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ETHNIC PARITY GOALS ARE NOT RACE-BASED QUOTAS In responding to our article on achieving ethnic parity in counseling psychology Atkinson Brown Casas 1996 Thomas and Weinrach 1998 challenged our goal of ethnic parity for counseling psychology They also criticized the admissions procedures we described ETHNIC PARITY AS AN ETHICALLY AND LEGALLY DEFENSIBLE GOAL In our earlier article we identified ethnic parity or representation equivalent to that found in the general population also referred to by some as racial balance as a goal to which counseling psychology as a profession should aspire We based that goal on the assumption that aptitude for counseling is similarly distributed across ethnic groups and that in a just society the ethnic diversity found in society would be reflected in the ethnic diversity found among counseling psychologists Support of the goal can also be found in studies that have documented lower drop-out rates and better treatment outcomes when therapist and client are ethnically similar Flaskerud 1986 1991 Sue Fujino Hu Takeuchi Zane 1991 Thomas and Weinrach 1998 indicated that they are strongly opposed to ethnic parity p 6 and that implementing such a goal violates current federal law With regard to federal law affirmative action and the goal of achieving ethnic parity or racial balance in the workplace was established when President Lyndon B Johnson signed Executive Order No 11246 in 1965 and has been upheld by every president since Johnson Furthermore in its landmark decision handed down 20 years ago regarding Regents of the University of California v Bakke hereafter referred to as Regents v Bakke the United States Supreme Court affirmed that attaining racial diversity in education is an acceptable goal for institutions of higher education and that the weighting given to race or ethnic background might be adjusted from year to year to get a better racial balance Indeed the weight attributed to a particular quality may vary from year to year
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