IWU professor receives 2016 ‘Ohana Honors Award

Indiana Wesleyan University’s Dr. Judy Justice, director and professor of Graduate School Counseling, has been awarded a 2016 ‘Ohana Honors Award from Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ), a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA). Created in 1994, ‘Ohana awards honor eight individuals annually who affirm diversity and advocate for social justice in the spirit of the nine elements of the indigenous Hawaiian concept of ‘Ohana, or extended family. 

“When I received the notification [of receiving the award] I was quite surprised,” said Justice. “I thought, ‘Praise God for this honor,’ and I wondered what I have done, beyond what is expected or beyond what others do.” 

Justice’s passion for diversity and social justice is exemplified through her efforts to promote diversity within the Division of Graduate Counseling. For example, she is seeking internship and exchange opportunities in Jamaica and Australia so that students can experience a greater appreciation and perspective of diversity. She also strives for her students to attain an array of diverse counselees, and that they counsel with absolute respect and advocacy. Outside of the classroom, she works with Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne to assist children, newcomers, and those affected by death and divorce. She also serves with the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health team in the wake of local and national disasters such as fires, deaths, floods and storms.    

“God has given each of us gifts, and I believe these gifts should be used to treat everyone with care and dignity,” said Justice. “Advocacy is a strong component of counseling, and I want to model this by being a voice to those in need. As Christian counselors, caring, helping and sharing is just our way of showing Christ’s love.”

Justice has been invited to formally accept her award on Friday, April 1 at the CSJ Brunch and Awards Ceremony, which will be held at the ACA Conference in Montréal, Québec. 

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