Irma Serrano-García - SCRA Representative to APA Council
The guiding values of community psychology and similar professions include diversity, participation and social justice. APA, as one of the largest, most powerful psychological associations in the world can have a significant impact in this direction if it so chooses, although most of its current emphasis is on guild issues. Fostering these values within and outside of the organization will be one of my main concerns if elected to represent SCRA in APA Council. Diversity can be fostered in training of ethnic minority psychologists, integrating multidisciplinary perspectives to the analysis of issues affecting diversity and facilitating access of minorities to resources within APA. Participation requires broadening voices heard and opening venues for decision making for its membership. Social justice is strengthened by increasing diversity and participation focusing on pressing social issues such as unemployment, protection of our environment, aging of our population, health services, among others.
Another of my interests is promoting an international perspective within APA. The recent international conferences in community psychology evidence the strength of our discipline worldwide and the variety of ideas, interventions, research methods and training strategies that abound outside of the U.S. I am certain that this is the case with other disciplines also. In my experience in APA international focus has been placed more on Europe than on other areas which currently provide challenging ideas such as Latin America, Africa and Asia. The time in which U.S. psychology colonized the discipline around the world are gone. It is important to actively look beyond U.S. borders for new ideas, and intervention efforts.
Prior experience in APA will allow me to represent SCRA effectively. I know SCRA well. I have been a member of various task forces and committees and was elected to the Executive Committee and as President some time ago. I have maintained my links to the organization by attending Biennials and networking with colleagues. I have also participated in APA within the Committee of Women in Psychology, Board and Committee of Ethnic Minority Affairs, Committee on International Relations in Psychology and Committee on Psychology and AIDS. I also represented SPSSI on Council, one of SCRAs' closest allies.
I expect to join with others with similar goals within the Divisions for Social Justice and Council Caucuses. With their input and the guidance of our EC, I will contribute so that our voice will be heard and our causes furthered.