Fulterius King landed an opportunity to support and advocate for minority populations when he received a National Board of Certified Counselors Minority fellowship last week. The competitive program is for graduate students who plan to work with minority populations.
This fellowship will only bring King, a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s program, closer to his dream of becoming a counselor. He hopes to work with LGBT adolescents and young adults and racial minorities. Along with being honored at a ceremony, King will get two stipends for financial support during graduate school. He will also receive training, supervision, and mentoring.
“As a counselor, and as an advocate,” King said. “It’s very important for me to work to eliminate the oppression and the marginalization of these two populations.”
King said he is interested in research to investigate stress and coping with gay African American men. He hopes his fellowship will help him bring awareness to issues specific to those groups, and help advocate for them.
“Being a double minority, being black and being queer, I see issues within both of these communities that need to be addressed,” King said.
King said his drive for this work comes from his upbringing in a small town that did not recognize diversity. In high school, he thought diversity was only about race, King said.
“Diversity is more than that,” said King. “It’s about embracing others from different religious and nonreligious backgrounds.”
Being awarded a fellowship is proof of King’s efforts to make his dream a reality. After starting his first semester at UNF last year, he already got himself involved in two jobs: the Interfaith Center and the LGBT Resource Center.
King said his work at the LGBT resource center as a graduate assistant and at the Interfaith Center as a student intern helped him realize the need to work with diverse populations.
At the LGBT Resource Center, King is a mentorship program coordinator, where he connects with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) students with other LGBTQIA community members in Jacksonville.
“I am hoping that these mentors will positively impact the personal and professional development for these students,” King said.
At the Interfaith Center, King organizes events to encourage students from different religious and nonreligious world views to collaborate and interact. One event he leads is #TFWednesday, which recognizes the intersectionality of religious and nonreligious world views, LGBT identity and culture.
King said he enjoys his work because it allows him to get to know students’ backgrounds and complex identities.dx
“Just looking at them as an LGBT person or as an interfaith person, to me, is just not enough,” King said. He said their world views and identities matter too.
After graduation, King said he plans to work as a licensed mental health counselor and connect with the Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network and the National Black Justice Coalition.
He said he will continue to be an activist for minorities.
“My purpose is to educate others to embrace people from different backgrounds. My purpose is to empower minorities, and to be a role model,” King said.
For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.