The Community Psychologist

A Publication of the Society for Community Research and Action
Division 27 of the American Psychological Association

Volume 54, Number 3

Summer 2021

From the President

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Written by Bianca L. Guzmán, Rhonda K. Lewis and Pamela P. Martin

As I complete my term as president I cannot help but think about what I along with the officers and the executive committee, and all the committees, councils and task forces have accomplished during such a historic year in the United States and around the world. I continue to be amazed that in some capacity we all kept working on our assigned tasks for SCRA despite the COVID-19 and racial reckoning pandemics. As a nation we are still in the center of vaccinating the country while other countries like India continue to struggle with death and despair as COVID-19 continues to rapidly kill vulnerable populations. 

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From the Editors  

Written by Dominique Thomas, Independent Scholar and Allana Zuckerman, Mesa Community College

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Hello everyone! We are excited to bring you the Summer 2021 issue of The Community Psychologist!

We hosted a pre-conference workshop for the SCRA Biennial: Uprooting White Supremacy on June 14, The Community Psychologist: A Practical Guide to Decolonizing Knowledge Sharing. 

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Council for Cultural, Ethnic, and Racial Affairs

Edited by Jesica Siham Fernández, Santa Clara University and Geraldine (Geri) Palmer, Adler University, Community Wellness Institute

Putting Our Intentions to Praxis: A Preview into the GJCPP Special Issue on Racial Justice and Anti-Racist Practice

Written by Jesica Siham Fernández, jsfernandez@scu.edu, Santa Clara University and Geraldine (Geri) Palmer, gpalmer080@gmail.com, Adler University, Community Wellness Institute

One of my favorite words, and one that my students know I use frequently is PRAXIS. Praxis, in my mind, is a radical word! First, it has an X, which is rare to find in most words. Second, it’s short, catchy and translatable -- easily flows between English and Spanish, and even Spanglish. Third, it means putting knowledge into action, theory into practice; walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Praxis means prACTice: to act with intentionality and consistency.

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Critical Community Psychology Interest Group

Edited by Natalie Kivell, Wilfrid Laurier University nkivell@wlu.ca and Chris Sonn, Victoria University Christopher.Sonn@vu.edu.au

 

Hello SCRA Community!

Here we are, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, both seething and hopeful in the face of the exasperation of the issues and injustices at the heart of Critical Community Psychology praxis - racial capitalism, neoliberal globalization, patriarchy, and colonialism - alongside unprecedented and beautiful movements of collective and community care.

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Early Career

Edited by Vernita Perkins, Omnigi Research

The Early Career Interest Group Quarterly Column

Edited by Vernita Perkins, Omnigi Research

Meet the Early Career Members

Each quarter, we will continue to introduce members of the ECIG, so readers can learn more about our members and explore opportunities for research and practice collaborations.

Natalie Flaming

I discovered Community Psychology and joined SCRA last summer. Pre-college, I spent many years actively engaged in community advocacy and was a liaison and representative for families in a high-crime neighborhood. I continued to be actively involved in leadership roles when I began my college journey in 2013, but surprisingly, faculty and textbooks made no mention of this field.

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From Our Members

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Independent Scholar

Exposing Climate Change “Solutions”: Preventing Exploitation of Indigenous Peoples Through Op Ed Publication

Written by Christopher Corbett, Independent Researcher

Introduction     

     As community psychologists, we are called upon, and trained, to intervene at the highest levels of systems to address the greatest problems communities face. Given the harsh realities of climate change and complexities it presents, how can we, as community psychologists, begin to address this existential threat to the U.S. and planet?  

Immigrant Justice

How Higher Education Can Support Immigrants’ Resistance to Injustice and Oppression 

Written by Sara L. Buckingham, University of Alaska Anchorage; Regina Day Langhout, University of California, Santa Cruz; Dana Rusch and Tara Mehta, University of Illinois at Chicago; Noé Rubén Chávez, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; Kevin Ferreira van Leer, California State University, Sacramento; Ashmeet Oberoi, University of Miami; Monica Indart, Rutgers University; Virginia Paloma, Universidad de Sevilla; V. Elizabeth King, University of Georgia; Brad Olson, National Louis University

Many immigrants experience oppression in their communities. Oppression occurs as those with more power exercise dominance over those with less (Prilleltensky, 2003). Oppression is woven into norms and dominant narratives in organizations and institutions (Shpungin et al., 2011), and is revealed through laws, customs, and practices (Kelly & Varghese, 2018).

International Committee

Edited by Olga Oliveira Cunha and Douglas D. Perkins

Brief Report: Intervention with graduate students: A community psychology perspective  

Written by Olga Oliveira Cunha, NOVA FCSH - Psychology, Inclusion, and Equality Service (PsII+), APPsyCI- Applied Psychology Research Center Capabilities & Inclusion (ISPA-IU)

Introduction

In Portugal, we have had psychological services within higher education institutions for about 20 years, mainly in public institutions. Initially, interventions and activities of these Psychological Services were mainly focused on Counselling and Clinical approaches for individual students. However, throughout the years, these services have increased their interventions to not only support other actors in these institutions-- namely teachers, non-teaching staff and administrators-- but also expand their psychological approaches through collaborative, consulting, and empowering methods.

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Living Community Psychology

Edited by Gloria Levin, glorialevin@verizon.net

“Living Community Psychology” highlights a community psychologist through an in-depth interview that is intended to depict both personal and professional aspects of the featured individual. The intent is to personalize Community Psychology as it is lived by its diverse practitioners. Most of the prior columns (which date from the late 1980s) are available online at http://www.scra27.org/publications/tcp/tcp-past-issues These past columns contain a wealth of life advice gleaned from over 65 profiled community psychologists, from graduate students to retirees, representing an invaluable resource for the field.

For this installment, we feature Dominique Thomas, an early career community psychologist, 3 years after earning his Ph.D. from Georgia State University. Unlike many people in our field who work with and/or study minority and often poor communities, he brings to his work lived experience, both as a black person and raised within a lower-income family. Surrounded by a supportive village of nurturing teachers and a determined grandmother, and being named “gifted” early, he has been able to succeed academically. Nevertheless, his early disadvantages can bedevil him as he endeavors to secure a stable foothold in life and to make a valuable contribution to persons who are not blessed by a village such as his.

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Reading Circle

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Independent Scholar and Allana Zuckerman, Mesa Community College

To encourage an ongoing dialogue with each other about what we are reading and how those readings are influencing our work, we are starting a reading circle and recommended reading list. Each issue we will share resources that have influenced our work and provide a space for additional submissions. This is a space for people to share what they are reading so we can get an idea of the different knowledge bases people are exposed to and what is influencing their research and practice. This is also a way for us to share information and knowledge across a variety of topics to showcase and enhance richness of thought within the field.

This week we are including a list of resources with information about mentoring students from diverse backgrounds. We hope you take a look at these and if there are additional resources please email us at the TCP!

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Real Talk

Edited by Dominique Thomas and Allana Zuckerman, Mesa Community College

Community psychology graduate students occupy several roles in their institutions. This gives graduate students unique vantages to some of the underlying issues in higher education. Disparities in graduate programs, student mental health, and mentoring are key issues that graduate students may organize themselves around. In our time as graduate students, we walked the various tightropes of scholar/student-activist, student-researcher, lecturer, junior mentor, and student organizer. The typically isolating experience of graduate school is improved when students can find common cause to advocate for and with each other.

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Regional Network News

Submitted by Regional Coordinators

News from Canada

Written by Natalie Kivell, Wilfrid Laurier University

As the new Canada regional chair, I am ready and excited to support and grow our longstanding Community Psychology community in Canada! In this new role I will be re-launching our TCP regional updates and directing energy towards amplifying and reconnecting our vibrant network of Canadian practitioners, faculty, students, and alumni! 

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Rural Interest Group

Column Editor (out-going 2021) Susana Helm, PhD, Univ. of Hawai`i at Mānoa, 

The Rural IG column of TCP highlights rural resources as well as the work of community psychologists and allied professionals in their rural environments. As of summer 2021, the column editor will transition to a new person to be identified at the SCRA virtual biennial.

Brief Report: Rural as Healer

Rural Rescue

Written by Susana Helm, University of Hawai`i, HelmS@dop.hawaii.edu

Rural spaces are healing spaces according to global sustainability initiatives (see the UN), in spite of the fact that rural and remote areas internationally remain medically underserved and rural people consistently rank higher in physical and mental health ailments. I continue to grapple with this juxtaposition – that (sub)urbanites withdraw rural assets to sustain life in the metropolis, and later deposit themselves in rural spaces to heal from urban ills without addressing the rural-urban inequities.

Self-Help and Mutual Support Interest Group

Edited by Thomasina Borkman, George Mason University and Ronald Harvey, American University in Bulgaria

New Beginnings, Part 3:  Membership Declines with Internet growth

Written by Carol Randolph, New Beginnings

[Carol Randolph, founder of New Beginnings (NB) continues her narrative (story) of how the group became organized, grew and evolved in functions over the last 41 years in this second installment. The third and final installment will discuss how the internet affected New Beginnings as well as other self-help support groups and relate New Beginnings’ journey to that of other similar groups. Contact: NewBCarol@verizon.net and www.newbeginningsusa.org]

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Student Issues 

Edited by Jessica S. Saucedo, Michigan State University

The Effects of Stigma on Students with Learning Disabilities and Inclusive Classroom Practices

Written by: Jenalyn Agena, Gabrielle Boecker, and Haley Churchill, University of Hawaii at Mānoa

Many believe that the best way to “help” people with disabilities is to give them a separate space where their specific needs can be met. It was only in 1975 that the Education for Handicapped Act guaranteed all people with disabilities the right to public education (Kirby, 2017). By 2014, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 132,000 students with disabilities were receiving assistance from the federal special education program (Rogers & Johnson, 2018). Despite this law, stigma and inequality persist and contribute negatively to the learning of students with learning disabilities (LD). Inclusive classrooms provide meaningful and accessible education for students with disabilities consisting of appropriate accommodations that allow students to gain access to the general education curriculum (Agran et. al., 2014). Within general classrooms, stigma continues to harm the social-emotional health and academic ability of students with LD and has stalled the implementation of instructional and classroom-environmental changes that would produce a truly inclusive classroom setting for all students.

SCRA News

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Independent Scholar

John Lamont Peterson (1949–2021)

Professor Emeritus John Lamont Peterson died unexpectedly of natural causes May 23, 2021, at the age of 72.  He had served on the Faculty of Georgia State University’s Department of Psychology until his retirement in 2015.  Born April 22, 1949, in Orlando, Florida, he was the only child of John Sheppard Peterson and Maggie Peterson, now deceased.  His domestic partner, Lupin Loughborough, died in 1993.  He is survived by his cousins Tracy Anderson and Julia Diggle and other relatives in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, California, Pennsylvanian, New York, and New Jersey.  

He graduated with honors from Jones High School in Orlando and attended summer studies at Harvard University.  He graduated from Florida A & M University in 1970 and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1974.  His mentor was James Jackson, one of the most eminent African American psychologists of the last half century, known for his studies on the impact of racial disparities on minority health and for his many professional contributions. 

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SCRA Member Spotlight

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Independent Scholar

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:

  • New jobs
  • Post-docs
  • Promotions
  • Thesis/Dissertation Defenses
  • Newly published journal articles, books, chapters
  • Podcasts, blogs, news items that are by or about you
  • Certifications or other credentials
  • Retirement
  • Grants
  • Awards
  • Successful/ongoing projects
  • New projects or community initiatives

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!