Rise Up Conference

Jalissa McDuffie
Jalissa McDuffie
Crittenton Services for Children and Families
Jalissa McDuffie
Jalissa McDuffie is a Unit Supervisor who has been with Crittenton Services for six years working in our various residential programs and with children dealing with complex trauma from all around the world. Jalissa is a long time member of the Crittenton JEDI (Justice Equality Diversity and Inclusion) Team and is responsible for Crittenton's Cultural Corner, which is a monthly newsletter that celebrates cultures from around the world. She attended California State University, Northridge (Psychology) and has a passion for working with at-promise youth due to growing up in an urban neighborhood. She aspires to inspire those who may feel like they do not have a voice or ears that will listen.


We Are the World, Coming Together to Help Heal from Hate and Judgement
In the current times we are living in, there seems to be a great divide. We are experiencing what seems to be higher or at minimum increased visibility, of hate crimes against various religious communities, ethnic groups and those working to migrant to the United States, including unaccompanied minors. Many of our clients who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ Community have shared recent negative experiences they are having while trying to acquire employment or just by being. We have staff that have experienced fat shaming, racism, and homophobia. As an agency we have been targeted by hate because of the clients that we serve, in particular unaccompanied minors. As a result of the diversity of those we serve, as well as the staff working within our agency, our JEDI (Justice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Team has implemented supportive techniques for both staff as well as clients, for example the development of JEDI Cultural Corner a monthly newsletter that focuses on cultural information relevant to the month and/or that highlights a specific culture we may be working with, creating safe spaces for staff to share experiences that they or their clients may be experiencing and working together to engage in effective, supportive, healthy problem solving. This has allowed us to learn more about those we serve, and ourselves. As a result of the challenges our clients, as well as our staff have experienced, we have gained knowledge and expertise over many years, in supporting clients and each other, in overcoming the painful experience of judgement, hate and a lack of understanding. We will share effective techniques and supports that can be implemented to assist those who work within communities, in addressing societal challenges many our facing, whether it is a direct or indirect experience through social media, news, etc. We will also discuss techniques that agencies can use to best support staff as the navigate these difficult times as well.