Council on Cultural, Ethnic and Racial Affairs



CERA's mission is to represent issues of cultural diversity and promote the concerns of people of color as a focus of community research and intervention; to promote training and professional development of people of color interested in community psychology; to advise the Executive Committee on matters of concern to people of color; and to inform and educate the Executive Committee regarding the implications of decisions as they pertain to people of color. 

Chair: Geraldine Palmer, Adler University       Chair-Elect: Jesica Siham Fernández, Santa Clara University



Each month CERA will bring to the "spotlight" one of our members to
highlight the great work they are doing on campus and in our communities.

Affiliation: Georgia State University/SCRA

Status: Visiting Lecturer in Psychology/Associate Editor - TCP

Classes You Are Currently Teaching/Other:

I teach Introduction to General Psychology, Introduction to African American Psychology, and Community Psychology. I am also the Associate Editor of The Community Psychologist (TCP).

Typical Day: 

My day usually involves teaching classes, meeting with students for office hours, preparing my lectures, and grading assignments. I also spend time finishing a manuscript based on my dissertation, reviewing submissions for the TCP, and uploading them to the SCRA website.

How does your work push forward or contribute to CERA’s mission and agenda? 

My work as a researcher serves to help improve the racial climate for African American students. In my African American Psychology and Community Psychology courses, students complete semester projects that address social issues and provide solutions to fix those problems. As associate editor of the TCP, I would like to use my place to provide more perspectives from community psychologists of color, perspectives that are not always heard or made prominent in our field. I am co-editing a forthcoming special issue on Black Lives Matter because it is a social movement that has yet to be discussed within the field of psychology. 

Goals and/or Aspirations:

Include publishing my dissertation work; Possibly creating a program to improve the climate/resources for African American students; and running my own research lab that examines the experiences of African American students.

Words of Wisdom & Inspiration to CERA Members and Others:

"I realized that I might be the first African American who’s won the SCRA Dissertation Award during all the years it’s been offered. I looked up the previous winners and I didn’t find any other African Americans among them.

I’ve learned that to make lasting change, you must address problems at their root. Any changes you make in a setting must be institutionalized to last. This requires a lot of hard work to make those structural changes and often you will get some push back from people who would rather see the status quo remain."

  Thank you Dominique for sharing your passions & commitment to social justice!

2018 Racial and Social Justice Mini-Grant

Click here for the Call for Proposals

Overview: As academic and community practitioners, we may engage in research, teaching, practice, and advocacy that promotes the principles of racial and social justice.Racial justice seeks equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all, regardless of ethnic, racial, or cultural group.

Proposals may address any of these areas of our work, but race, ethnicity, and/or culture must be central to the understanding of the problem and strategy for addressing the problem. We further support community-oriented students, faculty, post-doctoral fellows, practitioners, researchers, and advocates in all stages of their careers.

Questions: If you have questions, please address them to Sita Patel, 2018 Chair Mini-Grant Committee at or 


  • COMMUNITIES OF COLOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE Environmental racism and failing infrastructure have plagued communities of color for decades. The environmental justice movement seeks to rectify the problems created from these issues by ensuring the fair treatment of all people from different races, ethnicities, and incomes with the laws, regulations, and policies that affect their environment...READ MORE...
  • IMPROVING DIVERSITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION Institutions must begin thinking much more strategically about talent management models that prioritize diversity. Most universities already have guidelines for search committees that provide excellent and detailed counsel on how to widen and diversify candidate pools. So where is the disconnect? READ MORE...


MENTORING WEBINARS - Please mark your calendars for two upcoming workshops for CERA members and others:
ON THE ROAD TO TENUREMAY 23, 2018: Facilitated by Fabricio Balcazar and Bianca Guzman, and one other tenure-track professor (name to be announced) on best practices and tips to selecting good mentors; what to pack in your portfolio when you are up for tenure, and more, particularly geared toward faculty and women of color! Flyer with announcement and call-in information will be emailed shortly.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR PRACTITIONERS - MAY 3, 2018Facilitated by Geri Palmer, and two other practitioners on best practices and tips for moving from middle to senior executive level positions, becoming a successful independent contractor, and more, particularly geared toward people of color Flyer with announcement and call-in information will be emailed shortly!

See You in Chile! International Community Psychology Conference


Our next meeting will be held MAY 4, 2018 at 1:00PM EST (12:00 CST or 10:00am PST)


(JUNE 1, JULY 6; AUGUST 3; SEPT. 7; OCT. 5; NOV. 2; DEC. 7)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Telephone: 1-408-638-0968 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 375 758 797

To join a meeting by telephone, use the number below and enter the meeting ID. This is a toll number, so anyone without free long distance will want to join the meeting online. The first time you use a Zoom meeting online you will be prompted to download the software. For more information, please click here:


 We are always on the look out for new members! For more information or how to join, contact


Information on DACA

Making Caring Common 

Communicating with Competence

Race and Ethnicity-Psychology Today