TCP 51(3) Summer 2018

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

Volume 51 Number 3 
Summer 2018

From the PresidentYolanda_Suarez.jpg

Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar

University of Illinois at Chicago

Promoting Community Conversations that Lead to Action and Resistance 

The events that have transpired in this country during the last 16 months under the current political and social environment are troubling to say the least. The national issues we are experiencing as a country such as the immigration crisis; school shootings and lack of gun control policies; the dismantling of environmental policies; the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord; the proposed cuts to health, housing and other assistance that support families of low and moderate resources; cuts in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program); cuts in housing and energy assistance; proposal to cancel housing vouchers (see Parrott, Aron-Dine, Rosenbaum, Rice, Floyd, & Roming); increases in racial profiling and acts of discrimination against Latinos and Blacks; and the list goes on and on, will negatively impact many American families including children, seniors and people with disabilities. As a community researcher who works with people with disabilities and Latino families, I am appalled, like others are, at the proposed cuts in disability benefits. These reductions include cutting Social Security Disability Insurance, as well as Supplemental Security Income. These and other cuts will put an additional hardship on individuals who need supports the most. Basically, these are blunt attacks on middle class and lower income hard-working Americans. I did not mean to write a bleak last column as president of SCRA, however our current environment is dismal, and it calls for action.


From the Editors  Dominique_Thomas.jpgSusan_Wolfe.jpg

Susan M. Wolfe, Susan Wolfe and Associates, and Dominique Thomas, Georgia State University,

To start, all we can say is WOW! This is our third issue as editors and we are amazed and overwhelmed with the volume and quality of content we are receiving. It continues to be an honor to be in the position to facilitate information sharing about the amazing work our colleagues are doing.


Reflections and Narratives on the Past, Present and Future of Community Psychology


Edited by Geraldine (Geri) Palmer, Adler University


Not too long ago, a conversation took place on an email thread that was originally sent to solicit feedback on whether the field of community psychology should engage in college/university program credentialing---in efforts to sustain and foster interest in the discipline. Responses came pretty quickly, some agreeing, but most, not so much. One response led to another and eventually a question emerged, “How has community psychology evolved?” Susan Wolfe, editor of The Community Psychologist, and I thought the question was interesting and worth pursuing in a special feature column in The Community Psychologist. Thus, we formulated a strategy: I would serve as guest editor, and we would invite a number of community psychologists representing pillars of the discipline, newcomers, and students to contribute articles focusing on the question. Other related questions surfaced in the email thread also, including how is community psychology unique from other fields, and why are we still engaged in explaining what community psychology is? These questions were added to the call for papers.


Community Psychology Practice in Undergraduate Settings

Edited by Lauren F. Lichty, Co-chair, Community Psychology Practice in Undergraduate Settings Interest Group; University of Washington Bothell

Undergraduate Research and Mentoring: Lessons Learned from Two Teams

On April 13, 2018, the Community Psychology Practice in Undergraduate Settings Interest Group hosted its inaugural Undergraduate Mentoring and Research Webinar with two teams of undergraduate students and their faculty mentors, one from SUNY Old Westbury and one from Rhodes College. Below, each team summarizes their context and practices. The teams then jointly present shared challenges and recommendations for developing meaningful community psychology undergraduate research and mentoring opportunities. The webinar can be viewed in full on the SCRA website. If you are interested in sharing your research and mentoring practices alongside your students, please contact Interest Group Co-chairs, Lauren Lichty ( or Jen Wallin-Ruschman (

Criminal Justice Interest Group 

Edited by Jessica Shaw, Boston College of Social Work

The Criminal Justice Interest Group Column features recent and ongoing work of our members. We encourage readers to reach out to the authors if they are interested in learning more or exploring potential opportunities for collaboration. We also invite readers to join one of our upcoming Learning Community Series presentations in which Criminal Justice Interest Group members share their work virtually to foster a learning community. More information, and recording of prior presentations, can be viewed at


The Education Connection

Edited by Laura Kohn-Wood, University of Miami

Council of Education: Sharing Our Work from the Mini-grant Initiative

Written by Dawn X. Henderson, North Carolina A&T State University

What happens when you devote funding to education initiatives? Well, you can support creative pedagogy, international collaborations, and so much more. Since 2015, after initiating its first call for proposals, the Council of Education (COE) Mini-Grant initiative provided support to more than ten national and international initiatives. The COE mini-grant provides funding (up to $1,250) to support cross-program collaboration, development of a joint educational program or initiative, and recruitment. Funding aims to support opportunities for universities and programs to share educational resources and enhance training and programming.


Immigrant Justice Interest Group

Edited by Fabricio Balcazar and Kevin Ferreira

The “Immigration Crisis”: Lending a Helping Hand

Written by Cassandra A. Bailey and Amanda C. Venta, Sam Houston State University

Most recent estimates from the Department of Homeland Security suggest an increase in unauthorized immigrants residing in the U.S. from 11.6 million to 12.1 million (Baker, 2017). Yet, data indicates that the rate of unauthorized immigration is slowing down in comparison to prior years (Zong, Batalova, & Hallock, 2018). Indeed, Customs and Border Patrol (2017) reported the lowest number of border crossings and apprehensions in recorded history in the most recent fiscal year, which is 23.7% lower than that of the prior year. Still, government officials, media, and laypeople alike continue to refer to an “immigration crisis” that requires increased protection for our borders (Greene & Bowman, 2018).


Public Policy

Dialogue on Gun Safety: A Community Psychology Values Check Relative to Public Policy

Written by Robin Jenkins, Ph.D. (SCRA Policy Committee)

As I edit this article, another tragic school shooting has occurred. And perhaps even sadder were some of the quotes from students at Santa Fe High School, stating that they weren’t surprised that it happened to them because “that’s just how it is these days in schools”. It is easy to become outraged and look for quick solutions. How can we not feel compelled to do something, and urgently? How can the emotions and other challenges attached to these events be channeled into something that makes sense?


Regional Network News

Edited by Scot Evans – Regional Network Coordinator

Summer is a great time to float down a lazy river… and to get more involved in your SCRA region. Check out your SCRA region information on the website and contact the coordinators to see what is going on in your neck of the woods ( There are a lot of great things happening in our SCRA regions across the globe – check out the news from the Northeast, Western, and Midwestern regions.


Rural Interest Group

Edited by Susana Helm, PhD, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa,, Cheryl Ramos, PhD and Suzanne Phillips, PhD

The Rural IG column highlights rural resources as well as the work of community psychologists, students, and colleagues in their rural environments. Please email Susana Helm (Rural.IG@scra27.orgif you would like to submit a brief rural report or if you have resources we may list here.  In this issue, we highlight the work of two recently retired professors with decades of experience working in rural Pennsylvania. Professors Murray and Keller reflect on their academic-community careers, which emphasize the importance of access to health care in rural communities, among other important contributions.


Self-Help Interest Group

Edited by Tehseen Noorani

Editor's note: This issue's contribution comes from 'Sarah', who lives in Michigan and hears the voices of Broken Siri and the Jerk Squad. Sarah describes the onset of her distressing experiences, encounters with the psychiatric system, and coming to find the Hearing Voices Network (HVN). The HVN satisfies all seven of Humphrey's criteria for mutual aid groups (see this column, TCP volume 50, issue 4). It has spread rapidly, building its own network of groups independently of mainstream healthcare services. Understanding voices as meaningful, the HVN advocates not to 'shoot the messenger' but to 'decode the messages' - a radical alternative for this most-stigmatized and stigmatizing of experiences.


Student Issues

Edited by Jaimelee Behrendt-Mihalski & Erin Godly-Reynolds, University of North Carolina Charlotte

Announcing the 2018 National Student Representative Research Grant Recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 National Student Representative Research Grants! A special thanks to members of the National Student Representative Research Grant Committee who served as reviewers. If you’re interested in serving as a student reviewer for research grants or travel awards to the Biennial, please contact the Student Representatives at Since National Student Representative Research Grants have shifted to a spring RFP, the next opportunity for students to receive up to $1,000, $500, or $375 in funding to support their dissertation or thesis project will be March 2019.

From our Members

New World Era: Culture, Self-Determination, and the Sociopsychological Construct of Black Power

Written by Tarell C. Kyles, Pacifica Graduate Institute,

Introduction: Black Power as a Sociopsychological Construct

From early maroon societies and the initial sociopsychological stirrings of Back to Africa movements, to the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and the PGRNA (Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika) there has always been an aspect of the collective consciousness of U.S. born Africana peoples that has directed community thought and behavior towards projects of unity, autonomy, self-defense, armed struggle, and self-determination. I posit that Black Power as a social movement emerged from the collective consciousness of U.S. born Africana peoples as an explicitly decolonial response to the racial violence and oppression of the state. In this light, Black Power may be seen as not only a social movement, or a unifying slogan, but as a generative sociopsychological cultural construct.


News & Updates       

Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology

Please join the SCRA Executive Committee in congratulating Ms. Christiane Sadeler, the recipient of the 2018 SCRA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology!