The Community Psychologist

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

Volume 54, Number 4

Fall 2021

From the President

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND IDEAS AS I BEGIN THIS YEAR OF PRESIDENCY

Written by Susan M. Wolfe, Susan Wolfe and Associates, LLC

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As I start my year as SCRA President, I think about how much work we need to do. SCRA took many steps forward last year under my predecessor, Bianca Guzmán, but like most organizations, there are many more steps needed. I am eager to see what we can accomplish, and a little intimidated at the same time.

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From the Editors  

Written by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College and Allana Zuckerman, Mesa Community College

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Hello everyone! We are excited to bring you the Fall 2021 issue of The Community Psychologist!

The Fall 2021 issue has another fantastic set of articles focusing on projects and work across the field. Below is a preview of the incredible work in the current issue.

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Council for Cultural, Ethnic, and Racial Affairs

Edited by Jesica Siham Fernández, Santa Clara University and Geraldine (Geri) Palmer, Adler University, Community Wellness Institute

SHOULD WE LOOK AT VIRTUE RATHER THAN PROCEDURAL COMPETENCIES?

Written by Geraldine (Geri) Palmer, gpalmer@adler.edu, Adler University

I was searching for articles relative to community psychology practice through a Google search which led me to Google Scholar. It was here that the first 11-12 articles that populated were not on community psychology practice, but on our existing community psychology practice competencies. This was indeed interesting. I think it speaks volumes to the need to increase the visibility of community psychology practice, and as I stopped to read one of the articles on the practice competencies (Dzidic, Breen, & Bishop, 2013), it seemed to also support the ongoing work SCRA leadership and members are doing on decolonizing our community psychology practice competencies. Dzidic, Breen, and Bishop (2013) proposed in “Are Our Competencies Revealing Our Weaknesses? A Critique of Community Psychology Practice Competencies”, that we should look at virtue competencies rather than procedural competencies. They explained: 

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Early Career

Edited by Vernita Perkins, Omnigi Research

The Early Career Interest Group Quarterly Column

Edited by Vernita Perkins, Omnigi Research

Meet the Early Career Members

Each quarter, we will continue to introduce members of the ECIG, so readers can learn more about our members and explore opportunities for research and practice collaborations.

Kristen Faye Burda, MA (kburda@wi.edu)

Community psychology resonates strongly with me, given my background in participatory action research and my integrative theoretical orientation of contextual behavioral science, feminist psychology, and narrative therapy. I studied theater at Yale University and am now a doctoral candidate at The Wright Institute, pursuing specialized training in first responder psychology, evidence-based treatment of post-traumatic stress, and drama therapy. I am completing quantitative dissertation research evaluating treatment effectiveness for women first responders served by the First Responder Support Network. In the context of current events pertaining to gender-based discrimination, the fire service, and law enforcement, community psychology research is especially vital.

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Education Connection

ENHANCING THE VISION FOR COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY EDUCATION 

Written by Tiffeny R. Jimenez & Moshood Olanrewaju , National Louis University

Although the focus of this column is on consultations with our field regarding their vision for Community Psychology (CP) education, I would like to begin with a brief reflection on the personal context in which I am writing, one which has given the process of writing the column a special resonance for me (Tiffeny). This week I attended two funeral services. One for the brother of our dear activist-scholar alum/colleague (Dr. LaShawn Littrice), Gerald (Junior) Littrice, and another for an undeniably remarkable alum/colleague who passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Dr. Donna Woods. Donna was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. Through her doctoral studies she understood and advocated for a paradigm shift towards a restorative justice mindset for breaking the school-to-prison pipeline. My heart is heavy for the loss but I am deeply humbled by the stories of love and life reflected by families and friends. I leave with a deeper understanding of the lives of our students, their families, and our shared humanity. A recount of love and laughter makes sure of that. It is within this kind of relationship with our students that we learn a deeper sense of local culture and context shaping our Chicagoland communities, as is recommended by the data in this article.   

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From Our Members

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FOR THE 18TH SCRA BIENNIAL CONFERENCE

Written by Ann Marie Beals, Wilfrid Laurier University

During a presentation for the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) 18th Biennial Conference, June 2021, I was asked to do a land acknowledgement in recognizing the unceded Indigenous lands and territories on which settlers “own” property and land. At first I balked, because why would an Indigenous person do a land acknowledgement on Turtle Island?

Immigrant Justice

MIGRATING TO INEQUALITY: THE INVISIBLE CHALLENGES FACED BY INTERNATIONAL COLLEAGUES IN THE U.S

Written by Gitika Talwar, Student Counseling Center, University of Washington; Alissa Charvonia, Global Community Health Lab, Howard University; Tara G. Mehta, Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago

Drawing on the experiences of international graduate students and professionals who live in the United States [U.S.] on temporary “non-immigrant” visas, this paper explores the impact of current U.S. immigration policies on our international colleagues (catch-all term for international graduate students and international professionals on a U.S. visa). Additionally, this paper recommends how fellow professionals and academics in psychology can advocate within their institutions to mitigate the impact of federal immigration policies that perpetuate inequality by restricting the academic and career trajectories of international colleagues. Speaking from first- and secondhand accounts, international colleagues report being drawn to the U.S. for various reasons but face mixed messages upon arriving in the U.S. Pro-migration policies provide a pathway to the U.S. (by way of visas), but we also need policies to protect immigrant rights (pro-immigrant policies) so that international colleagues can be equitably supported through graduate school and beyond. Currently, implicit and explicit anti-immigrant policies at federal and organizational levels curb the autonomy of international colleagues to live in the U.S. on a long-term basis. Existing immigration policies not only limit international colleagues’ choices regarding education and employment but also ignore the value they provide to “U.S. scholarship, cultural exchange, economic competitiveness, and the nation’s health care,” to quote a recent American Psychological Association (APA) statement in support of international students (APA, 2021). Pro-migration policies in the absence of pro-immigrant values leads international colleagues to navigate a fragmented system that imposes barriers to success and makes those challenges invisible to their peers. The authors of this paper make those challenges explicit and provide recommendations to help the field of psychology align its values of equality and justice with action.

International Committee

Edited by Olga Oliveira Cunha and Douglas D. Perkins

This issue we are thrilled to present not only an exemplar of truly international work, but also interdisciplinary work by Stephen and Jean Schensul, two applied anthropologists and leading ethnographic methodologists who have collaborated with community psychologists and health and development professionals and researchers in several countries around the globe. Here they focus on two decades of work in India, concluding with lessons that may help community psychologists wherever they work. 

Letter to the Editor

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College

AUGUST 28, 2021 -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Submitted by Georgia State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors

The Georgia State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors condemns in the strongest possible terms the firing of Cody Mullins Luedtke, a lecturer at the GSU-Dunwoody campus. Cody Luedtke was fired for the simple reason that she did not want to teach in an unsafe environment, in which her students would almost certainly be exposed to a deadly virus that could infect them and their families. 

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Practice Council

Edited by Oyla Glantsman, DePaul University

BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN RESEARCH AND PRACTICE

Written by Vernita Perkins, Omnigi Research & Mayra Guerrero, DePaul University

We are excited to highlight the work of community practitioner, Kayla DeCant. For the last several years, Kayla has worked with different community and non-profit organizations conducting educational programming aimed at preventing sexual violence among adolescents and young adults. Kayla confirmed pathways in her work align with Community Psychology values and her work is an excellent example of a prevention approach, combining administrative and direct service provider roles as well as bridging the gap between research and practice.

Reading Circle

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College and Allana Zuckerman, Mesa Community College

To encourage an ongoing dialogue with each other about what we are reading and how those readings are influencing our work, we are starting a reading circle and recommended reading list. Each issue we will share resources that have influenced our work and provide a space for additional submissions. This is a space for people to share what they are reading so we can get an idea of the different knowledge bases people are exposed to and what is influencing their research and practice. This is also a way for us to share information and knowledge across a variety of topics to showcase and enhance richness of thought within the field.

This week we are including a list of resources with information about mentoring students from diverse backgrounds. We hope you take a look at these and if there are additional resources please email us at the TCP!

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Real Talk

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College and Allana Zuckerman, Mesa Community College

THE COST OF TAKING A BREAK AND THE REVOLUTION OF REST

Written by Allana Zuckerman, Mesa Community College

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare”
Audre Lorde

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Regional Network News

Submitted by Regional Coordinators

NEWS FROM THE WEST REGION

Written by Erin Rose Ellison, California State University, Sacramento (CSUS)

The West Region, co-chaired by Rachel Hershberg, Jen Wallin-Ruschman, and Erin Rose Ellison, had a productive meeting during the SCRA Biennial this summer. During the meeting, we discussed our visions for reinvigorating the region through regular meetings and the return of our regional conference, Community Research and Action in the West (CRA-W). We hope to hold a CRA-W conference this coming year. If you are in the West Region and would like to get involved and/or receive emails from our low-traffic regional email list, please contact Erin at ellison@csus.edu

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Research Council

Edited by Chris Keys, DePaul University 

2021 COHORT OF SCRA RESEARCH SCHOLARS

The SCRA Research Council is delighted to announce the outcome of the 2021 cycle of recruitment, review, and selection of Research Scholar applicants. The SCRA Research Council was founded in 2017 and decided a good way to begin supporting community research would be to help untenured community psychology faculty enhance their research programs and become tenured. Such scholars may become tenured faculty, contribute to community research literature and mentor future scholars for decades to come. This effort helps build a base of community psychology knowledge that is the bedrock for our field. In winter 2021 the SCRA Executive Committee (EC) approved the SCRA Research Scholars Program for 2021, SCRA’s fourth cohort of Research Scholars, and committed $10,000 to support four Scholars. As part of the SCRA’s commitment to promoting social justice and uprooting white supremacy, the Executive Committee designated two of these appointments for Black and BIPOC Scholars. For other appointments, racial and ethnic diversity is a high but not an exclusive criterion in the selection process. In addition to financial support for four Scholars, all Scholars receive mentoring assistance from one or more accomplished senior researchers in community psychology or related field. The Research Council called for applications in the spring and was happy that a number of talented young university researchers from the United States and other countries applied.  After carefully reviewing these SCRA members’ applications, the Council selected the following five very promising assistant professors in community psychology graduate programs or programs including community psychology as SCRA Research Scholars:

Meeta Banerjee, University of South Carolina

Josi Bañales, University of Illinois at Chicago

Natalie Kivell, Wilfrid Laurier University

Seanna Leath, University of Virginia

Guillermo Wippold, University of South Carolina

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Rural Interest Group

Edited by Suzanne M. Phillips, White Mountains Community College, NH; Susana Helm (out-going 2021), Univ. of Hawai`i at Mānoa

Rural IG Co-Chairs:  Suzanne Phillips, PhD and Melisa Cianfrini, PhD

The Rural IG column of The Community Psychologist highlights rural resources as well as the work of community psychologists and allied professionals in their rural environments. We invite submissions from Rural IG members, from people who present on rural topics during SCRA biennial and other conferences; and from leading and emergent rural scholars. Please refer your colleagues and friends in academia and beyond to our interest group and column. Please email if you would like to submit a brief report or if you have resources we may list here. 

SCRA News

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College

9TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY, ITALY 2022

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SCRA Member Spotlight

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College

The SCRA Member Spotlight lets us engage our members and highlight great work! Each issue we solicit submissions of accomplishments. We especially would like students, early career scholars, and practitioners to submit their accomplishments and work. Submissions can include but are certainly not limited to:

  • New jobs
  • Post-docs
  • Promotions
  • Thesis/Dissertation Defenses
  • Newly published journal articles, books, chapters
  • Podcasts, blogs, news items that are by or about you
  • Certifications or other credentials
  • Retirement
  • Grants
  • Awards
  • Successful/ongoing projects
  • New projects or community initiatives

If you are interested in submitting for the next issue, please click this link and fill out the form. We hope to hear from you!