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Volume 54, Number 3 Summer 2021
Edited by Dominique Thomas, Independent Scholar
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.
John likewise had enjoyed a long and distinguished academic career and was known for his many contributions to understanding the predictors of HIV/AIDS risk reduction, the effects of behavioral interventions to reduce this risk behavior, and the social determinants of racial disparities in HIV infection, primarily among Black men who have sex with men. He was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the Society for Community Research and Action, included in Florida A & M University’s Gallery of Distinction, a Horace H. Rackham Prize Fellow at the University of Michigan; and he served as a member of the National Academies of Science–Institute of Medicine’s Committee on LGBT Health Research.
After teaching at Claremont’s McKenna College and Graduate School in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and realizing in particular the growing impact of the early AIDS epidemic on African American men, he joined the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), a key program of the AIDS Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, where he served as a Research Scientist from 1986 to 1993. In 1994 he joined the Department of Psychology’s Community Program at Georgia State University, first as an Associate Professor, then as a full Professor from 2003 until his retirement. He leaves a record of over 70 publications, nearly 20 books and book chapters, and over 100 conference presentations, many with students he mentored. He collaborated widely, not just with his colleagues at CAPS, but also with colleagues at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, and on projects with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He was known for his active mentoring of Black social and behavioral scientists and was among the most respected researchers on the Black HIV experience, influencing protocols on how to pursue outreach and reduce infection among African American men.
He leaves behind a wide circle of friends in the academic research community nationally; many friends in the HIV/AIDS and gay activist community in Atlanta; friends in Black and White Men Together, especially the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta chapters. The National Association of BWMT had planned to present John its Lifetime Achievement Award at its 40th Convention in New Orleans this July; it will now do so posthumously.
He also leaves behind all those who loved Leontyne Price, spirited conversation, and an orderly, kempt desk as much as he did.
The following message is sent on behalf of Susan Torres -Harding.
Dear SCRA members:
We are pleased to announce the results of the SCRA elections for the offices of president-elect and member-at-large.
Yvette Flores was elected to be our next president-elect, and Dawn Henderson was elected to be our newest member-at-large. Both will start their terms in August during the annual APA convention. Yvette is a professor of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California Davis. Dawn is the Director of Research at Village of Wisdom, a community-based organization that supports family organizing and advocacy to eliminate racial injustice in schools. Please see their candidate statements (attached) for more information about their professional backgrounds and exemplary accomplishments to date. Congratulations to Yvette and Dawn, and we look forward to having them join the SCRA leadership!
On the heels of Black Maternal Health Week and Infertility Awareness Week, I recently shared a personal story of financial trauma and racial-gender health disparities experienced by Black Americans battling infertility. Racial-economic oppression is the cornerstone of mass inaccessibility to high quality, culturally responsive health care and it’s killing Black Americans. As America continues to collectively experience the impact of COVID-19 and police brutality, Black Americans still struggle to pay for resources to address past and present health and racial trauma in today’s socio-cultural climate.
I challenge the members of this great organization to offer community, collaboration and conceptualization of US reparations alongside the Biden Administration with the formation of a US Reparations Study Interest Group. Community Psychologists looking to ‘uproot white supremacy’ are essential to the study of financial, health and educational equity opportunities for descendants of African slaves, specifically within the higher education institutions we serve. To focus the SCRA community on multiple dimensions of Black diversity, personal wellness, and access to related resources, a comprehensive, ecological US reparations recommendation plan should materialize; the kind of plan that only a Community Psychologist coalition could design. Liberation is hard to maintain for Black communities because America financially benefits from Black oppression and labor. Its citizens have historically, deliberately and repeatedly destroyed what was built by these communities. A SCRA Reparations work group could be helpful in dismantling this American oppression and would support advancement of the Biden reparations study.
In brainstorming with other Community Psychologists and in processing the deaths of unarmed Chicago 13 year old Adam Toledo, 20 year old unarmed father, Daunte Wright along with processing the televised trial of Derek Chauvin and conviction for the murder of George Floyd, we realize that America can no longer afford to avoid, escape or postpone the urgency of racial justice at the expense of the most targeted. It was clear that broader conversations inclusive of more SCRA members for community collaboration, participation and a sense of empowerment would be most helpful. As Community Psychologists with privileges, resources, global perspective and empirical analysis skill sets in self-determination, community strength and resilience, who better to lead this work?
I do realize that just saying the WORD reparations is somewhat taboo for some, uncomfortable for others and representative of a stigmatized government handout. On the contrary, centering US reparations truly focuses on decentralizing colonialism and white pathology by dismantling the most powerful tools and resources for those that have been systematically snuffed out. Researchers, professors, NFP leaders and policy changers within our organization cannot shrink away from the current socio-cultural climate and the US economic system is rooted in white supremacy, brutality, and educational-economic oppression of Black Americans. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has remained unnavigable for many African descendants and liberation and equity actions have already been deferred or defeated with violent opposition. If not now for US Reparations, when?
SCRA has the power to create a sense of connectedness, accountability and conceptualization of US reparations for ecological, comprehensive, sustainable and ATTAINABLE recommendations. We have seen evidence in both public and private Black wealth and opportunity policies. I believe Community Psychologists are more equipped than private conglomerates or government entities to do this task.
US Reparations is not a pipe dream meant to be invalidated by the privileged for the disregard of the marginalized. It represents potential freedom and accessibility for Black communities if US reparations are defined in our lifetime and not left to yet another generation due to silence, fear, capitalism, and misogyny. Community Psychologists could be sharing grounded research and innovative work in a dedicated workspace tasked while defining the components of US reparations, alongside the HR40 coalition.
I am reaching out to our Listserv to determine if there are other interested members willing to provide signatures and participate in the establishment of a SCRA ad hoc US reparations Study work group. Please join me in becoming the type of change that provides Black Americans with true investment in social justice and freedom from American slavery and oppression.
Here is the link to sign up:
PhD Candidate, National-Louis University
Did you miss the SCRA Finances Info Session for Members hosted by our Treasurer Jim Cook? Log in to www.scra27.org to review the video and presentation. Here is the link
The Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership, in collaboration with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection-Morehouse College, invites you to join a timely discussion on Dr. King’s text, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? This book remains relevant more than fifty years after it was written. We have an incredible lineup of thought leaders and look forward to an inspiring and productive conversation. If you are able, please read the book or check out the audible version, in advance of the session. The virtual event will take place on Tuesday June 29th at 7p EST. Please register here https://bit.ly/3uQOSbb.
Bianca Guzman, Rhonda Lewis, and I are excited to announce a Call for Papers for a Special Issue of the American Journal of Community Psychology titled "Racial reckoning, resistance, and the revolution: A call to community psychology to move forward." This Special Issue is a collaborative effort among a group of scholars who participated in Division 27 2020 Presidential Address on "Subverting White supremacy, centering Black lives amidst two public health Crises: Anti-Black racism and COVID19." These scholars were Ireri Bernal, Khanh Dinh, Yvette Flores, Jesica Fernández, Laura Kohn-Wood, and Susan Torres-Harding. Please see a description of the call below. We were asked to extend the deadline to August 6, 2021, to accommodate presenters who will be attending the upcoming biennial conference. The call is attached.
The American Journal of Community Psychology (AJCP) will accept manuscripts for a special issue of the journal, to be published in 2022. The rationale of the Special Issue for AJCP underscores the need for community psychology and other allied disciplines to address two pandemics facing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). The first pandemic, represents racial reckoning, which is defined as the subjugation of BIPOC to racial hierarchies and subordinate groups that influence health, educational, financial, physical, and social outcomes across the developmental lifespan as well as generations (Corral, 2020; Kwon & Kposowa, 2017; Xu & Lee, 2013). The second pandemic, Coronavirus (COVID-19), cast light on the lasting healthcare disparities, with BIPOC communities representing a substantial percentage of infections and deaths (CDC, 2020a; 2020b; Egede & Walker, 2020; Novacek et al, 2020; Price-Haywood, et al., 2020; Rodriguez-Diaz, et al, 2020; Thakur, et al., 2020). To address the two pandemics, Bernal and colleagues (2020) stress the importance for community psychologists and allied fields to discuss and confront how racial hierarchies and supremacy manifest within community psychology and the broader society. More specifically, this special issue will focus on centering BIPOC amidst two pandemics: Anti-BIPOC and COVID19. The special issue will address the following questions: How does the concept of racial hierarchy obstruct community psychologists from investigating racial inequalities and the differential experiences of BIPOC? How do tenets of community psychology unknowingly promote racial hierarchies in teaching, research, and practice? In what ways and why did two pandemics ignite the field of community psychology to examine anti-BIPOC racism in teaching, research, and practice? How do the fields of community psychology and allied disciplines (e.g., public health, social work) engage White scholars to move them away from positioning themselves as both progressives and gatekeepers of scholarship and practice? What are the political implications of claims made about anti-racism and community psychology? What role does the idea of White fragility play in community psychology and allied fields moving forward and healing from historical inequalities?
We invite you to contribute your research to our Special Issue on Two Pandemics: Racial Reckoning and COVID-19. Submissions can fall into one of these five categories:
To be considered for the special issue, interested authors should send a 1000-word abstract to Pamela Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) by August 6, 2021. Submissions should contain a title, author(s) name(s), affiliation(s), and an abstract. Please note identifying information (i.e., name and affiliation) should be submitted as a separate document.
All final submissions should follow the journal’s author guidelines and submit manuscripts using the authors’ portal https://www.editorialmanager.com/ajcp/default.aspx
For more information, please contact the guest editors:
Pamela P. Martin, Professor, Barnwell College Rm 224B, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, email@example.com 919.641.4559
Rhonda K. Lewis, Professor and Chair, 1845 N. Fairmount, Box 34, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS 67260, firstname.lastname@example.org 316-978-3695
Bianca L. Guzmán, Professor, Director, 5151 State University Drive, LA, CA 90032, California State University Los Angeles, CA, email@example.com 310-623-0132
Bernal, I., Dinh, K., Flores, Y., Fernandez, J., Kohn-Wood, L., Lewis, R. Martin, P., Guzman, B, & Torres-Harding, S. (2020). Subverting White supremacy, centering Black lives amidst two public health Crisis: Anti-Black racism and COVID19. American Psychological Association, Division 27, Society for Community Research and Action, Presidential Address Panel, Online.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020a). Cases, data, and surveillance. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases- updates/index.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020d). CDC data show disproportionate COVID-19 impact in American Indian/Alaska Native populations. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0819-covid-19-impact-american-indian-alaska- native.html
Corral, Á. J. (2020). Allies, Antagonists, or Ambivalent? Exploring Latino Attitudes about the Black Lives Matter Movement. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 42(4), 431- 454. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739986320949540
Egede, L. & Walker, R. (2020). Structural racism, social risk factors, and Covid-19 – A dangerous convergence for Black Americans. The New England Journal of Medicine. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2023616.
Kwon, R. & Kposowa, K. (2017). Shifting racial hierarchies: An analysis of residential segregation among multi-racial and mono-racial groups in the United States, Population Studies, 71(1), 83- 99, DOI: 10.1080/00324728.2016.1254813
Novacek, D., Hampton-Anderson, J., Ebor, M., Loeb, T., & Wyatt, G. (2020). Mental health ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic for black Americans: clinical and research recommendations. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy,12 (5), 449–451.
Price-Haywood, E., Burton J., Fort D. &, Seoane L. (2020). Hospitalization and mortality among black patients and white patients with COVID-19. The New England Journal of Medicine, 382(26), 2534-2543. doi:10.1056/ NEJMsa2011686
Rodriguez-Diaz, C., Guilamo-Ramos, V., Mena, L., Hall, E., Honermann, B., Crowley, J., Baral, S., Prado, G., Marzan-Rodriguez, M., Beyrer, C., Sullivan, P., & Millett, G. (2020). Risk for COVID-19 infection and death among Latinos in the United States: examining heterogeneity in transmission dynamics. Annals of epidemiology, 52, 46–53. e2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.07.007
Thakur, N., Lovinsky-Desir, S., Bime, C., Wisnivesky, J. P., & Celedón, J. C. (2020). The Structural and Social Determinants of the Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the U.S. COVID-19 Pandemic. What's Our Role?. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 202(7), 943–949. https://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.202005-1523PP
Xu, J., & Lee, J. (2013). "The marginalized" model" minority: An empirical examination of the racial triangulation of Asian Americans. Social Problems; 91(4), 1363–97.