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The
Community
Psychologist

Volume 50 Number 2 
Spring 2017

From the President

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Susan McMahon

smcmahon@depaul.edu

DePaul University

As we greet Spring with enthusiasm, there are a variety of exciting SCRA updates. Our Executive Committee met February 2nd-4th in Atlanta, Georgia. Jim Emshoff and Georgia State University were gracious hosts for our productive meeting. This meeting serves an important purpose for us to come together to review the many facets of our strategic plan, capture our progress to date, and discuss and move forward with new initiatives. Members can review the briefing book (includes detailed annual reports from executive committee members, councils, committees, interest groups, special initiatives, strategic plans and proposals) online at http://scra27.org/who-we-are/leadership/scradocuments/. A big thank you to Elizabeth Thomas for putting it together – it comes in at 175 pages. Since most of you will not have the time to take a look at all of our progress, I would like to provide some highlights related to research, membership, and mini-grants.

Regarding research, first, a shout-out to Jack Tebes, who has done an amazing job with our SCRA journal and is serving in his last year as AJCP Editor. He has gone the extra mile to work with people from a variety of disciplines across the globe to facilitate publication in our journal. AJCP submissions are robust - 295 new manuscripts were submitted in 2016 (a 10% increase from the mean of the previous 6 years), with about 40% international authors. The rejection rate is high (over 70%), so it is very competitive. The journal continues on a trajectory of being cited more frequently and is well regarded by related disciplines. A new section – Highlights – has been added to summarize key contributions, and this will help with access and visibility of our research. Another strategy underway to increase visibility includes a virtual special issue of AJCP/JCP on immigration and refugees, with a policy statement as the lead – the timing couldn’t be better on this important issue. On another note, given the success of our Practice Council and Council on Education, a Research Council will be established to create opportunities to strengthen our research and visibility, including advanced research methods training, networks, mentoring, and integration with education and practice.

Regarding membership, there are a variety of ideas we are excited to implement regarding growing our membership. One example is a new award, the Student Membership Circle, to recognize community psychology and related programs that grow student membership in SCRA. There will be 3 tiers (Gold, Silver, Bronze), and award recipients will be determined based on the percent of students in the program who are members of SCRA during Biennial conference years. We will create a scorecard on our website to publicize our friendly competition. Recognition will involve certificate and acknowledgement at the biennial, in the TCP, and on the website. We hope students and programs will gear up to participate!

In 2016, we distributed over $20,000 in mini-grants to foster and support work conducted by SCRA members. The Practice Council awarded 10 grants, and these projects include trauma intervention in Rwanda, arts intervention in NYC public schools, community development in Minnesota for the Red Lake Tribal Nation, Ubuntu Village School community program in Kansas, juvenile offender intervention in Mississippi, domestic violence service integration in Ecuador, and PAR methods to address intimate partner violence. The Council on Education (COE) awarded 6 grants, and these projects included a focus on collaborations, teaching, learning communities, student capacity building, and cross-national education. The Committee on Cultural, Ethnic, and Racial Affairs awarded 5 grants to promote racial justice research, teaching, practice, and policy-related work. These projects focused on addressing Black student concerns, Muslim women teachers, reconnecting homeless military veterans with their communities, engaging through race, and urban agricultural practices. The Public Policy Committee awarded a grant to update and expand the SCRA Task Force report: How to help your community recover from disaster: A manual for planning and action. It is rewarding to support the diverse, impactful, and meaningful work being conducted by our members. Be on the lookout for mini-grant opportunities and biennial travel awards for 2017 to support your work and involvement and engagement in SCRA!

As a fitting ending to a productive midwinter meeting, there were a few of us who took a later flight home and had a chance to go to the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, https://www.civilandhumanrights.org/ - an impactful museum that opened in 2014 on a subject near and dear to our hearts. Looking forward to seeing our larger community of SCRA members at the Biennial in Ottawa!