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The
Community
Psychologist

Volume 51   Number 4 Fall 2018

From the Editors  Dominique_Thomas.jpgSusan_Wolfe.jpg

Susan M. Wolfe, Susan Wolfe and Associates, susan@susanwolfeandassociates.com and Dominique Thomas, University of Michigan, tdominiq@umich.edu

We think the biggest news for this issue is the new delivery format and the look of the new TCP. We hope you like it. For those of you who will miss the paper copy arriving in the mail, we hear your pain. Susan loves thumbing through a physical copy and will also miss it. However, we are excited about the possibilities this new format will provide. First, we won’t have the space limitations and will be able to share more pictures and content without having to shrink the font size so small that we need to use a magnifying glass to read it or be forced to hold back articles until future issues. Second, it allows us more freedom and flexibility for layout and design. And third, we will be saving the lives of countless trees as we move forward with the pdf format. We hope that the wonderful content we have received from SCRA members will compensate and we invite you to print and share it.

We are once again excited to share all the great articles we received with you. Welcome to our new SCRA President, Brad Olson. Thank you to Yolanda Saurez-Balcazar for her service and inspiring columns. In his first column Brad shares his thoughts about returning to the SCRA Executive Committee.

In this issue’s special feature Bret Kloos and Gina Hijjawi share information about the SCRA Leadership Development Fellowship Program. This feature includes articles by LDF Fellows – Janelle M Silva, Dawn X. Henderson, and Jennifer Wallin-Ruschmann. They also introduce the 2017-2019 Cohort of Leadership Development Fellows - Noé Rubén Chávez, Jessica Shaw, and Adam Voight.

The Community Practitioner offers two columns that illustrate how spirituality influences community psychologists and their work. The first is a column we had to hold over from the last issue because of space limitations. The column tells Carlos Luis’s story about how his spirituality and faith led him to Community Psychology. The second describes a mission trip by a team from Andrews University led by Dr. Melissa Ponce-Rodas to promote empowerment, hope, and healing in a community in Puerto Rico traumatized by natural disaster.

The CERA column offers an exciting announcement and an article about maternal mortality and the role of institutional racism. The high rates of maternal mortality, especially among African American women, have received a great deal of attention nationwide, and especially in Susan’s home state of Texas, which has one of the highest rates in the nation. SCRA members who are doing work in racial disparities in health and other areas will likely find this perspective as relevant to their work.

Both the Criminal Justice and Policy columns focus on the police. The Criminal Justice column shares Kassy Alia’s experience as the widow of a police officer, and how she has used this experience to bring about transformative change in the relationships between police officers and the communities they serve. The Policy column shares results of research on youth perceptions of the Baltimore City School Police Force. This article demonstrates the range of responses to police officers based on the way the officers approach their jobs, in addition to various levels of context such as school climate, teacher and administrator roles, and relationships. Not only was the content interesting, but this article really illustrates the value in applying ecological models and frameworks in evaluation.

The Education Connection column was also held over from the last issue. In their column, Karinna Nazario, Taylor Strange, Alicia Beadle, Lisa Kawecki, and Nghi D. Thai share the community participatory research experience of three students (two Masters’ and one Undergraduate) and a community partner. They provide a great example of how faculty can incorporate community-based projects into their classrooms and provide students with hands-on experiences at the same time they serve their community partners.

Earlier this year SCRA released its Policy Statement on the Effects of Deportation and Forced Separation (see http://scra27.com/what-we-do/policy/policy-position-statements/effects-deportation-families/#HwoU8pFpmBOP5wUV.99) with recommendations. As discriminatory immigration policies and practices continue, many SCRA members have increased their advocacy efforts. The Immigrant Justice column presents Fabricio Balcazar’s summary of presentations from a symposium on the psychological and social harm to immigrant youth and families in detention facilities. The descriptions of the behavioral changes and symptoms of mental distress in children should be enough to get all of us mobilized to advocate for the families that are being treated in such a manner by the U.S. government.

We are excited to report that Gloria Levin has returned with another Living Community Psychology column! Over the years Gloria has shared many of our colleagues’ stories that illustrate the diversity of backgrounds of community psychologists, and the experiences and interests that have driven so many to the field. Having been one of Gloria’s subjects I can attest to just how deep she makes us dig during her interviews. Then she weaves it all together in a way that tells our story, while allowing us to review and edit to our own comfort level before she submits the column. In this issue she shares Louis Brown’s story and we learn about his journey from Silver Spring, MD to El Paso, TX.  Gloria, it is good to have you back. And, Louis, thanks for sharing your story.

We also have an update from Scot Evans and the Regional Coordinators. Check it out and find out what’s happening in your region! The Research column announces the launch of the SCRA Research Fellows Program which is designed to give SCRA members who are pursuing academic careers a boost with funding and mentoring.

We have two articles that introduce novel self-help initiatives. First, the Self-Help and Mutual Support column introduces Psychedelics in Recovery, an addiction recovery mutual aid group. Second, an article in the From our Members section that was held over from the last issue by Kristen Schramer and Kathryn Lafreniere describes the importance of online communities for individuals affected by Turner Syndrome.

The Student Issues column includes two articles. One, held over from the last issue, discusses how instructors can use disclosure when they teach about diversity. This information is useful for graduate instructors and everyone else who teaches. In their second column we meet Joy Agner, the new SCRA National Student Representative. Congratulations Joy!

In addition to the standard columns, we have content submitted by our members. First is a book review written by Ann Price about Martha Brown’s Creating Restorative Schools.  We have an article by David Glenwick, John Moritsugu, Andrew Rasmussen, and Philip Sicker on using fiction in undergraduate community psychology courses. It was printed in a prior issue of TCP but a segment of the article was omitted. We also have two more member-submitted articles that were held over from the last issue. Chris Corbett shares a call to action to prevent climate change. August John Hoffman describes a community garden project.

We are very happy to share the newest TCP column, initiated by Dominique, called the SCRA Member Spotlight. This column allows members to engage and highlight their great work.  The article includes a link that members can click to fill out a form whenever they have good news to share. So, we ask that you please fill out this form when something big happens. This can include any professional milestone, such as a grant, promotion, new job, retirement, successful dissertation or masters’ thesis defense, publication, or anything else that you are patting yourself on the back for.  We would also welcome personal milestones if you would like to share them, such as new babies, weddings, lottery winnings or other great things that happen to you. Please let us all celebrate with you!

Finally, we have announcements that include that it is time for award nominations (come on everyone, get busy and nominate your colleagues!) and pictures from the handing over of the gavel from Yolanda to Brad at the APA Convention. 

We hope you enjoy this issue. If you enjoy it, or really hate it, please let us know by sending an email to tcp@scra27.org