work with.” I knew working there I liked working with children, but I didn’t know anything else. It was residential and I was a direct care staff. I hadn’t done any therapy because I was too early in the field.

From there I went into case management and juvenile justice. [laughs] I even worked with adults. I worked with domestic violence survivors. I worked with substance abuse clients. I worked– I did couples, I did individuals [chuckles] I worked in the prison system in Lancaster. I just said, “Okay, who do I like working with? I like working with children and adolescents. This is my passion. This is where I want to be.”

I worked from every aspect of the community in every position you can imagine whether that was front lines, whether that was therapy, directing community, mental health centers, working in hospitals and schools. I said, “This population, they’re thinking about what they want to do with their lives. They’re trying to figure out where they want to go. They’re still working on understanding themselves and they’re still working on developing. You can modify behaviors at this stage.

They’re not set in their ways, per se [chuckles] like most adults can be.” I said, “This is what I love to do. This is what I want to do.” People said, “That’s a challenge. Especially working with adolescents.” I said, “Absolutely, it’s a challenge.” Everything is dramatic. They go to school and they drop their books, “Oh, my life is over. I’m the laughingstock of the school.” It’s just this dramatic thing. Then the next day it’s like, “Oh, nobody said anything, so I’m fine.”

[laughter] It is a challenge but it’s so rewarding. That’s how I ended up working with adolescents and actually loving it.

Gina: They are pretty wonderful.

Tenika: I know that was a long answer but that’s–

Gina: No, thank you. No, that was wonderful. Adolescents are wonderful. I think about my own work in clinical psychology and the reality that there’s a shortage of providers nationwide, of mental health providers and an even bigger shortage of providers working with youth. I think you’re uniquely positioned to really advocate within your program for students to take up that type of work, especially given you’re so passionate about it. Just so very exciting.

The piece I think that’s on a lot of our minds at the moment, given that we all live here in the United States is that youth during that adolescent time where they’re trying to form their identities, they’re trying to figure out who they are in this world. It might be things as small as, “What am I going to wear to school?” It’s as big as, “Who am I as a human? What is the core of my identity?” They’re up against a lot.

Can you speak to this moment in history, what you’re seeing in your work? What you’re concerned about? What you’re hopeful about?

Tenika: Absolutely. Absolutely. In my career, I’ve seen so many adolescents who did not have the support of their families. They had to hide. They had to live in the shadows. They would hear comments that were against individuals who may have identified as LGBT and they had to be quiet about it because they identify as LGBT, and they didn’t want to be hurt, or they didn’t want to be ostracized or things like that. Then we had some who wanted to just stand up and be heard and then they were ostracized. They were bullied, and they were injured.

In a lot of cases, their parents or their caregivers would ask them to leave the home. Would not support them. Would make them wear certain clothing. Would make them play with certain toys. That’s what I saw in my practice and I continue to see it. I’ve always come from a place of support and lack of judgment in affirmations. Letting them know that they are important, that they are supposed to be here, and that there’s nothing wrong with them.

When we fast-forward to today’s society where we’re getting bills and laws passed to really in a lot of ways erase our LGBTQ youth, it is really heartbreaking. It really saddens me because working all these years to say, “You are important, you need to be seen, you need to be heard just like everyone else does.” Then they go to school, and they’re like, “I’m not in the textbooks. I’m not in the projects that we do. I’m not in the stories. If I ask a question, I’m completely shut down, or I may even get in trouble.”

That’s a problem. What it’s going to do is, it’s going to increase bullying. It’s going to increase self-harm because they feel like, “I shouldn’t be here, or it’s easier not to be here.” That’s what I’m seeing, more suicidal ideation. I’m seeing more depression. I’m seeing more lack of desire to be in educational settings, because why? It doesn’t represent me. It’s really heartbreaking. We, as clinicians and advocates because I really believe that we are frontline advocates.

I believe that it’s our duty. We have to go out there and give them a voice. We have to go out there and lobby against these types of things. That’s another reason why I’m in the position I’m in Antioch because I want the next generation of clinicians to take up that charge as well. Because it’s going to take lifelong work. I’ve been doing it, this has been over 20 years, and here we are in 2022 and they’re still passing these ridiculous laws. It’s going to take the next generation and the next and the next to make a difference and to keep those children in the forefront so that they won’t be erased. That’s what it’s going to take.

Gina: Yes. A lot of what I’m hearing from you, Tenika, is the importance of the next generation of providers also carrying on that same legacy where it’s not enough anymore to sit one on one with an individual doing psychotherapy. We also are advocates and I think that’s one of the unique elements of training at Antioch is that because we have a core value in social justice, we are training our students in that way.

That’s the one piece I anchor to that makes me feel a little bit hopeful is that if we all can continue doing that, hopefully over time it’s going to make a difference for these kids. Then that also makes me think about the reality that compounding the sociopolitical reality that LGBTQ youth are facing. There’s also the reality that they all just went through the ongoing pandemic that everyone else did, and they were at home with their families locked down for that period of time and then slowly emerging back into the community of school and wondering about the mental health impact you’ve seen as a result of all of that.

Tenika: Yes. For lack of a better word, it’s just been sad. It really has saddened me, again, the lack of support, it was almost– Some of my clients, describe it as abusive. [chuckles] Some of them described it as being abusive because they were at home and they felt like their caregivers were just picking at them, “Why are you reading that? Why are you watching that? Who are you talking to? Change. Why are you dressed like that?” Just questioning everything that they were doing. Before they can leave the house and they can be in a safe space. During the pandemic, some were stuck there, some of them.

Others did leave the house. We saw increased rates of homelessness. We saw increased runaways and things like that. We saw more intakes into residential facilities, which is interesting because in LA, for example, they’re doing away with the old-school residential. When I say old school, these children were able to stay there for quite some time, years. Then they would age out. They would be about 17 and a half, and once they hit 18, they can get a six-month waiver, but after that, they had to leave the facility because it was for children.

If they didn’t go to a transitional housing facility or something like that, they would, unfortunately, and this is just the reality, they would commit some type of petty crime so they can go into juvenile justice because they knew that would be a roof over their head. The other group, a good 45-50% of our homeless youth are LGBT youth. The other group would be homeless.

That’s what we saw in the past and that’s what we’re seeing an increase in that. Because parents just cannot, unfortunately, let go of what I call their fantasy of their children. They can’t let go. Every parent does it. I’m guilty of it as well. When they’re in the womb you have these thoughts. You’re thinking, “Oh, I wonder what they’re going to be. I wonder how they’re going to identify. I wonder if they’re going to be a doctor or a lawyer or an artist or a dancer.”

You have these dreams and then they come out and they’re their own person. They have their own ideas, their own beliefs, their own thoughts and it’s like, “Oh, you don’t want to be the little doctor that I envisioned when you were in my tummy.’ It’s the same thing for their sexual orientation and their identity; their gender identity. When the children come out and they say, “No, I’m a boy.” You know anatomically they were born a girl, you’re like, “Are they going to be transgender?”

That’s different from what your fantasy was. Parents have to do what I call mourning that fantasy. They have to let it go. They have to love and accept unconditionally their child the way they present. That’s harder for some parents more than others. The children are suffering because of it. That’s a lot of the work that I do in my practice. I’m able sometimes to sit with both the parents and the children to talk this through. Most of the time it’s with the children because the parents are really not supportive.

I think the pandemic compounded all of those issues and now we’re trying to pull it back together. We’re trying to get the children to understand what’s happening. A lot of ways they have to accept their parents for who they are. That may mean that they have to limit interaction. That might mean that they find their own supportive families. We have a lot of LGBT youth and adults who find their own families because the ones that they were born into are not supportive and loving and nurturing.

We have to meet the children where they are. I feel the short answer is that the pandemic compounded everything and it just made it extremely worse.

Gina: As a practitioner, it sounds like it meant that you had to switch a lot of your modalities and really handle whatever was coming in the door on any given day and really be on your toes with it. You do some work if you can, if the families are amenable to it, you do some work with the families and the youth. Some work just with the youth individually. Are there any particular forms of therapies that you use? Ways that you specifically support LGBTQ youth in your work?

Tenika: Yes, absolutely. I’ve always been the type to use various things for my tool belt because everybody’s different. It’s always been affirmative. It’s always been super, super supportive. I’ve always looked at their development and understanding where something is coming from. I do a lot of contextual things based on psychodynamic theory, but that’s just giving me context on where it’s coming from and what’s happening.

All of my modalities have been affirmative, always using affirmative therapy, always trying to get the client to see what’s actually happening as opposed to me telling them. A lot of therapists they’ll say, “This is happening because of that. Have you thought about this?” It’s fine. That’s fine for some people, but in my work, it’s always been me asking certain questions to pull it out of them.

When they do get it, it’s like what, of course, what Oprah says, “These aha moments.” Because you can see it on their face. Especially my adolescents, and they’re like, “Oh, okay, wait.”


It’s so rewarding because they feel like they came up with the answer, and so now they’re more likely to change the behavior because they felt like they came up with it. Anybody working with adolescents knows if you tell them something, they’re not going to do it. They have to come to it on their own, under their own accord. That’s why I do it that way, and it works. It really, really works. They don’t see me as another authority figure telling them what to do and having the answer. They see me as somebody who’s non-judgmental and who’s going to accept them the way they are and they can talk to. That’s how they describe it, someone, they can talk to. I love it. I absolutely love it.

Gina: It really helps them to be able to truly tune into their own voice, really listen to what they need to say in a different way. That’s great. This image keeps coming through my mind of you walking beside somebody on a path versus grabbing them by the hand and showing them this is how we’re going to walk, but if they need to make a brand new path and plow down something that’s not a path yet, you’re right there with them.

Tenika: I’m right there with them, absolutely. They look forward to it. They don’t think, “Oh, this is another psychotherapy session.” They look forward to, “When can I go talk to Dr. Jackson? When can I go?” It’s exciting. Before COVID, I could be much more creative. We could do things outside, we could walk on their metaphorical and realistic path, but after the pandemic, it’s just been a lot of virtual stuff.

It’s been different because I can’t be in the room with them. Things are changing but we still want to be safe. What we did creatively that way is to try to get them to be in another environment so they weren’t at their actual house with their parents in the background. They might be in a park where there was no one there or they may do it at a different hour where they can be in an environment where everybody else is out of the house or they’re at a cousin’s house or they’re on the backyard or something like that so that they could still be virtual, but they could still have that private space. That’s what we did during the pandemic.

Gina: Yes because that privacy is, that’s such a key piece. I know we teach that to our students about that’s why the therapy space works is because of that confidentiality and privacy and telehealth changed that for adolescents.

Tenika: Oh, yes.

Gina: Even when parents would say, “Oh, of course, I’ll give them their space.” My experience was that adolescents still were so– They were worried. They had an anxiety that somebody might hear and it changed how they were able to actually fully engage. In my own practice, I’m thinking about two completely different cases, two completely different situations.

In both scenarios, two different adolescents both came out as transgender to their families. One family, when I spoke with the parent– Both parents had a similar reaction which was they were at a loss, they weren’t really sure what to do, and they were grieving as you had mentioned. They had completely different reactions to me presenting to them the idea of gender-affirming care.

I know the American Psychological Association has been super clear that in terms of child development and identity development we should always have a stance of gender-affirming care like what you do in your work. One family really understood that and ran with it. The reality was my client the mental health outcome has been so much better. The other family has some other values and beliefs that are very contradictory to that, some very deep biblical values that they cannot get on board and it’s actually made them lose a lot of faith in me as well as a provider.

I know how to work with the families who are on board even if they’re struggling, I have a sense of how to do that because they can access the empathy, they can access the love, they can shift their thinking, but for the clients, we’re working with, where we still have to have some connection to the family because they’re consenting to treatment for the adolescents in the first place. They could rip the kid right out of therapy. How do we create pathways to meaningful conversations with these parents?

Tenika: Yes. It is a challenge. Very honestly, it is a challenge. I tend to again meet them where they are. I’ve had parents to come in and they’re very religious. I grew up in the church. I grew up in Chicago, at Trinity United Church of Christ. I know the Bible. I know the scripture. Our church was very different. I had a pastor who was very much involved in social action and justice. We were signing petitions during service. He was passing out. This was not your traditional service.

For my dissertation, which looked at the youth- It’s been a while now. -it looked at adolescent girls and their sexual identity, how they formed their identity and things like that. I was interviewing various people in the community. I interviewed him one on one. He took the time to do it. I was very happy. Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. I’ll never forget it, he said, “The Bible says, whosoever believe it in me shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

He said, “The Bible doesn’t say whosoever accepts Black people or whosoever accepts gay people, or whosoever accepts transgender people, the Bible said whosoever.” This is him talking, “It’s not my place to decide who the Lord meant in the whosoever, that’s between– The Bible this is what it says so this is what I’m going to teach.” He was always accepting and affirming and non-judgmental. This is how he preached from the pulpit. That resonated with me. When parents come in, and that’s what they’re using the Bible and they say things and so we discuss it.

I again, come from a stand just like I do with the youth of them coming to their own conclusions. I never say, “That’s not right and you misinterpreted it.” I never come that way, but I do talk to them and ask them, “What does that mean to you? Where did that come from? How does that feel? Let’s say you were in Jessica or Johnny’s or whomever’s shoes, their child, what do you feel like they’re thinking right now hearing what you just said,” and trying to pull it out of them?

It doesn’t always work right because we don’t even have it all the time sometimes. We might see a client so many sessions and then they’re gone. A lot of those parents tend to leave because they don’t want to hear anything against what they’re saying. For the ones that stay and do the work, it’s challenging, and it could be painful, but I see the difference toward the end. I’ve been rewarded in my career to see that because sometimes you don’t even get that opportunity.

I’ve been rewarded to see them have the aha moment and say, “Although this is how I was raised, this is what I believe, this is what I thought all these years, there’s still room for me to accept and love and affirm my child. I’m not saying that I’m denouncing the Bible altogether,” because that’s part of what they don’t want to release. They feel like, “What? Are you saying everything that I grew up with is a lie?” [laughs] I say, “No, I’m not saying that.”

They can basically hold those two things at the same time. They can hold the religion, they can say that they’re a Christian or whatever they want to say, and they also love their child and there’s nothing wrong with their child. The Lord made their child and all these things at the same time and that’s where in that space, they can accept their loved ones and they can move forward. To see that, it’s worth it, but it can be very challenging.

There have been several [chuckles] sessions where we ended, it’s like, “Okay, we’re going to stop here today we’re going to pick this up next week.” You’re just exhausted because you’re like, [laughs] “They didn’t get anything that we discussed. That poor baby is going to go back to that house.” It’s been plenty of those sessions, but I have seen it work. That keeps me going.

Then I also offer resources and things like that for the child so that they still have a support. I don’t want them to go home thinking, “Look, they won’t even change when you’re talking to them, what do you expect me to do?” Then they think they’re alone and they start going to that dark space thinking that they shouldn’t be there and stuff like that. I make sure they have resources, I make sure that they know that there are places to go and people to talk to and that we going to keep working on it.

[laughs] I always say at the end of the session, “Okay, this is very helpful. I appreciate you working on this, we’re going to keep working toward a common goal. We’re going to do this together.” I always say that at the end. It does change, it does get better, and it does work. I’ve seen it work, but it’s challenging. It’s very challenging.

Gina: Yes and it sounds like for the families where despite how much effort is being put in if you can’t get the traction, you’re simultaneously working with the youth to make sure they feel connected. That they can begin to have a vision of what it would be like to connect to other people, other spaces, and places where they will be affirmed.

Tenika: Absolutely. They need that, they have to have that because they literally feel like they’re alone. “I’m alone in my house.” The only safe space I see so far is a therapy session, but some of them haven’t even made it to therapy and so they don’t even have that yet. Imagine being in an environment where the parents are just, “There’s something wrong with you. You’re going to hell,” and saying all these horrible things to them.

Then they’re at school and the teachers aren’t affirming and now they can’t even teach that they exist. They can’t even include examples in their textbooks. They can’t even– It’s like, “Where am I fitting in this world?” The child is really lost. They feel alone. That’s why we see so many suicides. If we could just get to them and say, “You are loved, you do belong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You were made this way for a reason. Let’s figure out your purpose in life.” Then it would just turn so many youths around, but we have to reach them.

Gina: What do you see as some of the biggest obstacles to reaching them?

Tenika: Fear. Some of them is the lack of resources. I’ve worked in residential facilities where children have never left their geographic neighborhoods. They don’t even know things exist. I had kids, they didn’t even know the LGBT center existed. They didn’t even know–They just were in their little bubble. When you expose them to different things, it’s like, “Whoa, okay.”

There were children who came from miles away, and other states to come because they heard about the work that certain community mental health centers or the LGBT center or places that were doing in LA. They were like, “Whoa, there’s nothing like this in my neighborhood.” It could have been, but they just weren’t exposed to it, but they traveled across states just to have that affirming space. If they’re in a school, I like to give flyers and do seminars and do their assemblies in various schools, just so children know what’s available to them if it’s not in their environment, and that way they can have resources.

I think it’s a matter of getting the word out. I think what we’re seeing more and more on TV where they’re showing more LGBTQ youth and adults is very important. Commercials now I see, and I’m like, “Oh.” Things like that, it’s very important because it shows, “Okay, I see you. I see you, we’re out here. I’m not alone.” Because they do feel alone. I think the main thing is fear. They don’t know. They can’t ask because they don’t know how it’s going to be received. I think we just have to make the information available and accessible to them.

Gina: It sounds like the cutting through the loneliness that those resources create a bridge to– Even if they are feeling alone in the moment, they might be able to imagine a time when they won’t feel so alone.

Tenika: Exactly. Yes.

Gina: Tenika, thank you so much for all of this. Is there anything else that we haven’t talked about or we haven’t touched on that you feel you would like our listeners to know?

Tenika: I feel like we’ve covered a lot. I just want to reiterate. The LGBTQ youth tend to suffer in silence. They don’t know who they can talk to, they don’t know where is safe. If you or the listeners or anyone hearing this sees a youth suffering, just listen to your gut. Just step in, let them know they’re okay, that they can receive services, that they can talk to people, that they’re not alone, that they’re important.

You think that they already know. A lot of times adults don’t say it but they really need you to say it. They need you to affirm them. I feel like that’s going to make a huge difference. You don’t have to– Some people say, “I don’t want to make an assumption.” I don’t want you to make an assumption based on just looking at somebody and saying, “Oh, I think that’s an LGBTQ youth.”

That’s a weird assumption. The emotions that you see, the behaviors, if you’re a teacher and you see certain behaviors, those are universal behaviors. It doesn’t always have to be an LGBTQ youth, affirm that child, and find out if they need assistance with anything. That kind of thing. If you’re in the grocery store, you see a child putting their head down, all those types of things, you may be in a checkout line and you could just, “Oh, that’s a cute shirt that you have on.” You could be very appropriate. Something like that goes a long way. That’s on the one hand.

On the other hand, I want everyone to be advocates. I want everyone to raise up and use their voice and make a difference. I want you to shout from the rooftops that everybody needs to be treated equally. If you get that call and they’re asking you to donate to a campaign, you have a few dollars, take the Starbucks money, and donate to the campaign. If you have an opportunity to participate in a walk, participate in that walk. [laughs] If you have an opportunity to sign a petition or to call one of our political figures to make a difference, do it. Don’t say, “I’m just one person, or it’s not going to matter.”

It’s going to matter, and each person is going to add up because we’re all advocates and we all have to stand up and make a difference, or it’s not going to change. We’ve seen tremendous change over the years. It’s almost like we’ve seen three steps forward, two steps back, or one step back, but what if we didn’t have any of the steps forward? We have to keep working at it and chipping away at it and that’s what keeps me going. I know that I’m making a difference because I’m showing up every day, fighting the good fight, and so I just ask everybody just to fight the good fight.

Gina: Fight the good fight.

Tenika: That’s what I’ve been saying.

Gina: Thank you.

Tenika: You’re welcome. This is amazing, Gina. I appreciate even being able to come and share my thoughts because you could have chosen to talk to anyone so I truly appreciate you asking me to do this.

Gina: I’m deeply grateful for it and deeply grateful for the reality that you’re taking all of that work, and also you’re a professor and you’re chairing a department. You are making sure that the next generation of providers receives these messages. Yes, the ripple effect of that is profound.

Tenika: I’m hoping so. That’s my prayer every day.


Jasper Nighthawk: Tenika Jackson chairs the MA in Clinical Psychology Programs on our Los Angeles campus, while our guest host Gina Pasquale teaches in the clinical psychology programs on our New England campus. We’ll link to more information about both of these programs in our show notes. We post these show notes on our website, where you’ll also find full episode transcripts, prior episodes, and more. The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University.

Our editor for this episode was Lauren Instenes. This will sadly be her last episode as editor. After two years of building this podcast, Lauren is moving on to an amazing position at another organization. She’ll be missed, but we’re so thankful for everything that she’s done. I’m excited today to announce that our new editor is Johanna Case. I am Jasper Nighthawk. I’m The Seed Field Podcast host.

Today, our guest host was Gina Pasquale. Our digital designer is Mira Mead. Jen Mont is our web content coordinator. Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion is our work-study intern. A special thanks to Karen Hamilton and Melinda Garland.


Thank you for spending your time with us today. That’s it for this episode. We hope to see you next time. Don’t forget to plant a seed, sow a cause, and win a victory for humanity. From Antioch University, this has been The Seed Field Podcast.


[00:38:34] [END OF AUDIO]