Volume 54, Number 3 Summer 2021

Critical Community Psychology Interest Group

Edited by Natalie Kivell, Wilfrid Laurier University and Chris Sonn, Victoria University
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. Prior to the pandemic, we had set lofty goals for this year, many of which did not see the light of day, and others that we continue to chip away at together. Though our work on centering care, relationality, and being an entry place for critically oriented students, faculty, and practitioners has continued to see us growing and developing as a new interest group.
In this update we will provide a brief overview of our year, re-center our goals for the future, and invite you to a Global Gathering co-hosted by the Critical CP interest Group in partnership with Community Psychologists in leading and emerging regions of Critical Community Psychology around the world. 

Overview of our year. First, we hosted a session at the International Conference of Community Psychology (ICCP), digitally hosted by Victoria University in Melbourne Australia. This session proposed a global knowledge exchange project. This session re-energized our group after a lapse due to the pandemic, and we pulled together an end of year Critical CP gathering in December to check in and plan for the future. We published our inaugural TCP column for our interest group in Winter 2020, had an additional 77 SCRA members join our interest group in 2020, with another 70+ members since the beginning of 2021. Further, we populated the Critical CP page on the SCRA website with general information and resources. 

Goals for the Future. We are excited about our plans going forward and are working to support and fund different components of these goals to ensure a feasible and actionable impact from our work. 
  • Goals for the upcoming year: 

    • Launch our global knowledge exchange podcast project (outlined below) to forge a connected Global Critical CP community and build our collective capacities 

    • Submit regular interest group columns to the TCP.

    • Hold an interest group meeting at SCRA 2021 

    • Promote Critical CP-oriented sessions at SCRA 2021

    • Hold quarterly interest group meetings over Zoom. 

  • Longer term goals: 

    • Plan a Critical CP special issue in an open access journal 

      • (we currently have one planned for in Community Psychology in Global Perspectives for our Global Knowledge Exchange project) 

  • Ongoing goals: 

    • Develop Critical CP teaching materials for availability on SCRA website.

    • Promote critically-oriented graduate CP programs.

    • Continue to build and engage the interest group membership and relationships with other critically oriented psychologists and applied scholars as we navigate the development of CCP together 

Inviting all Critical Community Psychology students, faculty, and practitioners: Global Gathering at July 14that 7am EST AND 7pm EST

Hosted during two different time slots to accommodate global participation and engagement, we invite all critical scholars and practitioners to join us at our first session in a bi-monthly series of gatherings to build a global knowledge mobilization project titled - Global Knowledge Exchange to increase scholarly impact and inform everyday praxis: Forging a connected Critical Community Psychology. What we are proposing is a global dialogue and developing a relational network to increase our capacity to mobilize knowledge and develop our capacity.

This global project will include: (1) Virtual CCP Global Gatherings, which will involve facilitated dialogues to identify and synthesize theoretical, epistemological, methodological, and practical advances within and across global regions, and; (2) A 16-episode co-created multi-lingual Podcast Series aimed at mobilizing these advances in an engaging and accessible way. Our gatherings and podcast will focus on: (a) the diverse contexts under which CCP research is undertaken; (b) the theories and methodologies driving CCP praxis; (c) our collective community engagement practices; (d) policy and practice successes, and; (e) identifying areas requiring more empirical and theoretical work. We have assembled partners representing 7 regions including co-applicants from Canada, Australia, South Africa, Chile, and Indonesia, institutional support from Aotearoa New Zealand and the United States, and a seven-member graduate student collective. Most importantly, Throughout the project we have and will continue to center the voices of Black Indigenous, and scholars of colour, emerging scholars and other historically marginalized scholars amplifying their contributions to the discipline and build a rich network of relationships and knowledge mobilization products. 

At each gathering, starting in July 2021 and continuing until Fall of 2022, we will focus on a theoretical, methodological, and/or epistemological advancement in Critical CP led by scholars and practitioners representing different global regions where we will co-create content for one episode of our multilingual podcast and focus on skill sharing with those present at the gathering to understand, critique, and build on these advancements and reflect on their applicability in our own praxis. 

This project is about making CCP knowledge more connected, accessible, engaging, and less esoteric and abstract. We want to collectively ground our critical framing in our everyday praxis. Further, we want to imagine the world differently and reflect this imagination in our praxis. With this project we will continue our work to unsettle CP, northern hegemony, and the continuing colonizing nature of Psychology, and Community Psychology. 

Author information: Natalie Kivell, Wilfrid Laurier University,; Chris Sonn, Victoria University,