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NC State Education to Host Inaugural Don C. Locke Multiculturalism and Social Justice Symposium 3/ 22

Don C. Locke

The NC State College of Education will hold the inaugural Don C. Locke Multiculturalism and Social Justice Symposium Thursday, March 22, at 4 p.m. at the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center on NC State’s Centennial Campus.

Dr. Courtland Lee, a professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington, D.C., will present “Promoting Sanity in Insane Time” as the symposium’s keynote speaker.


The college started this symposium to honor Don C. Locke, a longtime professor of counselor education at NC State. Locke also worked as director of diversity and multiculturalism at the University of North Carolina at Asheville until retiring in 2007. He passed away after a brief illness in 2016.

“Understanding the complexities of diversity and multiculturalism in society is an important foundation for any educator,” said symposium planner and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Lee V. Stiff.

“Students and adults have to cope with the negative influences of oppression and social injustice in society and in the educational system itself. How approaches are formed to address such ills is important for educators to know.”

The symposium aims to provide attendees with a greater understanding of the role multicultural and social justice advocacy plays in society.

He says, it is important for counselors, and advocates more broadly, to learn how to recognize the impact of oppression on mental health and well-being, see individuals in the context of their social existence, and integrate social justice advocacy into their practice.

The event also demonstrates Locke’s impact on the profession’s understanding of that role.

Locke dedicated his professional life to the advancement of counseling and social justice. He was a past president of the North Carolina Counseling Association, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and Chi Sigma Iota International. In addition to serving on the ACA Governing Council, Locke also held leadership positions in ACA’s Southern Region Branch, the Southern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision and the Counseling and Human Development Foundation.

“I knew Don [Locke] as a senior professor when I arrived here at NC State in 1983,” said Stiff, who also serves as professor of math education at the College of Education.

“He provided perspective and support as I attempted to negotiate my new academic environment. He was a friend, a mentor, and an example of what is good about our profession. He was an excellent scholar and instructor, and he gave practical insights into how to be successful in academia. He modeled being a responsible member of the college and demonstrated pride in executing our responsibilities from a multicultural perspective.”

The Inaugural Speaker

Courtland Lee
Courtland Lee

Dr. Courtland Lee is a professor in the Counselor Education Program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology-DC. A distinguished author and editor, Lee is the past-president of the International Association for Counseling and the only American to become a Fellow of the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy.

Lee has held faculty positions as a counselor educator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland at College Park, and the University of Malta. A former teacher and school counselor, he serves as an international counseling and educational consultant.