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The
Community
Psychologist

Volume 55, Number 3 Summer 2022

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From the President

Written by Yvette G. Flores, University of California, Davis

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Dear members: I continue to be optimistic about the future of our organization as we continue to face the challenges of a global pandemic, injustice worldwide, and attacks on women’s reproductive rights in the United States. As we know, health disparities faced by BIPOC and communities marginalized by structural racism, sexism, heteronormativity, and ageism have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is much work that we as community psychologists can continue to do to address these disparities and create a more inclusive and just world. The leadership and members of our society continue to engage collectively and individually to address today’s challenges. As I mentioned in February’s column, we need your participation in several committees to bring about the change we hope to see in our organization. I invite you to join us in these endeavors. Our Executive Director, Dr. Amber Kelly, will continue to reach out to you to join us in these efforts.

Below I highlight with you some of the recent events of our Society.

Leadership Transitions

In April of 2022 Dr. Bianca Guzman, our Past President, and Lauren Lichty, our Secretary, resigned. Words cannot do justice to the appreciation I have for their years of service to SCRA. I personally learned a great deal from their leadership in the brief time I have been President. I miss their wisdom and passion. I am honored to have faced challenges alongside them since August of last year and wish them continued success in their professional and personal endeavors. 

The officers and the Executive Committee are moving forward with the business of our Society, including planning for the 2023 Biennial, designing our restorative process, taking steps to continue the work proposed in the response to the Call to Action, calling for RFPs to create a new website that meets our needs, and responding to the administrative support needs of our Councils and Interest Groups. 

It is my hope and intention that having a restorative process in place will help our Executive Committee, including the officers, work through differences for the greater good and create a climate where all feel safe and respected. Likewise, a committee led by Aaron Baker Cervantes, Lauren Lichty, Chris Keys, and Sara Buckingham worked to develop EC meeting processes that are congruent with our Society’s values and vision and will assist us in having more efficient and respectful meetings in which everyone’s voice will be heard. We have begun to utilize these processes and make adjustments as we go along. I am committed as your president to continue, alongside our President Elect, Treasurer, Council Representative and Executive Committee members to work towards creating a Society that supports its members and each other despite our differences.

Building Bridges

Part of that commitment rests on my belief that a historical understanding of our present context is critical in challenging times. As a new leader of our Society, I want to learn from those who came before me about their experience as President and the ways in which they, as community psychologists, responded to challenges. On a practical level, our Society also needs people to step up and fill specific roles beginning in the fall, when we will not have a Past President. It is also clear to me that the Call to Action demanded that the responsibility of changing SCRA should not fall exclusively on the shoulders of BIPOC, especially Black members of our society. Thus, last year I began conversations with past presidents. In the past two weeks I have met with 24 Past Presidents of our Society to solicit their participation next year in Society activities that require the leadership of a Past President. I am delighted to report that several of these individuals volunteered to chair the Nominations, Fellows, and other key committees that will help us continue the work of our Society. These men and women recognize that our Society has changed significantly over the past decade and are willing to remain engaged and continue to learn about the current realities faced by graduate students and early career community psychologists, as well as the needs of BIPOC. They agree that it is not the job of BIPOC to educate others about their reality; however, I hope our Society members will be open to engaging in dialogue with past leaders. They have many fruitful ideas for supporting students, which I will share with the various Councils and Interest Groups.

At our next Executive Committee meeting, I will bring forward a number of motions to officially invite these individuals to engage in the roles we need to continue to carry forward our mission and vision. 

I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Ed Trickett on Monday evening, May 9, 2022. He attended both meetings of past presidents. Thanks to technology, Past Presidents were able to see each other, sometimes after years of not having had the opportunity to connect. I am glad that Dr. Trickett was able to see old friends. I am very touched that he spent the last afternoon of his life sharing his insights and wisdom with me. He we indeed a giant in our field and will be missed. I extend my appreciation for his years of services to community psychology and our Society and my condolences to his family.

Towards the future

As of this writing, APA elections will close soon.  In the next few weeks, we will learn who will be our next secretary and president-elect. I look forward to welcoming them into our leadership team. In the near future, with the assistance of our Executive Director, Dr. Amber Kelly, and the work of Dr. Noe Chavez who has constructed an important summary of the Awards Task Force, we will be on-boarding Dr. Ericka Mingo, who is finishing the term of Member-at-Large for Awards. Hopefully, after the elections, she will continue in that role. We are also working on improving our onboarding process for new officers and Executive Committee Members.

In the summer, the Presidential Stream will begin working on The Theory of Change and Strategic Plan for our Society. We will be reaching out to the membership for your feedback as we proceed with this important work. We are also reviewing our By-Laws and Policies and Procedures to ensure we are conducting the business of the Society according to our guiding documents and/or make changes that reflect our currents needs and realities.

I hope you will be able to attend this year’s APA convention[DT1] . We will let you know about the schedule once it is available. I invite your participation to our programming, my Presidential Address, and our Business Meeting. The support and collaboration of members is essential to ensure a more inclusive space within SCRA where all members feel welcomed and respected.  

Until next time, I wish you health and continued engagement with our division. Feel free to reach out via email: president@scra27.org, or join me during office hours the second Friday of each month, 12-1 Central.

In community, Yvette