The Community Psychologist

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

Volume 55, Number 1

Winter 2022

From the President

Written by Yvette G. Flores, University of California, DavisYvette_photo.jpg

Dear members: in my first column as your president, I want to reaffirm my commitment to transparency and to provide updates of our work to fulfill the goals of the response to the Call to Action on Anti-Blackness in our Society.  As you know, I became president after only a few weeks in the President-Elect role.  I assumed the president’s role, following the bylaws of our organization, with the support of the Executive Committee (EC), and guidance of APA.  For the past two months, I have focused on learning as much as possible about our organizational structure and the roles we all play, as EC members, elected officers, chairs of SCRA Councils, Committees, and Interest Groups (C/C/IGs) and as members.  With the support of the other officers and our Executive Director, Dr. Amber Kelly, I have been brought up to date regarding the Call to Action, the Executive Committee response, and the outstanding work of our various interest groups, councils, and committees.  It has been a lot to learn and to process. I am certain that I will keep learning in the months to come.

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From the Editors  

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

Photo_D.Thomas.JPGZuckerman_Headshot1.jpg

Hello everyone! We are excited to bring you the Winter 2022 issue of The Community Psychologist!

The Winter 2022 issue has another set of incredible articles focusing on projects and work across the field of community psychology. Below is a preview of the breadth of work in the current issue.

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Council for Cultural, Ethnic, and Racial Affairs

ABOLITIONIST RESEARCH: DEVELOPING REFLECTIONS, ACTIONS & EMBODIMENTS TOWARD A PRAXIS OF DECOLONIAL EPISTEMIC JUSTICE-LIBERATION 

Written by Jesica Siham Fernández, jsfernandez@scu.edu, Santa Clara University

Transformative justice, liberation and decolonization are not synonymous, nor are they to be metaphorically associated with utopia. Yet there are key fundamental similarities among these words that resonate with/within me and why I use them. And when and how I use them, I strive to be intentional and purposeful about their meaning. These words, to me, have one common denominator; they all strive toward what I describe as an abolitionist praxis. To be more precise, and what I am currently thinking-writing-working through: abolitionist research. In this humble reflection and contribution to the Council on Cultural, Ethnic & Racial Affairs (CERA) column for The Community Psychologist, I reflect on this developing praxis of abolitionist research. Abolitionist research as more than just a framework, but an actual praxis, has been permeating my reflections on the goals, values, orientations and paradigms toward research. That is, my actions as a community-engaged researcher/educator/organizer, and my body -- the what, how and where it feels to be human. 

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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 and Shereé Bielecki, Pacific Oaks College

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.

Tatiana Elisa Bustos, PhD 

I graduated with my PhD in Community Psychology from Michigan State University this past summer. I have been a SCRA member since 2015, and read Sarason’s Psychological Sense of Community before applying to graduate school in 2014, where I was introduced to the field’s values for social justice.

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Education Connection

Edited by Mason G. Haber, Independent Community Psychologist

THE RJIDA INITIATIVE: REFLECTIONS ON EMBODIED PRACTICE 

Written by Rama Agung-Igusti, Victoria University | Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar

I, Rama, write as one of the three RJIDA practicum students to share, in part, what we and our various collaborators and supporters achieved, the barriers and constraints we encountered, and the deep learning and theorizing that emerged through the RJIDA initiative. However, I also acknowledge the knowledge, labor, reflections and dialogue shared throughout the practicum by the other two practicum students, Jamilah Shabazz and Hannah Rebadulla, the experience and knowledge of RJIDA student collective, and the ongoing support and guidance of our mentors Christopher Sonn and Nuria Ciofalo, including their input on this piece.

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From Our Members

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College

MILITARISM IS A FORM OF SLAVERY: COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGISTS TAKE NOTICE

Written by Serdar M. Değirmencioğlu

Stockholm syndrome refers to a strange response observed in some captive persons. The captive person might begin to identify closely with his/her captors, as well as with their agenda and demands. Militarism involves a very similar process but at a much larger scale: Masses identify closely with the agenda and demands of a very small but very powerful interest group (or a regime) despite the fact that this is totally against their interest to do so. Unlike Stockholm syndrome, which emerges in the absence of deliberate external factors, militarism requires constant political promotion and marketing starting in preschool (Değirmencioğlu, 2013).

International Committee

Edited by Douglas Perkins, Vanderbilt University and Olga Oliveira Chuna, NOVA University

THE FIRST INDIGENOUS TEXTBOOK IN COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY PUBLISHED IN CHINA

Written by Liping Yang, Jiamin Chen, and Mengge Tan, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China; and Houchao Lyu, Southwest University and the China Community Psychology Service and Research Center, Chongqing, China

In June 2021, People's Education Press (a large-scale professional publishing house affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China) published a textbook entitled Introduction to Community Psychology (ICP), edited by Professor Xiting Huang, a senior professor at Southwest University in Chongqing, China. Prof. Huang was vice-chair of the Chinese Psychological Association and a pioneer of the construction of community psychology in China. Twenty community psychologists from 16 universities, including Peking University, Beijing Normal University, Southwest University and Nanjing Normal University, participated in the compilation. This team is now the backbone force in community psychology in the Chinese mainland. Previously, Chinese community psychologists have translated and compiled several  community psychology textbooks, such as Community Psychology Linking Individuals and Communities (Dalton, Elias & Wandersman) translated by Guangxin Wang (2010), Community Psychology compiled by Shixiang Liu (2013) of Beijing Union University but based on Western community psychology conceptions, and Principles of Community Psychology: Perspectives and Applications (Levine, Perkins & Perkins) translated by Liping Yang (2018). Nevertheless, there has been a lack of original textbooks in community psychology with Chinese cultural characteristics. The publication of ICP is considered to fill this gap, which is a milestone in the developmental history of community psychology in China.

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.

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Real Talk

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

THE IMPERIAL UNIVERSITY

Written by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College

Where were you on September 11, 2001? I was in my 7th grade science class. It was early 2nd period when we watched the towers collapse live on television. I was 11 years old and the memory sticks with me 20 years later. I think back to that time when the nationalistic fervor picked up and suddenly, we were all Americans who needed to strike back against our terrorist enemies. The thing about a War on Terror is that it is not a war against a specific group, but a presumed ideology. The rhetoric quickly took on xenophobic and jingoistic characteristics; we quickly saw that the “War on Terror” would have no clear end or target in mind. Now as I write this, the undeclared war in Afghanistan (Congress has not actually authorized a war in decades) is presumably over now that troops were removed, but the nation-building attempt was a clear failure. I’m an adjunct at Morehouse and I recently taught a community psychology class. Given the timeliness of the troop withdrawal, imperialism has been a topic in our class. We’ve discussed the different forms it has taken throughout history and some of the philosophical justifications that are often given. Unfortunately, imperialism also resides within higher education, especially here within the nation Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to as the “greatest purveyor of violence.” As political and economic control, imperialism turns into a war for mind, body, and soul.

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Regional Network News

Submitted by Regional Coordinators

NEWS FROM THE MIDWEST REGION

Written by Moshood Olanrewaju and Ieisha Taylor-Norris, Taylor EQ Institute

SCRA Midwest Update:

It was an honor of a lifetime to have worked alongside our former SCRA Midwest Regional Coordinator, Dr. Tonya Hall.  She diligently served as SCRA Midwest Regional Coordinator for years past the term assignment, organizing and coordinating MPA, ECO, and other regional activities including matching credible candidates to the coordinator and student representative positions. 

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 (suzannemphillips47@gmail.com) if you would like to submit a brief report or if you have resources we may list here. 

Student Issues

A CONVERSATION WITH STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES STRUGGLING IN COMMUNITY

Written and edited by Aaron S. Baker, Student Representative (2021-2023), National Louis University, asbakercervantes@gmail.com; Jessica S. Saucedo, Student Representative (2020-2022), Michigan State University, sauced23@msu.edu; and, Camilla Cummings, Student Representative (2019-2021), DePaul University, ccummi17@depaul.edu

We present this column in the spirit of transparency, within the context of shifting landscapes, and with the intention of building relationships and sparking conversation. We resist the urge to carry on with “business as usual” and instead endeavor to assert our values and invite the SCRA community into our private conversations. This narrative is meant to identify questions, challenges, and opportunities facing students within the SCRA community. We aim to collectively vision about our ideal future within community psychology rather than highlight or boast about our individual work or accomplishments. We hope readers will approach this column and conversation with curiosity and a sense of shared responsibility for our collective work.

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SCRA News

Edited by Dominique Thomas, Morehouse College

2021 John Kalafat Awards to Rutgers Grad Students Amy Oliveira and Molly Stern

Written by William D Neigher and Maurice J. Elias on behalf of Friends of the John Kalafat Award

For more than a decade, SCRA has given out the John Kalafat Awards. John was the Coordinator of the Community Psychology Concentration at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology of Rutgers University where he was on the faculty from 1996 to 2007. His gifts at bringing diverse people together led to the creation of a consensual definition of the field, and it is his vision of community psychology that is the context for these awards: 

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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!