The Community Psychologist

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

Volume 53, Number 4

Fall 2020

From the President

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Written by Bianca L. Guzmán, California State University, Los Angeles

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~Rumi

 

Last night at about 11:30 PM there was a 4.6-point earthquake whose epicenter was the city of El Monte, in Los Angeles County, California. I live 4 miles from this epicenter. My first reaction was to call my mother to make sure she was okay. What she said to me was this “hija la tierra esta ardiendo de dolor” as a rough translation she said the earth is burning with pain. Her words have stuck with me as I think about how to move forward as a responsible human being.

How do we move forward during a time of such great worldwide turmoil? Politically our country is in dire need of reform. How can we continue to ignore the brutal treatment and killings of our Black community members? How do we dismantle structural racism that has been deliberately constructed to keep out communities of color? 

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From the Editor  

Susan_Wolfe.pngIt’s hard to believe that this is already my final issue as Editor of The Community Psychologist. The past three years have seen some changes. Our biggest change was that we went to an online/emailed PDF format. While many people (me included) mourned the loss of that paper version coming in the mail, there were more benefits than drawbacks. We saved SCRA some money that could be put to better use. The greatest drawback to the printed version was that we had page limits. After we removed them, we were able to accept more articles from members.

I’ve been a member of SCRA and received TCP for many years now. I always looked forward to browsing through each issue when it arrived. As editor, I had to carefully read through all the articles that were submitted. I learned so much from each one of them, that in the future I will continue to read every article.

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Special Feature: Racial Capitalism, COVID-19, and Compounding Inequalities

Edited by Dominique Thomas, TCP Associate Editor

As I write on the week of Indigenous People’s Day, I am constantly reminded of the legacy of that fateful year of 1492. For millions across Earth, it was the onset of an apocalypse. People stolen via the transatlantic slave trade and land stolen from colonialism and imperialism. Disease, war, and enslavement decimated, ravaged, and displaced entire peoples. The people, land, wealth, and knowledge stolen served as the foundation of empires, whose descendants live on as settler-colonial nation-states today. Colonialism, racial capitalism, it is an old story with new names and faces.

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Community Psychology Practice in Undergraduate Settings

Edited by Ashlee Lien, State University of New York Old Westbury and Rachel Hershberg, University of Washington Tacoma 

A LOOK TOWARD THIS UPCOMING YEAR

Written by Ashlee Lien, State University of New York Old Westbury and Rachel Hershberg, University of Washington Tacoma

The Community Psychology Practice in Undergraduate Settings Interest Group is a relatively new interest group of SCRA for those who focus on teaching and mentoring undergraduate students. We are fortunate to have had excellent leadership for the interest group and are especially grateful to the most recent co-chairs, Elizabeth Thomas and Sheree Bielecki. On September 1, 2020, we (Ashlee Lien and Rachel Hershberg) transitioned into the role as new co-chairs for the 2020-2021 Academic Year.

Early Career

Edited by Vernita Perkins, Omnigi

REFLECTIONS ON MULTIPLE PATHWAYS TO COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY AND A CALL TO ACTION 

Written by Michelle Abraczinskas, University of Florida; Ijeoma Ezeofor, TCC Group; Vernita Perkins, Omnigi Research; and Mayah Williams, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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This article is a collaboration between the SCRA Early Career Interest Group (ECIG) and the American Evaluation Association Community Psychology Topical Interest Group (CP TIG)

Every day the need for systems-level change to improve equity, access, and well-being is resounding. As community psychologists, we possess the values and skills to create change. Have we answered the call to action? Are we “walking the talk?” To answer these questions, we considered: 1) how could community psychology (CP) articulate its value-add; 2) how might the field grow its base by harnessing its appeal to both diverse, established professionals and a generation of new learners; and 3) how could the field take action today to demonstrate its uniqueness from other disciplines? The purpose of this article is to evoke reflection on our field; highlight its value add by comparing it to other fields; consider how we inspire and invite people to CP; and demonstrate how we must live our shared values.

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International Committee

Edited by Douglas D. Perkins, Vanderbilt University and Olga Oliveira Cunha, NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities.

This and the international column in the last issue are intended to introduce readers to representative work by the new editors of the column. We invite those doing either collaborative international work, such as the prior example, or those based outside of the U.S. or Canada doing a local community psychology project, such as the following, to send a detailed paragraph proposal for a future article for this column to d.perkins@vanderbilt.edu and cunhaolgaoliveira@gmail.com.

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Prevention and Promotion

Edited by Susana Helm and Jackie Ng-Osorio, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

The Prevention & Promotion IG column of The Community Psychologist highlights P&P resources as well as the P&P work of community psychologist and allied professionals. We invite submissions from SCRA members, from people who present on P&P topics during SCRA and other conferences; and from leading and emergent scholars, including students. Please refer your colleagues and friends in academia and beyond to our interest group and column. Please email me if you would like to submit a brief report or if you have resources we may list here.

Mahalo to my colleague Dr. Jackie Ng-Osorio for guest co-editing our column this quarter to highlight an indigenous approach to youth substance use prevention and community-based health promotion through the lens of emerging indigenous scholars. Jackie and I both work on the Puni Ke Ola (PiKO) project and serve as mentors for the three emerging scholars whose reflections are shared here, and with a brief introduction by Jackie. PiKO is a youth drug prevention program serving as a state model and is situated on the island of Molokai where 60% of the total population identifies as indigenous, and over 80% of school-aged children identify as indigenous. This set of submissions is written in Hawai`i’s two official languages – English and Hawaiian (see Table 1 for a glossary).

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Public Policy

Edited by Amber Kelly, Community Engagement Collective

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: POLICY IMPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGISTS AND TRAINING

Written by Christopher Corbett, Albany, NY

Given the coronavirus pandemic, there could hardly be a more compelling reminder, or stronger demonstration, of the profound role of public policy. It is increasingly clear: public policy decisions made at all levels, whether international, national, regional, state, county, city, village or local neighborhoods, have profound implications for the public health and welfare.

The tragic consequences of the coronavirus have gravely impacted the globe, from least resourced and developing countries, to richest and most developed. No countries are risk free; all remain at risk for continued or further outbreaks. Any disregard for sound public health practices even at the local street level, endangers fragile health systems and communities, and threatens the public welfare. Clearly, current public policies, or lack thereof, at all levels, expose the public to grave risks given the connectedness of nations and communities.

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Regional Network News

Submitted by Regional Coordinators

NEWS FROM THE MIDWEST REGION U.S.

MIDWEST REGIONAL COORDINATORS

Tonya Hall, Chicago State University

MAINTAINING A SENSE OF COMMUNITY IN THE AGE OF A PANDEMIC

Tonya Hall, Chicago State University

Community psychologists are adept at facilitating strong collaborations among various groups within the community with a common goal of resolving social problems that ail and concern society. Several months ago, COVID-19 ushered in an era of social distancing, increased feelings of isolation, wearing face masks, and quarantining within our homes often away from our offices, extended family members, friends, colleagues, and those receiving assistance. All of which may serve to hamper not only our sense of community but our sense of belonging, which could serve to put a damper on our overall well-being. In-person conferences where community psychology academicians, researchers, students, and community members regularly gather to share and hone novel ideas, network and socialize almost seem antiquated as the pandemic barrels into the future. How are community psychologists to effectuate change in the current environment particularly with marginalized groups when restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic abound and persist with seemingly no end in sight? For now, the answer is to utilize, maximize, and master the tools of online platforms and application such as GoToMeeting and Zoom to have meetings, host virtual conferences, and simply stay connected with one another.  

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Research Council

Edited by Chris Keys, DePaul University

RESEARCH SCHOLARS: SUCCESS AND SELECTION

Written by Chris Keys, DePaul University

Quick background: The Research Council was founded in 2017 and decided a good way to begin supporting community research would be to help untenured community psychology faculty enhance their research programs and become tenured. Such scholars may become tenured faculty, contribute to community research literature and mentor future scholars, scholar-practitioners and practitioners for decades to come.

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Rural Interest Group

Edited by Susana Helm, PhD, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

The Rural IG column of The Community Psychologist highlights rural resources as well as the work of community psychologist and allied professionals in their rural environments. We invite submissions from Rural IG members, from people who present on rural topics during SCRA and other conferences, and from leading and emergent rural scholars.

In this TCP issue we are featuring Kenneth Polishchuk from the APA Advocacy office where he serves as Senior Director for Congressional & Federal Relations. We asked Kenneth to elaborate on his May 2020 brief entitled Advocating for Equity in Internet Access for Students Learning from Home, circulated by our APA colleague, Javier Aquino at the Rural Health Network. Kenneth’s article builds on our column in the last issue featuring rural demographic trends and socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic in Rural America (Carson, TCP 53-2). Below Kenneth refers to rural population statistics. For an in-depth discussion of how rural populations are defined and counted, please see TCP Rural IG column 53-2 (Rizzo, et al 2019). Kenneth focuses on access, a long-standing issue in rural health (see TCP 47-3, Rural column).

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Self Help and Mutual Support Interest Group

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

NEW BEGINNINGS: THE 40-YEAR JOURNEY OF A SELF-HELP SUPPORT GROUP

Written by Carol Randolph, New Beginnings

[The founder Carol Randolph of New Beginnings (NB) will tell her narrative (story) of how the group evolved over the last 41 years in two parts. This first part describes the origin and early years when major activities and procedures were developed.  NB began in the late 1970s when divorce in the United States was relatively rare, stigmatized, and often unsupported by family and friends. The second part will deal with formal organizing and the impact of the internet on NB] 

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Student Issues 

Edited by Camilla Cummings, DePaul University

SCRA TRANSITIONS

Written by Jessica S. Saucedo, Michigan State University

Hello to all SCRA members!

Before I introduce myself and my goals as a student representative, I would like to acknowledge the land that I currently occupy, which is now known as East Lansing, Michigan. The following statement was written and approved to be published in printed material by the American Indian and Indigenous Studies program at Michigan State University (MSU).Hello to all SCRA members! 

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SCRA Member Spotlight

Edited by Dominique Thomas, TCP Associate Editor

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!

From Our Members

Edited by Susan M. Wolfe, Susan Wolfe and Associates and The University of Washington

THE INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL FACTORS ON BULLYING IN THE U.S. AND CHINA

Written by Jie Ni, Amy Kerr, Paul Flaspohler, & Jiawei Sun, Miami University

School bullying is a worldwide phenomenon associated with negative outcomes for victims and perpetrators. Recent studies indicate that 20% of students in the United States (Yanez & Seldin, 2019) and 26% of students in China (Han et al., 2017) have been victims of school bullying. While prevalence rates vary widely among studies, it is clear that school bullying remains a significant problem in both countries despite anti-bullying efforts.

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SCRA News

Edited by Susan M. Wolfe, Susan Wolfe and Associates and The University of Washington

CONGRATULATIONS TO CERA MINI-GRANT RECIPIENTS!

Written by Mini-Grant Committee, Council for Ethnic, Racial, and Cultural Affairs

We would like to announce the awardees for the 2020-21 CERA Racial and Social Justice Mini-Grants! We had 19 submissions this year and they were all wonderful and high-quality applications. 

Thank you to everyone else who submitted an application! The difference came down to 1/2 point and does not reflect a lack of quality in any way as we only are able to fund 5 mini-grants. 

Congratulations to the awardees!

  1. The Development of a Research Advisory Board for Latinx Youth in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Dr. Josefina Bañales & Dr. Maya Ragavan
  2. Enhancing the Racial Identities of Youth Through Culturally Relevant Curriculum by Dr. Rome Meeks
  3. Hope, resilience, and action: A qualitative exploration of critical consciousness and sociopolitical development among Black and Latinx adolescent girls by Taina Quiles & Dr. Seanna Leath
  4. Code BLACK: Communication strategies to engage the Black Diaspora in a time of Crisis by Dr. Deveda François, Moshood Olanrewaju, Terence Sinabajije, & Isabel Dos Santos-Johnson
  5. The Systemic Racism Curriculum Project (SRCP) by Dr. Brett Russell Coleman

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