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A Publication of the Society for Community Research and Action
Volume 50 Number 2
From the President
As we greet Spring with enthusiasm, there are a variety of exciting SCRA updates. Our Executive Committee met February 2nd-4th in Atlanta, Georgia. Jim Emshoff and Georgia State University were gracious hosts for our productive meeting. This meeting serves an important purpose for us to come together to review the many facets of our strategic plan, capture our progress to date, and discuss and move forward with new initiatives. Members can review the briefing book (includes detailed annual reports from executive committee members, councils, committees, interest groups, special initiatives, strategic plans and proposals) online at http://www.scra27.org/who-we-are/leadership/scradocuments/. A big thank you to Elizabeth Thomas for putting it together – it comes in at 175 pages. Since most of you will not have the time to take a look at all of our progress, I would like to provide some highlights related to research, membership, and mini-grants.
From the Editors
Daniel Cooper and Tiffany McDowell
Adler University, Chicago
Welcome to Spring! As we transition into the next season it is a good time to reflect on the great work happening in our field. The Spring issue features several projects from community psychologists working in a variety of settings. Olya Glantsman and Nicole Freund provide us with an overview of the Practice Council and upcoming initiatives to support practitioners over the next year. From CERA’s column on negotiating intersections of identity to mentor students, to Gloria Levin’s profile of Kyrah Brown, we see the multiple ways that community psychologists challenge and shape the contexts in which they work. Coming off the EC midwinter meeting, we hope to provide more opportunities for you to share the great research and practical work you are doing. We look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming Biennial!
Dan and Tiffany
The Community Practitioner
Edited by Olya Glantsman
Building Strength in 2016 for the Work Ahead
Written by Olya Glantsman and Nicole Freund
A Year in Review
In 2016, the Practice Council (PC) built on its strengths in order to gain momentum as members move into 2017 and the challenges that await community psychology practitioners. We describe these strengths in the updates that follow and share the new avenues for action that are being explored for 2017. Practitioner Connection.
Committee on Ethnic & Racial Affairs
Edited by Chiara Sabina
Penn State Harrisburg
Kinship, Justice and Students of Color
Written by Bianca Guzman
California State University
In 2012, I published an article in the Journal of Community Psychology (Guzmán, 2012) called “The educational journey of a Latina feminist community psychologist.” This piece was part of a special issue on feminist community psychology. The main goal of that piece was to describe in some detail the journey that had led me to become a Latina feminist community psychologist. At that point in my career I had just been promoted to an associate professor at a primarily teaching institution. Over my 21 years in academia I have taught and mentored hundreds of students, mostly of color. Recently, I was asked by the Committee on Ethnic and Racial Affairs to write a follow up piece on my journey and to discuss how my journey has included students. My first thought is why would a piece like this be interesting to the field of community psychology. I mean really, what could I add that has not already been said about teaching and mentoring students of color? So, my response to this question is complicated. First, there is too few Latina women who receive doctoral degrees in psychology, many fewer specialize in community psychology and fewer yet have the opportunity to teach and mentor at an urban institution that has a diverse student population. I am also a triple threat minority in that I am a woman, Latina, and an immigrant so the views and conclusions I hold about higher education may be unconventional. My colleagues and other academics comment that I am at the margins of my field. This is not an offensive comment to me since I have always felt that I am swimming upstream and that the theories and concepts that I endorse are often controversial. I find this a welcome challenge but it does not come without a lot of struggle. This idea of struggle is nothing new to people of color or to other groups or individuals that are often marginalized. Given this information perhaps what I share can provide some valuable information about how students of color can be mentored to succeed in higher education with techniques that may often seem unconventional. I must point out that I am not sharing any techniques that are radical; anyone can do the things that I am suggesting and I predict that rewarding experiences must follow. The other caveat that I want to mention is that I am 100% invested in the success of my students as I am sure we all are. I am also passionate and love interacting with them and I think the environment I create in the lab is warm and welcoming.
Council of Education Programs
Edited by Raymond Legler
National Louis University
The 2016 Survey of Graduate Programs in Community Psychology: Findings on Competencies in Research & Practice and Challenges of Training Programs
Written by Mason G. Haber, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School & Judge Baker Children’s Center; Zachary Neal, Michigan State University; Brian Christens, Victoria Faust, and Lisa Jackson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Laura Kohn Wood, University of Miami; Taylor Bishop Scott, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Raymond Legler, National Louis University; and the Members of the Society for Community Research and Action Council of Education
This report presents findings related to training in competencies from the 2016 Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) Council of Education (COE) Survey of Graduate Programs in Community Psychology, including the Competencies for Community Psychology Practice (“Practice Competencies”; Connell et al., 2013) and Competencies for Community Research (“Research Competencies”; Christens et al., 2015). The report also examines findings on training programs’ challenges and possible relationships between these challenges and the breadth and types of competency training they offer. Subsequent reporting will present findings related to other aspects of the survey, including questions regarding composition of faculty and students and career paths of students post-graduation. The 2016 COE survey is the eighth such survey since 1987 (cf. Connell et al., 2013). The last COE survey (Connell et al., 2013) was the first to include the Practice Competencies. These competencies were developed by the SCRA Practice Council and COE to help establish community psychology practice as a legitimate area of study and professional focus, distinct from but of comparable importance to academic scholarship (Dalton & Wolfe, 2012). As shown in Table 1, they include five Foundational Competencies,1 said to undergird all areas of practice, and well as 11 Specific Competencies in three practice areas. The practice competencies are now widely disseminated and used as bases for resources and tools for educators, programs, and professional training activities in community psychology (cf. Scott & Wolfe, 2015).
Understanding home: a reflection with ethnic young women who are victims of sex-trafficking in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Written by Yui Sum Poon
The trafficking of women is a major problem that exists in Thailand, with a realistic estimate of around 100,000 and 200,000 female sex workers throughout the country (Peracca et.al, 1998). Women-trafficking can emerge through various forms, including both voluntary and involuntary situations, as well as rural-urban migrations and cross-border migrations. Moreover, it usually arises from situations such as poverty, familial abuse, neglect, and caregiver drug and alcohol use (Farley et.al. 2003; Herman, 2003, Kara, 2009). These women are often pressured into, and stay within, the sex-trafficking industry due to the lack of viable livelihood alternatives (Mah, 2011).
Living Community Psychology
Written by Gloria Levin
“Living Community Psychology” highlights a community psychologist through an in-depth interview that is intended to depict both personal and professional aspects of the featured individual. The intent is to personalize Community Psychology as it is lived by its diverse practitioners. Prior columns are available online, at http://www.scra27.org/publications/tcp/tcp-past-issues. These past columns contain a wealth of life advice gleaned from over 60 profiled community psychologists, from graduate students to retirees, representing an invaluable resource for community psychologists. For this installment, we feature an early career community psychologist who has always been an activist in her communities -- a perfect fit for Community Psychology. Although she struggled at finding a position after earning her doctorate, she eventually landed a challenging and rewarding position in the nonprofit world. Her story is instructive for the many recent Ph.D.’s who are caught in the Catch 22 of applying for an entrylevel professional job but expected to already have considerable prior professional experience and accomplishments.
Rural Interest Group
Edited by Susana Helm, PhD
University of Hawai`i at Mānoa,
Co-Editors Cheryl Ramos, PhD
and Suzanne Phillips, PhD
The Rural IG column highlights rural resources as well as the work of community psychologist, students, and colleagues in their rural environments. Please email Susana if you would like to submit a brief rural report or if you have resources we may list here.
Rural Resources: Rural Suicide Prevention & Treatment
Literature Review on Rural Suicide.
Although it is a decade old, the Hirsch review article is a great resource. The article “examine[d] the current body of literature on rural suicide and investigate[d] differences between rural and urban suicide, including socioeconomic, psychological, and cultural variables. Prevention and intervention strategies specific to rural communities are discussed.”
Self Help Interest Group
Edited by Greg Townley and Alicia Lucksted
Seeking interested individuals for Self-help Interest Group leadership position: Our second term as interest group co-chairs ends in Summer 2017, and we are hoping to identify individuals interested in taking over this leadership position. We will happily provide technical assistance to make the transition as smooth as possible. Please email Alicia (Aluckste@psych.umaryland.edu) and Greg (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss further!
Take Off Pounds Sensibly: A Self-Help and Mutual Support Organization
Written by Lauren E. Chacon and Jessica Corral,
The University of Texas at El Paso;
and Louis D. Brown,
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Obesity, a burgeoning disease, causes numerous comorbidities such as heart disease, diabetes, and increased risk for chronic diseases (Goldkamp, Anderson, Lifits‐Podorozhansky, & Gavard, 2015). While popular weight loss approaches, such as pills, diets, and exercise fads can be dangerous and detrimental to health, Take Off Pounds Sensibly offers a sensible and economical solution to the obesity epidemic.