Since the policy arena is unfamiliar to a large portion of our membership, it comes as no surprise that many of the activities of our committee have focused on the first portion of our committee’s three-part mission which is to create policy training opportunities for division members and encourage the development of their policy skills and knowledge (Howe, 2004). However, I would like to briefly describe an ongoing task of the committee that is primarily intended to fulfill the second and third goals of the committee’s mission, which are to encourage collaboration between community psychologists and policymakers as well as to use the knowledge base of SCRA to contribute to pertinent policy debates.
Specifically, we would like to create a cyber-clearinghouse for policymakers to be able to network with community psychologists that have extensive research experience in areas related to policymakers’ interests. We anticipate listing these profiles on the policy link found on the SCRA webpage and we envision that the main webpage will have links to subpages featuring substantive areas of community psychology (e.g. homelessness, violence prevention, health-care access). It is our hope then that interested policymakers (or liaisons to policymakers, such as the staff of the APA Government Relations office) can review the work of our division’s members and contact pertinent individuals for policy consults.
This project is in the preliminary stages of development and many details need to be worked out. At the very least we would like to begin collecting the names of individuals who might be interested in joining the project as “resources” for the eventual website. That is, we would like to hear from folks who have an in-depth knowledge of a topic—one relevant to the values of community psychology—and are willing to create a brief profile that contains information about their work as well as contact information for interested parties to use for follow-up. Prerequisites for this bio-feed information include being both degreed and published within your specific area of expertise. If you are interested in connecting with policymakers—or their representatives—in your area of expertise and would like to receive more information when it becomes available, please contact Blair Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org.