The Community Psychologist

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

Volume 49 Number 3
Summer 2016

John_Moritsugu_small.jpgFrom the President

John Moritsugu
Pacific Lutheran University
(moritsjn@plu.edu)

One of my favorite classroom exercises was provided by Marybeth Shinn on the teaching resources section of the divisional website. Different groups of students are presented with two questions on causes and responsibility for homelessness or for school dropout.

Why do some people become homeless? Why do some students drop out of school?

Why do so many people become homeless? Why do some schools have such high drop out rates?

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From the Editors  Tiffany_McDowell_and_Dan_Cooper_small.jpg
Daniel Cooper and Tiffany McDowell 
Adler University, Chicago

We are in the thick of summer and this issue of the Community Psychologist is packed with evidence that community psychology is alive and well across the globe—so many resources and reflections that how could anyone ever question that this was the case? Nothing says summer more than bountiful gardens, and this issue shows us how gardens and community go hand in hand. The Environment and Justice column is a must read for that reason alone. This year marks the first community psychology conference in the MENA region, and this issue provides us many in depth reflections from students and international colleagues. The Policy Column shows us how impactful small grants have been in helping our society execute the action component in pushing for policy change. The rich international perspectives are again clear in the Student Issues column, where we see comparative perspectives on LGBT communities. These are but a small slice of the excellent work, happenings, and community building happening across the globe. Happy reading and stay cool out there.

Dan and Tiffany

The Community Practitioner

Edited by Olya Glantsman

How Practitioners Can Access Academic Literature

Written by Bill Berkowitz, Jasmine Douglas, Melissa Strompolis, Kyrah Brown, and Chris Corbett

Information is power, and community practitioners need access to desired information to make wise community decisions and strengthen their work. Fortunately, most of the time, they can get it. Some practice settings have affiliations with colleges and universities and others are even located within said settings, offering automatic access to staff members. Others are lucky enough to work with undergraduate and graduate students who can access resources for them. But what happens when practitioners do not have affiliations with academic institutions? Or when practitioners do not have students to access the resources?

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Environment & Justice

Edited by Laura Kati Corlew

Community Psychologists in Community Gardens: A Fertile Ground for Ecological Inquiry

Written by Sarah Hernandez and Laura Kati Corlew

Community gardens are plots of land typically in an urban setting that are grassroots, community-based efforts to grow food. Community gardens have been historically created in response to a crisis; the earliest gardens emerged in response to poverty during the economic crisis of 1893 in Detroit (Kurtz, 2001). During both World Wars, community gardens were used to increase the supply of food for Americans, and by World War II, the “victory garden” campaign was established. By 1944, 18 to 20 million families were supplying 40% of America’s total vegetable supply (Okvat & Zautra, 2011). Victory gardens sprung up in response to economic hardships and food shortages as a way for communities to independently develop their own source of food. This victory garden model now serves as the foundation of traditionally organized communal style gardens in urban areas today.

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InternationalINT_Image2.jpg

Edited by Mona Amer

The First Community Psychology Conference in the MENA Region: Elements of Effective Change for the Socio-Cultural Context

Written by Mona M. Amer, Carie Forden, and Andrea Emanuel (Conference Co-Chairs), The American University in Cairo, Egypt

Rich learning experience. Diversity of speakers and practices. Opportunities for networking and collaboration. Hope and motivation for community change. Inspiration. These were some of the reactions we heard from attendees at the 1st Middle East North Africa Regional Conference on Community Psychology, which took place 24-26 March, 2016 at the Tahrir Square campus of The American University in Cairo (AUC). Located in the heart of Cairo’s city center and nestled between the historic Nile River and a sprawling urban metropolis, Tahrir (which means “liberation”) has seen decades of historical turning points including revolutions, riots, and reformations of modernity.

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Living Community PsychologyJacobKraemerTebes

Written by Gloria Levin (Glorialevin@verizon.net)

“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 pro led community psychologists, from graduate students to retirees, representing an invaluable resource for community psychologists.

For this installment, we feature a distinguished community psychologist who has made significant scholarly contributions as well as applying the field’s scholarship to social problems that besiege communities. He attributes much of his success ultimately to the example of resilience and courage of his parents, survivors of World War II and immigrants to a new country. 

Jacob Kraemer Tebes, The Consultation Center Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, Jacob.tebes@yale.edu

We know him as the highly accomplished director of The Consultation Center at Yale and the editor of the American Journal of Community Psychology, but I wager most readers do not know that Jack Tebes was fundamentally shaped by the immigrant experience, if indirectly. Before he was born, his parents and two older brothers had escaped central Europe during and after World War II.

Caught between the Nazis and the Russians, his Roman Catholic, Austro-Hungarian parents became separated. His father was taken with other men of the village to a Russian work camp where he lived for 5 1/2 years, working as a tailor. His mother with her two sons, Jack’s older brothers (ages 9 months and 3 years at the time) were transferred to what we would today call an ethnic cleansing camp run by Serbian partisans and populated by women, children and old men. Malnourished, she was no longer able to nurse her two young children and so volunteered as a cook so she could milk the goat and bring the excess milk back to her sons. 

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Public Policy

Highlights of SCRA Public Policy Grants

Written by Keri Frantell and Ryan Schooley

The SCRA Policy Committee helps to support public policy and advocacy work that specifically addresses community concerns in the policy arena each year. The projects that are supported through the public policy grants help to target advocacy issues at all levels, with an emphasis on addressing policy concerns of particular community interest and connecting community psychology to these policy concerns. Several wonderful projects have been funded through this program, and some of the work done through these grants is described below.

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Regional Update Summer 2016ReginaLanghout

Edited by Regina Langhout

Summer is here! I hope that you are finding some time to enjoy things you love. In this column, I am happy to welcome to Naz Chief, a new Midwest Student Regional Coordinator. In terms of the regions, I am always impressed by the work happening across the globe. This quarter, I would like to highlight the Canadian column. The partnership between a 2-quarter class and town appears to serve both stakeholders quite well. Enjoy reading about it, as well as all the rest of the regional activities.

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Student Issues

Edited by Sarah Callahan and Meagan Sweeney

STU_Image1.jpgTraveling Around Two Mediterranean LGBT Communities: A comparison between Barcelona and Naples

Introduction

Acknowledge to my professors of Universitat de Barcelona: Ruben David Fernández and Jose Vicente Pestana, who helped me with this research, also to do this international exchange. Thanks to Agostino Carbone - Ph.D at University of Naples - international member of SCRA- and the people who I’ve interviewed (Chiara Piccoli and Antonello Sanino) and all the bisexual people who had participated in this research

On June 2015, I defended my thesis (MSc. in Psychosocial Intervention at University of Barcelona, Spain) about bisexuality, it was an interesting topic to research because of their situation of invisibility in the community. After that, to increase the knowledge about Mediterranean bisexual community I decided to visit another city with similar characteristics. After a research and comparisons between different cities, on July 2015 I visit Naples (Southern Italy) with the scope to collect information about the local LGBT community and to take part in the Pride Parade.

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Rural Interest Group

RURAL RESOURCES:

Rural and Remote Health is an international, electronic journal of rural and remote health education,
practice and policy, and is funded by Australian University Departments of Rural Health (ARHEN members) and Australian Rural Clinical Schools (FRAME members), the Rural Health Education Foundation, and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM); it is administered by James Cook University, Australia. The Journal aims to provide an easily accessible, peer-reviewed, international evidence-base to inform improvement in rural health service delivery and health status in rural communities. http://www.rrh.org.au/home/defaultnew.asp

Journal of Rural Studies.
According to the website, JRS “publishes cutting-edge research that advances understanding and analysis of contemporary rural societies, economies, cultures and lifestyles; the definition and representation of rurality; the formulation, implementation and contestation of rural policy; and human interactions with the rural environment. JRS has been published since 1985, and lists its current impact factor as 2.444 (http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-rural-studies/, retrieved
4/5/16).

Brief Report:

In reviewing the 2015 roster of Rural IG members, we realized that 30% of the active Rural IG members with known institutional locations beyond the US are located in Australia. Our roster shows that of the 162 active members of the Rural IG, seven members are located at institutions in the Australia: Curtin University, University of Southern Queensland, Charles Sturt University. It should be noted that of the active members, our records include institutional locations for just under two-thirds of the total (96 people, or 59%). There may be other Australia-based members, so please feel free to send your location info so we can update our records. Based on this large representation, we invited submissions from Australia, and are pleased to present a brief report by Melissa Cianfrini, currently a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of Business, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

RURAL_Image1.jpgExploring barriers to the skill shortage: A "lessons learned" approach to the mining boom in an Australian regional community.

Written by Melissa Cianfrini, PhD Candidate

The Graduate School of Business at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia (WA) participated in the Minerals Down Under (MDU) Flagship project headed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). From 2009 to 2012, five universities across Australia collaborated on research focusing on the sustainability of the mining industry. The project was divided into three clusters, with the third cluster investigating the impacts of mining on regional communities in the states of Queensland and Western Australia. It is this cluster which my doctoral research explored the experiences of a coastal community in the Mid West region of Western Australia.

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Self Help Interest Group

Edited by Greg Townley and Alicia Lucksted

Crowdsourcing Mutual-Help Research Funding

Written by Christopher R. Beasley, Washington College (cbeasley2@washcoll.edu), Crystal N. Steltenpohl, DePaul University, and Emily Stecker, Washington College

Although federal support for health research has begun recovering since Great Recession reductions, financing has continued to decline when these contributions are adjusted for inflation (FASEB, 2016). Further, funding is often directed toward research aims of federal administrators and organizations with lobbying resources rather than those of communities. Crafting research toward these goals may limit intellectual flexibility and creativity.

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Transformative Change in Community Mental Health Interest Group

Edited by Geoffrey Nelson

Achieving Recovery through Housing and Employment: Moving Towards a Capabilities-Informed Community Mental Health System

Written by Eric Macnaughton, Wilfrid Laurier University

There’s been a lot of interest within the past several years in applying Amartya Sen’s (1999) capabilities framework to community mental health, because of its parallels and potential synergies with the recovery movement (Davidson, Ridgway, Wieland, & O’Connell, 2009; Hopper, 2007; Macleod, 2014). This article traces the development of that interest, looks at an arguably “capabilities-informed” approach to housing and support (Housing First), and then proposes that a next step forward to creating a capabilities-informed system would be to support the employment prospects of people with serious mental illness, including those who have been homeless.

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