PaQuita Pullen gets real with us about what it's like being an African American within often-whitewashed western yoga, and why she's excited to educate the next generation of counselors around true cultural humility.
I have love for folks of alllll Enneagram types for different reasons, but put 2 sevens together and WEEEEEE, you get one hell of an energetic conversation.
I first met PaQuita Pullen when we briefly overlapped working in residential mental health treatment, and she's now well on her way to getting her doctorate in Counselor Supervision and Education, while teaching yoga with YMCA and Small World Yoga and taking breaks to get her Marvel fix.
PaQuita is a pint-sized spitfire with a smile that lights up the whole damn room. She is not here to take anyone's shit— and yet, she is graceFULL and receptive to peoples' (at times less-than-sensitive) questions around race, leaning into opportunities to help others see their blind spots and gain greater cultural awareness. (Hell, she was kind and patient with my fumbling for "the right" words a few times during the interview.) She is exactly the kind of person you want helping counseling grad students navigate the sticky, important questions around racial and cultural humility.
In this interview, PaQuita and I go deep with these issues, including her dissertation focus around the misdiagnosis of depression in African American males, lack of representation in yoga, how her love for superheroes (#teammarvel) relates to her deeper passions, and a lot more.
A word on semantics (see what I did there?!): In our conversation, PaQuita uses the terms 'African American' and 'person of color' (POC); so while some other folks may prefer the term 'black,' I stick with her chosen terms in this description and in the interview to honor the identification and preferences of the INDIVIDUAL I'm talking with. #culturalhumility
Head over here for full show notes including links to stuff we discuss in the episode.
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About PaQuita Pullen, MA
PaQuita is a Registered Yoga Instructor and currently completing her licensure as a Professional Counselor and doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. She is passionate about connectedness, authenticity and all things love. In addition to her counseling roles, she is working hard to further develop her yoga business, One Love Yoga Nashville, and plans to establish a private practice that primarily serves African American males experiencing mental health symptoms and issues within the 2019 calendar year. PaQuita aspires to be a trailblazer as a future counselor educator and supervisor in the betterment of mental health treatment and services for individuals of racial/ethnic identity.