Convention 2016 ! APAGS Food for Thought!

Posted in Graduate School

newbreakfastConvention is a great experience! One of the best parts of it is the chance to meet with some of the most famous psychologists in the world. This year APAGS is proud to present its Food For Thought  breakfasts featuring very dynamic and impactful psychologists who you do not want to miss.

Each morning (Thursday-Sunday 7:30-8:50am) the APAGS suite will offer free breakfast for graduate students and the opportunity to hear from prestigious psychologists.

Our first FFT (Thursday, August 4) will feature Dr. Anneliese Singh, Associate Professor at The University of Georgia and co-founder of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition and Trans Resilience Project. Dr. Singh, featured in a fantastic Tedx talk, will be our first speaker, and one you do not want to miss! Dr. Singh’s research, practice, and advocacy has centered on the resilience of transgender people, transgender people of color, transgender youth, survivors of trauma, immigrants, South Asian survivors of child sexual abuse, and social justice and empowerment training.

Our second FFT (Friday, August 5) will be highlighted by Dr. Michelle Fine. Dr. Fine is a distinguished professor from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Dr. Fine’s work integrates critical psychological theory with feminist and post-colonial theory, participatory designs, qualitative and quantitative methods and strong commitments to research for social justice. Her primary research interest is the study of social injustice, when it is resisted, and how it is negotiated by those who pay the price for social inequalities. Dr. Fine is a dynamic and inspiriting speaker who was featured at the Big Ideas fest where she led with the question “To whose souls are we accountable?” in the process of innovation. This talk and her commitment to social justice are just two of the reasons you will want to arrive early to get a seat for Dr. Fine’s FFT talk!

Our third FFT (Saturday, August 6) will feature Dr. Mona Amer.  Dr. Amer has been recognized for her leadership in addressing the mental health needs of Muslim and Arab Americans, and was awarded the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Award for Distinguished Graduate Student in Professional Psychology. She currently serves as an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, and Egyptology at The American University of Cairo (AUC), and was the recipient of the University’s Excellence in Teaching Award. For the past 10 years, Dr. Amer has worked on developing cultural competence training programs for practitioners serving Muslim clients that have been administered in the U.S. and U.K. You can catch a glimpse of Dr. Amer’s innovative speaking style by viewing her excellent talk at the Rise Egypt Conference where she spoke about the role of evaluation in social enterprises. Dr. Amer is a passionate speaker who we are excited to learn from at our third FFT!

Our fourth FFT (Sunday, August 7) will be highlighted by APAGS Leadership. These leaders are individuals who will discuss what opportunities allowed them to become leaders, and how they are working to build a better future for psychology by serving as a united voice to enrich and advocate for graduate student development! APAGS is currently committed to a strategic plan to end the internship crisis, develop powerful training opportunities for scientists, and create a culture of leadership in psychology. This talk will encompass a great deal about ways to increase your efficacy as leaders in psychology and efficacious scientists in a changing climate of graduate education!

APAGS is proud to host Drs. Singh, Fine, and Amer, and we hope to see you all at the APAGS suite bright and early for breakfast!

#SomosOrlando: Latinx LGBTQ+ being Ignored while Simultaneously Killed

Posted in Advice, Advocacy

SomosOrlandoThis blog post is a joint collaboration between: James J. García, Chair of the APAGS Committee for the Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CARED), Roberto L. Abreu, Co-chair of the National Latina/o Psychological Association Orgullo Latinx: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity SIG and Division 45 Student Committee Co-liaison, & Laura P. Minero, Student Representative of the National Latina/o Psychological Association

Disclaimer: The opinions in this blog represent the personal opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of APA, APAGS or NLPA.

Across the nation, many of our hearts were broken by the massacre of 49 LGBTQ+ individuals and 50+ wounded during Pride Month and “Latino night” at a nightclub in Orlando. As photographs and names of the victims began to pour in, it was undeniable that most of the LGBTQ+ victims (90%) were Latinx, mostly Puerto Rican and other Latinx backgrounds. We also know that some of the victims came from mixed status families or were undocumented themselves. These challenges add further complexity to the grief and trauma they (and their families) historically have, and will continue to, experience on a daily basis.

As reporters in popular news channels struggled to pronounce the last names of the victims, the racial and ethnic identities of the LGBTQ+ victims were ignored. Many reporters refused to utter the letters “LGBTQ;” comments such as “this is an attack on all of us” were used to generalize this issue to all Americans. Although these statements were meant to show support and solidarity, indeed it concerns all Americans, these messages felt invalidating as this attack was directed at LBGTQ+ people, particularly us the Latinx LGBTQ+ community. This points to a larger systemic and historic problem in the United States: the attempt to sanitize, strip away, and demonize Black, Brown and LGBTQ+ bodies from their identities via a system of oppression, power and privilege sustained by White supremacy, heterosexuality and cisgender identities.

Within the sociopolitical context, we are negatively stereotyped by the media as unsuccessful, a group of criminals, foreign born, and only Spanish-speaking. These stereotypes disregard us as a diverse group of people by ignoring the heterogeneity within our communities. The blatant ethnic gloss against us is not new nor is it the result of recent political rhetoric; rather, there is an extensive history of hostility, which perpetuates a failure to acknowledge our intersections as Latinx LGBTQ+. For those of us who identify as Latinx LGBTQ+, we cannot help but feel that we are being ignored while simultaneously being killed.

There are three points of discourse missing from the current media narrative:

  • First, the sorrow of our Latinx LGBTQ+ community is being used to fuel hatred against the Muslim community and marginalize LGBTQ+ Muslims; however, our plights are similar, as we all live in survival mode to exist in a system that has set us up for disadvantage.
  • Second, there is no mentioning of homophobia and heterosexism within the Latina/o community, which pushed us to create our own spaces where we can temporarily break free of the violence, prejudice and discrimination from our own familias.
  • Lastly, the conversations seem to gloss over racism against LGBTQ+ people of color and those who are biracial/multiracial within the LGBTQ+ community.

Dauntingly, what can we do as psychologists-in-training?

Interpersonal level:

Departmental level:

  • Develop, create, and host healing spaces for LGBTQ+ people of color
  • Advocate for a statement/comment from your Department/University
  • Attend Pride and remembrance events as a Department

Societal level:

Living at the intersection of Black, Brown and LGBTQ+ is to expect that you can be discarded at any time without getting the chance to exist in your own skin. To this end, we, as psychologists-in-training, need to continue having these conversations to effect change together and at different levels of our society.

#WeAreOrlando

Posted in Advocacy, Graduate School

By Julia Benjamin, Chair of the APAGS Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (CSOGD)

And James J. García, Chair of the APAGS Committee for the Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CARED)

Early Sunday morning, the deadliest mass shooting in United States history took the lives of 50 people. The community and countless individuals will bear scars from this attack for the rest of their lives. It occurred on “Latin Night” at an LGBT+-affirming nightclub during Pride month.

We are devastated. We are furious. We are scared. We are heartsick.

Orlando ribbonWe each attended vigils yesterday in remembrance of the victims and survivors, one in Tucson and one in Madison. They were separated by hundreds of miles but at each, we heard our feelings echoed by other voices. It was easy to feel overwhelmed as they spoke of the stark realities LGBT+ individuals face daily and the complex intersecting evils that contributed to this tragedy: fear for our safety, racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and the now real fear of guns. Yet through it all, the other themes that rang loud and clear were those of peace, solidarity, hope, and love.

As graduate students in psychology we are called on to use our knowledge and skills to fight oppression and provide support in times of trial. When the world feels complicated and broken, how can we take steps on our own campuses and in our own lives to hold onto hope and move toward healing systems and souls? Here are some practical things you can do, whether you identify as LGBT+ or as an ally:

  1. Show up
  • Attend the candlelight vigils that are being coordinated nationwide.
  • Get informed – learn about what’s going on, read here and here.
  • Stop by your campus or local city LGBT+ center to meet folks and offer solidarity; click here for the Campus Pride website.
  • Reach out to friends and loved ones, to provide and receive the social support that we know helps confer resilience in times of distress.
  • Show up for yourself – be sure to keep taking care of your own basic needs like sleep, a balanced diet, and exercise.
  1. Speak up
  • Write to your elected officials, U.S senators and representatives.
  • Share your feelings and thoughts and engage in dialogue through blogs, psychology-related listservs, and/or social media.
  • In the upcoming presidential elections, vote with your ballot.
  1. Step up

As more details of this event emerge in the coming days, let us remember that there are layers of complexity to this massacre. Also, let us remember the intersecting identities of those who were affected, as this shooting disproportionately affected people of color and our Latina/o LGBT+ family. Let us stand together with our allies in our mourning, fear, anger, and devastation, but also in our solidarity and hope for a more peaceful, accepting, and just society for all.

Florida

A Note from your Chair: Orlando Strong

Posted in Graduate School

FloridaFriends and colleagues,

I sit with tears in my eyes as I write this. Just over 24 hours after hearing the news of the horrific tragedy in Orlando, I am still in shock, not sure what to say, and unsure of where I can feel safe in our increasingly violent, unpredictable world.

As a woman, an American, a psychologist, and as a lesbian, my heart is completely broken.To the other members of our LGBTQ community I send you love. Let us be strong, yet honest. Let us find joy in the beauty that does live all around us, yet may we always remember. Let us cry and laugh. Let us continue to embrace our differences, and lean into our enemies with love.

To our Muslim brothers and sisters. I am equally sickened by the hate directed toward you following this, and every crime used to vilify you as a people. It is wrong and unfair. You are beautiful, peaceful, and welcome. I send you love and I stand with you.

To our allies. Thank you.

To our psychology community as a whole. Let us stand up. Let us speak out. Let us serve. Let us help. I am reminded of a quote by Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” As psychologists we have much to offer this world in terms of healing, social change, and leading by example. Let us be this change together, using each of our unique strengths and psychological knowledge to influence the much needed change in our country and in our world.

To being the change and leading with love,

Christine
APAGS Chair

A few resources:

From CNN: How to help Orlando shooting victims

From APA: Managing Your Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

Recovering Emotionally from a Disaster

 

Thoughts on the EPPP Step 2

Posted in Advocacy, Graduate School, Training Issues

By Christine Jehu, Ph.D., APAGS Chair

You may have heard that the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) is currently developing a second examination (EPPP Step 2) for psychology licensure to assess clinical competency. This exam would follow the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Continue reading