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A Publication of the Society for Community Research and Action
Volume 53 Number 1
From the President
I’d like to communicate with you all regarding the diversity and inclusion agenda that the Executive Committee has recently brought to the forefront of our work. For those of you who care about social justice and empowerment of disempowered groups in the US, it has been a very difficult last few years. It seems like the work is never ending. It is very disheartening and stressful to observe more overt violence and exclusionary tactics being enacted upon so many vulnerable groups in our communities, including undocumented individuals, people who are religious minorities, people who come from low-income backgrounds, people who are gender and sexual minorities, people of color, and people from indigenous groups. The rise of the ‘free speech’ on campus movement has also served a cover for an agenda to allow overtly racist speakers to have a loud and unquestioned voice on campus. I have been particularly alarmed by the resurgence of White nationalism and White supremacy, and all of their advocates and supporters in positions of power in the US who are seeking to normalize such dehumanizing views.
From the Editors
Susan M. Wolfe, Susan Wolfe and Associates, firstname.lastname@example.org and Dominique Thomas, University of Michigan, email@example.com
Happy New Year! We hope that everyone had a relaxing and refreshing holiday break! To start off the New Year, we’re bringing you a Winter issue full of great community psychology work being undertaken by many of our members. We thank everyone who submitted their work!
Special Feature: Racial Justice
Edited by Dominique Thomas, TCP Associate Editor
The current sociopolitical environment has many racially marginalized people who are left unheard, under resourced, and over surveilled. This exploitation renders many people as disposable according to dominant narratives and processes that reproduce coloniality such as mass incarceration, gentrification, and other forms of racial capitalism. The number of hate crimes has increased since the 2016 US Presidential Election and with the connections between racial capitalism and the ongoing climate crisis becoming clearer, it is crucial to discuss strategies of attaining racial justice. Recent conversations within the field demonstrate this urgency: both to provide our expertise in support and engaging in critical reflexivity regarding the field’s role perpetuating unequal power dynamics. In light of these conversations, we decided to organize this special feature around the theme of racial justice.
Special Feature: Case Studies of Community Collaborations
Edited by Robert Guitierrez, Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago
Community psychology prides itself on the diverse positioning of community psychologists within complex systems. Understanding and addressing social issues requires not only an appreciation of the ecological landscape but a willingness to engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholders. These collaborations are integral to the field’s relevance and impact. Community psychology is based in part on the idea that true change is not only aided by broad inclusion of relevant community members but requires it to be truly impactful and just. While this type of approach introduces many additional layers of work and potential challenges it is what allows us to be part of authentic social change.
The Community Practitioner
Edited by Olya Glantsman and Mayra Guerero, DePaul University
PRACTITIONER HIGHLIGHT: RAMY BARHOUCHE
Written by Olya Glantsman and Mayra Guerero, DePaul University
In this column, we are highlighting community psychology practitioner Ramy Barhouche’s work on peace building and conflict transformation. For the last eight years, Ramy has worked with several local and international non-profit organizations focused on community empowerment and peace building through strategic planning and action. Four months ago, Ramy began his new job in Lebanon at Search for Common Ground, an international organization that focuses on peace building by bringing different groups of people in conflict to work towards a unified solution. To meet this goal, Ramy’s project focuses on three things: conflict and power dynamics analysis, strategic communication, and community-led initiatives and dialogue. Through the conflict and power dynamics analysis, the project aims to better understand the situation and tension between communities in Lebanon and see where it's most likely to make a change. Through the strategic communication initiatives, the focus is on utilizing different forms of media (e.g., film, radio programs, music videos) to spread awareness of issues and elicit discussions about overcoming differences. Lastly, through community-led initiatives and dialogue, the project identifies community influencers, referred to as champions, and trains them in conflict resolution and dialogue facilitation, and funds them to implement initiatives in their communities.
The Education Connection
Edited by Simón Coulombe, Wilfrid Laurier University
Can SCRA Live Up To Its Diversity and Social Justice Values With Regard To Race?
Written by Mason G. Haber, Harvard Medical School; Dawn Henderson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Simón Coulombe, Wilfrid Laurier University; and Laura Kohn-Wood, University of Miami
Recent discussions of the Council on Education (COE) – echoing similar recent discussions in SCRA as a whole – have focused on whether the Council and SCRA more broadly may be unintentionally excluding minority groups within the organization, especially with regard to race, ethnicity, cultural and national origin. These conversations were first initiated in the context of a review by SCRA members of a recently disseminated guide to community psychology (CP) training programs (http://scra27.org/what-we-do/education/academic-programs/), which seemed to lack representation from programs reflecting these dimensions of diversity. Directly related to the topic of this issue, some of this discussion focused on whether the guide failed to include education and training opportunities available at Minority-serving institutions, especially HBCUs. Failing to represent these opportunities appropriately in efforts to promote CP education such as the brochure would clearly be a detriment to the field in terms of missed opportunities for contributions from these institutions, whose interests and values tend to be well aligned with those of SCRA. Even more importantly, such exclusion would be directly at odds with core values of CP and SCRA of diversity and social justice, undermining through our own institutional practice efforts to champion these values in working with communities, especially with community members of color.
Environment and Justice
Edited by Manuel Riemer, Wilfrid Laurier University
Greetings from New Environment and Justice Interest Group Co-Chairs
Written by Carlie D. Trott, University of Cincinnati and Kai Reimer-Watts, Wilfrid Laurier University
On September 25th, 2019, the Environment and Justice (E+J) Interest Group convened online: Sixteen members joined from around the globe, including from New Zealand, Hungary, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Thanks to the efforts of Manuel Riemer, interim Chair, we were able to come together to think about new leadership and new directions for the interest group. During the call, we — Carlie Trott from the University of Cincinnati and Kai Reimer-Watts from Wilfrid Laurier University — emerged as co-Chairs for the 2019-2020 year. In this, our first contribution to the TCP column, we wanted to take a moment and introduce ourselves as co-Chairs and talk a bit about what we envision for the future of the E+J Interest Group.
Edited by Sara L. Buckingham, University of Alaska Anchorage and Kevin Ferreira, California State University-Sacramento
Leveraging our Role as Community Psychologists through Op-Eds and Letters to the Editors to Advocate for Immigrant Justice
Written by Sara Buckingham, Kevin Ferreira van Leer, Co-Chairs of the Immigrant Justice Interest Group
As community psychologists, we aim to address social inequities by working with people who are being oppressed. To align our interest group’s work more closely with the concerns of migrant communities, we invited a member of United We Dream, the largest youth-led immigrant rights organization in the U.S., to help us identify how we can support their work. Their campaign centers on protecting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In the face of increasing xenophobic rhetoric, United We Dream seeks to change the narrative in communities regarding immigrants. They asked us, in the face of the Supreme Court case on DACA and the Dream and Promise Act in Congress, to share our expertise and support immigration policies that further justice and challenge unjust policies. Specifically, they invited us to engage the public through op-eds, as op-eds can support narrative shift and call people to action. In this column, we highlight DACA and provide tips on writing media so that you can follow United We Dream’s call to action. We hope community psychologists around the country will join us in writing op-eds and letters to the editor to their local news outlets to inform the public on DACA, its benefits, and the injustice that will be created should DACA be rescinded.
Edited by Olga Oliveira Chuna, NOVA University, Lisbon Portugal and Douglas Perkins, Vanderbilt University
International Transitions and Global Contributions to the 2019 Biennial Conference on Community Research and Action
Written by Olga Oliveira Cunha, NOVA University, Lisbon Portugal and Douglas D. Perkins, Vanderbilt University
After many years in the most capable hands of Irma Serrano-Garcia as editor, the International Column of The Community Psychologist will be co-edited by Olga Oliveira Cunha and Douglas D. Perkins. We deeply appreciate Irma’s leadership not just in editing this recurring column, but for all her years publishing her own community psychological ideas and research and effectively mentoring so many community psychologists in Puerto Rico and across the Americas, both North and South. Her 2018 SCRA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Theory and Research in Community Psychology was very well-deserved and long overdue. Through her work as an editor and advisor, not just of this column, but even more importantly of the Inter-American Journal of Psychology, of multiple books, including the latest Handbook of Community Psychology, and special issues and every International Community Psychology Conference from the first one at her own campus of the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras to the last one in Santiago, Chile, and the next one in Melbourne, Australia, Irma has played an especially crucial role connecting and influencing community psychologists from Puerto Rico to the United States and all of Latin America, as well as publicizing Puerto Rican community psychology throughout the Western Hemisphere and beyond. So to Irma from the entire SCRA International Committee, muchas gracias!
Prevention and Promotion
Edited by Susana Helm, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Toshi Sasao, International Christian University, and Kayla DeCant, Rape Advocacy, Counseling & Education Services
Co-Chairs (L-R) Susana, Toshi, Kayla. Brainstorming at the Chicago SCRA Biennial 2019
The Prevention and Promotion Interest Group (PP-IG) endeavors “To enhance the development of prevention and promotion research, foster active dialogue about critical conceptual and methodological action and implementation issues, and promote the rapid dissemination and discussion of new developments and findings in the field” as stated on the SCRA website (http://www.scra27.org/who-we-are/interest-groups/). To achieve this goal, the PP-IG co-chairs agreed during our interest group business meeting at the June 2019 SCRA biennial to resurrect the Prevention & Promotion IG column in The Community Psychologist after a decade hiatus. In this column, we will highlight prevention and promotion resources at the local and global level as well as the work of community psychologists and allied professionals engaged in Community Psychology (CP) prevention and promotion. We invite submissions from current and new PP-IG members, from people who present on CP prevention and promotion topics during SCRA biennial and other conferences; and from leading and emergent scholars publishing in prevention and promotion-focused journals. Please refer your colleagues and friends in academia and beyond to our interest group and column. Please email Susana at HelmS@dop.hawaii.edu if you would like to submit an article for our column or if you have resources we may list here.
Edited by August Hoffman, Metropolitan State University
Updates from the Public Policy Committee
Written by Megan Renner, Co-Chair
The mission of the Public Policy Committee comprises a broad range of activities, from communication with policymakers and collaboration with partner organizations, to the provision of educational opportunities and practice experiences for SCRA’s diverse member base. Recent activity highlights have included:
Regional Network News
Edited by Christina Smith, University of Chicago and National Louis University – Regional Network Coordinator
Greetings SCRA Members! The report reflects an exciting diversity of Regional activities, planning, and ECO conferences, which occurred during the fall of 2019. This issues also includes an exciting call for Solidarity, conference presentations, and collaboration opportunities for the The 8th International Conference of Community Psychology. Thank you for the support of the Regional, International, and Student Coordinators for all of your wonderful work and thoughtful reflections on your conference planning and convening experiences. I look forward to an exciting year ahead!
School Intervention Interest Group
Edited by Adam Voight, Cleveland State University
Re-Launch of the SCRA School Intervention Interest Group
Written by Sara Stacy, Michigan State University and Adam Voight, Cleveland State University
Background on the School Intervention IG and current role and mission
We are very excited to announce the “relaunch” of the SCRA School Intervention Interest Group. The current mission of the group is to promote interchange about the theories, methods, knowledge base, and setting factors pertaining to prevention and health promotion programs in schools; to discuss the role of community psychology interventions in the context of current issues facing schools and education. The group has been somewhat dormant the past few years, but the 2019 Biennial has breathed some new life into the group.
Self-Help and Mutual Support Interest Group
Edited by Thomasina Borkman, George Mason University and Ronald Harvey, American University in Bulgaria
GREETINGS AND INTRODUCTION FROM THE NEW CHAIR
Written by Ronald Harvey, American University in Bulgaria
I am happy and honored to accept the chair duties of the Self-help and Mutual Support interest group. Tehseen Noorani has been instrumental in keeping the group alive and well over the past two years. I want to thank him for his service. I also wish to thank the members of the group for your continued interest and participation!
SCRA Member Spotlight
Edited by Dominique Thomas, University of Michigan
The SCRA Member Spotlight lets us engage our members and highlight great work! Each issue we solicit submissions of accomplishments. We especially would like students, early career scholars, and practitioners to submit their accomplishments and work. Submissions can include but are certainly not limited to:
If you are interested in submitting for the next issue, please click this link and fill out the form. We hope to hear from you!
From our Members
Edited by Susan M. Wolfe, Susan Wolfe and Associates
Serdar Değirmencioğlu Acquitted!
News shared by Serdar Değirmencioğlu
Public statement in support of academic freedom for psychologists and others in Turkey
October 22, 2019, American Psychological Association
APA strongly upholds the principles of free and open discussion and free circulation of scientists and academics.
The American Psychological Association supports psychologists and other academics in Turkey who signed the Academics for Peace petition, and reiterates its commitment to academic freedom, the free and responsible practice of science, and freedom of speech.