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Volume 53 Number 3 Summer 2020
Dominique Thomas, Associate Editor
We are in a time of significant social, economic, and political upheaval. Members of the Society have been wondering how community psychology can serve as a force for positive social change during this time. How can SCRA serve the number of marginalized communities most affected by the both COVID-19 and racial capitalism manifesting as anti-Blackness and police brutality? A group of members drafted a letter to SCRA members and leadership calling for action to address anti-Blackness. In the midst of protests and rebellions across the world in response to police killings of Black people, we have seen the national conversation shift. Calls to defund the police, once considered fringe, are now serious political options with Minneapolis City Council voting to disband the Minneapolis Police Department. We have seen other symbols fall as the state of Mississippi voted to remove the Confederate symbol from the state flag and create a new flag. Are we seeing meaningful progress? If so, we can keep the momentum happening here as well. Our next issue/special issue will be devoted to answering these questions and moving towards progress.
A number of initiatives are under way in the Society to combat many of these issues both within and outside the organization. Several of the articles in this issue refer to the reality of COVID that many people are facing at this moment. The global response to the pandemic has varied with countries who responded more quickly seeing more beneficial results and those who delayed their responses seeing rising numbers of cases. What is clear is that we are in a time of change and that we are also seeing cultural traumas play out in front of us. How do we heal in a time of physical and social illness? We all have cultural resources we can draw from and share with one another. We can find different ways to work with our communities that take advantage of technology and democratizes the process. In CERA, we have hosted healing circles the last few months for members to come together in a space to process and find community. What are other practices that help with healing communities? It is a good question to keep in mind when we decide on what projects and initiatives we sign up for as community psychologists. How can we help facilitate healing with communities in a way that respects their autonomy and self-determination? How will community psychology rise to the occasion during this time?
Susan and Dominique