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NCORE Webinar Series

Fostering Connection: A Relational Approach to Advocacy


Recorded Wednesday, November 17, 2021  |  Captions and sign language interpretation provided.

62 min  |  $25.00  |   Purchase this webinar on demand


Webinar Description:

Advocates are often well intentioned and are eager to help but at times we can neglect the value of forming relationships and connections with the immigrant and undocumented populations we are advocating for. The workshop will focus on implementing a relational approach to advocacy for practitioners and higher education professionals. Participants will gain insight into the three main tenets of Relational Cultural Theory (mutual empathy, mutual empowerment, growth fostering relationships) and how to apply this theory when working with immigrant and undocumented populations. Through mutual empathy the student in turn shows and learns empathy for themselves and others, similarly with empowerment and through the fostering of a relationship the student grows in connection and trust. This presentation will provide practical skills for increasing a relational and therapeutic connection in advocacy and individuals will have the opportunity to begin developing their own relational approach.


presenter Shekila Melchior

Shekila Melchior, PhD, NCC, Assistant Professor, Counseling and Development, George Mason University

Dr. Melchior is a Nationally Board-Certified Counselor, an LPC-MHSP (TN) and a Licensed Professional School Counselor in Virginia. Prior to her faculty appointment, she was a High school counselor in Bassett, VA. Dr. Melchior has also worked as a mental health therapist on inpatient psychiatric units. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Department at George Mason University as well as a clinician at The Wise Family. She has recently begun an administrative appointment as Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the College of Education and Human Development. She received her PhD from Virginia Tech in 2017 and holds a Master’s degree in School Counseling from North Carolina A&T. 
Dr. Melchior currently serves as a member of the Counselors for Social Justice Curriculum Taskforce and serves as the School Counselor representative on the board. She is the immediate past-president of the Virginia Alliance for School Counseling a division of the Virginia Counselors Association. Dr. Melchior’s research interests include social justice identity development, undocumented students/immigrants, the professional identity development of school counselors and wellness for front line activists.