Council on Cultural, Ethnic and Racial Affairs



CERA's mission is to represent issues of cultural diversity and promote the concerns of people of color as a focus of community research and intervention; to promote training and professional development of people of color interested in community psychology; to advise the Executive Committee on matters of concern to people of color; and to inform and educate the Executive Committee regarding the implications of decisions as they pertain to people of color. 

Chair: Jesica Siham Fernández, Santa Clara University

Chair-elect: Dominique Thomas      


CERA Member Spotlight- Ireri Bernal

Each month CERA will bring to the "spotlight" one of our members to highlight the great work they are doing on campus and in our communities.
This month, we showcase: Ireri Bernal, B.A.!
AffiliationCalifornia State University, Los Angeles
Status: Graduate Student, Research Assistant
Research Interests:
I am currently a graduate student finishing my M.A. in General Psychology. I am interested in all types of social justice oriented research and involved in projects that typically employ a community-focused, action-oriented, interdisciplinary and intersectional lens. For instance, my work as a research assistant with Dr. Bianca Guzman (Community Psychologist and Director of the Pathways Program Office) focuses on improving existing conditions in Latino communities. For example, we sought to (re)define the forms of capital employed by Immigrant Latino parents, contributing to their children's academic success.
In addition I recently started working with the Critical Race Intersectional Praxis and Transformation (CRIPT) Collective, an interdisciplinary research team on campus directed by Dr. Alejandro Covarrubias (Chicano Latino Studies). Our current endeavor focuses on bringing awareness to the various forms of state-sanctioned violence and the disappearance of black and brown bodies, through the use of GIS data-mapping and testimonios. This included working with Dr. Dolores Delgado-Bernal (Education and Chicano Latino Studies) to create testimonios intended to bring awareness to the issue of police brutality in LA County, focusing on the impact and trauma experienced by family members of those murdered at the hands of law enforcement.
Lessons Learned:
I have learned that you should be critical of the work you engage in and aware of your responsibilities as a researcher. It is important to ask yourself about the purpose and intent of your work? Who your work is truly meant to benefit? whether the ways in which you are disseminating your information are appropriate for the audience you hope to reach? I also learned that the type of research typically conducted in psychology is far from equitable. Thus for my own research, I have started to think about ways to increase the gains for my participants and ways in which they can take on more active roles throughout the research process. 
Goals and/or Aspirations:
This fall I will be applying to PhD programs in Community-Psychology. In the meantime, I will continue doing the research and community centered work I am doing now. Ultimately, I would like to come back to teach and mentor at a university like CSULA where I can conduct my own research and lead my own programs or grant initiatives like the ones I see my mentors involved in. Many of CERA’s missions and values coincide with the work I do, particularly involving mentorship and training of students and developing/ maintaining community partnerships. 
Words of Wisdom & Inspiration to CERA Members and Others:
"You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time”- Angela Davis
Thank you Ireri for sharing your passions & commitment to social justice!

Racial & Social Justice Mini-Grant - Deadline: August 31, 2018

Click here for the Call for Proposals

Overview: As academic and community practitioners, we may engage in research, teaching, practice, and advocacy that promotes the principles of racial and social justice.Racial justice seeks equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all, regardless of ethnic, racial, or cultural group.

Proposals may address any of these areas of our work, but race, ethnicity, and/or culture must be central to the understanding of the problem and strategy for addressing the problem. We further support community-oriented students, faculty, post-doctoral fellows, practitioners, researchers, and advocates in all stages of their careers.

Questions: If you have questions, please address them to Sita Patel, 2018 Chair Mini-Grant Committee at or 

Be on the look out for other opportunities!

In other News! 

  • The Community Psychologist - Please consider submitting your piece to the next issue of The Community Psychologist! The deadline to submit is August 15, 2018.
  • MENTORING WEBINARS - Please be on the look out for upcoming webinars. If you are interested in organizing or co-facilitating a webinar, please reach out to Jesica or Dominique. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE WEBINARS, PLEASE CONTACT Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar



  • Friday, August 17 at 10am
  • Friday, September 21 at 11am PST / 2pm EST
  • Friday, October 19 at 11m PST / 2pm EST
  • Friday, November 16 at 11am PST / 2pm EST
  • Friday, December 7 at 11am PST / 2pm EST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Telephone: 1-408-638-0968 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 375 758 797

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 We are always on the look out for new members! For more information or how to join, contact


Information on DACA

Making Caring Common 

Communicating with Competence

Race and Ethnicity-Psychology Today