Tag Archives: elections

#NotMyPresident – Anti-Racism Activism Under a Trump Presidency

Open Letter to Graduate Students in Psychology:

Protesters hold signs during a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Protesters hold signs during a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

On November 9, 2016, we woke up to a new era in modern American politics. Not since the presidential campaign of pro-segregation proponent George Wallace in 1968 have racial and ethnic intolerance been expressed so openly and vehemently by a presidential candidate. Donald Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “drug dealers,” questioned the impartiality of federal judge Gonzalo Curiel due to his Mexican ancestry, and called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. He also proclaimed that African-Americans and Latinos are “living in hell,” reinforcing negative stereotypes and ignoring the vibrancy that exists in both communities. Indeed, Donald Trump has a long history of racist remarks and attitudes. Trump also repeatedly made misogynistic statements that denigrated and demeaned women, and was caught boasting about sexual assault. Despite these infractions, Donald Trump became the President-Elect of the United States.

The work of activists is needed now more than ever. As is evident from the recent wave of hate crimes across the United States, bigots are emboldened as a result of Trump’s victory, and Black and Brown lives are at great risk. The APA Ethics Code calls on us to promote the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom psychologists work. The code also calls on psychologists to “respect and protect the civil and human rights” of our clients. When the welfare of our clients is jeopardized by racial discrimination, we are called to stand up and seek justice on their behalf.

With this in mind, we are calling for a national dialogue titled “#NotMyPresident – Anti-Racism Activism Under a Trump Presidency,” to take place at 5:00 p.m. CST on January 17, 2017.

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Psych The Vote! Final Chance to Meet Blaire and Justin before Voting Begins

psychthevoteWe’re once again Psyching the Vote for APAGS Chair-Elect! During the month of April, APAGS members can submit an elections ballot for elections for APAGS Chair-Elect and four members at large (link contains position descriptions and official bios). Members will get an email with voting instructions tomorrow, April 1. This post is the final in our series in which candidates voluntarily answer our questions in 200 words or less, to give voters some insight into what they will bring to their prospective positions. We’ve heard already from Blaire and Justin last week when they spoke about the relevance of leadership and advocacy competencies.

Here we go with our final question for APAGS Chair-Elect: 

What is it about psychology or about fellow graduate students that will keep you shuffling back and forth to DC dozens of times during your 3+ years in office for APAGS? What is it about YOU that makes you believe you can sustain your energy and focus for that long?

Justin Karr responds: 

Justin_Karr_headshot_2015

I was initially attracted to the discipline of psychology due to its focus on improving people’s lives through both translatable research and direct clinical work. In this same light, I came to APAGS with the interest of serving students. My advocacy to date has focused on providing a voice to students, and reducing the burdens that we face during our training and early careers. I personally know the disappointment of not matching to an internship, and I have felt the burden of debt and the constant stress of financial insecurity. These issues are not individual to me, and they require passionate advocacy. My own experiences, and the stories of my peers, motivate me to advocate to the highest powers for improved educational standards, greater training opportunities, and increased graduate funding. These goals do not only serve to help students, but they also serve to help the public. The world needs well-trained psychologists, free of undue burdens that interfere with their training and meaningful work. I will work every day of my tenure as the APAGS Chair-elect to reduce barriers, support educational quality, and ensure that every psychology student has access to the highest quality of graduate education.

Blaire Schembari responds:

schembari

At my first APAGS leadership meeting, I felt a rush of excitement. Over three days of back-to-back meetings, I participated in discussions, brainstorming sessions, and working groups focused on addressing critical graduate student issues. After the final meeting, I expected to be worn out; however, I was inspired and ready to lead. My energy was maintained because I deeply connect with the leadership and advocacy I am a part of with APAGS.

Advocating for my fellow psychology graduate students’ interests and making a difference in their lives and future careers will motivate me to travel during my time in office.

Additionally, I will sustain my energy and focus during my travel, as I have already had practice. My now partner and I were in a long-distance relationship for my first three years of graduate school. I traveled from D.C. to California every month, maintaining my graduate studies and other responsibilities. At times, traveling was difficult; however, I had something, in this case someone, I was passionate about, which fueled my motivation. Giving a voice to my peers is what I am passionate about. I am confident my fervor for leadership and advocacy will keep me energized and focused to travel.

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That’s a wrap! Tomorrow, you as an APAGS member will receive your ballot! Check the inbox and spam folder of the email account you have on file with APA. If you don’t receive a ballot, try entering your last name and membership number here or request a new ballot from Garnett Coad in our Elections Office. — APAGS Staff.

Psych The Vote! Meet 3 Candidates for APAGS Member-at-Large, Diversity

psychthevoteWe’re Psyching the Vote for APAGS Member-at-Large, Diversity Focus! During the month of April, APAGS members can submit an elections ballot for elections for APAGS chair-elect and four members at large (link contains position descriptions and official bios). Members will get an email with voting instructions on April 1. This post is the fifth in a series of six ending tomorrow in which candidates voluntarily answer our questions in 200 words or less, to give voters some insight into what they will bring to their prospective positions.

Our question for APAGS Member-at-Large, Diversity Focus: 

Creating a graduate school experience where students of historically marginalized backgrounds can feel safe is very important for multiple stakeholders — and is receiving a lot of national attention. What do you think is APAGS’s specific role in promoting safety, and what should be our top priorities in the next few years?

Mona Elgohail responds: 

ElgohailA quick Google search of my name will show one of several instances throughout my life when I was discriminated against by those who were supposedly there to help me excel academically. I know first-hand that discrimination against students of historically marginalized backgrounds is still grossly pervasive and tolerated within some university settings. I believe that APAGS is uniquely positioned to address these injustices top-down through policy, and bottom-up by providing minority students with resources to advocate for themselves and create change in their departments.

I aspire to establish policies that encourage graduate programs to more explicitly commit to inclusiveness and diversity. These efforts would involve surveying students to determine how new policies can best reflect the needs of marginalized students nationwide and create meaningful change in their graduate programs.

Solutions can take a number of forms, including periodic trainings on diversity issues; innovative approaches to recruitment of minority students and faculty; the formation of advisory committees within departments that focus on diversity and inclusion; and courses that provide effective understandings of privilege, policy, and social justice. Ultimately, creating a culture where marginalized students feel safe should be a priority for graduate programs and aligns perfectly with APAGS’s mission.

Jamal Hailey responds:

HaileyAPAGS is uniquely positioned to play a pivotal role in addressing issues concerning safety on a national level through student engagement activities. Over the next few years, APAGS’s top priority should be developing and implementing a strategic plan, which includes having conversations with students across the county, to address issues related to gender based violence and sexual assaults; transphobia, structural level oppression, and the safety of Black students as anti-Black propaganda continues to increase across the country. Elevating the voices of students across campuses provides them with an opportunity to voice their concerns and recommendation regarding safety at their respective campuses. While students at colleges may not have the same experiences, providing an opportunity for students to engage in a national dialogue could yield important information, which APAGS could use to develop a national strategy to address and promote safety for students, particularly those from marginalized and/or underrepresented groups.

Fanny Ng responds:

Ng

Graduate students from historically marginalized backgrounds should not just feel safe in their programs but feel valued and respected as developing professionals who bring unique experiences and perspectives to understandings and applications of psychology in research, practice and teaching to diverse peoples. We should aim not only to establish safety for minority students but welcome diversity across all dimensions at every program as diverse viewpoints enrich teaching and learning for all students and faculty. Diverse viewpoints produce more cognizant and culturally competent psychologists from all backgrounds to effectively address the needs of changing communities currently and in the future.

Therefore, I believe APAGS’s top priorities for the coming years should be to establish practical guidelines for graduate programs on the 1) regular assessment of program diversity climate and 2) strategies for developing effective action plans to cultivate greater safety and inclusion for all students, especially those from marginalized backgrounds. I have seen the ways that student feedback can drive lasting change in graduate program policies and structures. I believe that APAGS can and should lead graduate programs to provide safe, non-evaluative avenues for student feedback that redouble the effort to create more welcoming student environments for psychology’s diverse future leaders.

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Be on the lookout tomorrow for our final post in this series and be sure to vote when you receive your APAGS electronic ballot on Friday! — APAGS Staff.

Psych The Vote! Meet the Candidate for APAGS Member-at-Large, Research/Academic

psychthevoteWe’re Psyching the Vote for APAGS Member-at-Large, Research/Academic Focus! During the month of April, APAGS members can submit an elections ballot for elections for APAGS chair-elect and four members at large (link contains position descriptions and official bios). Members will get an email with voting instructions on April 1. This post is the fourth in a series of six between now and Thursday in which candidates voluntarily answer our questions in 200 words or less, to give voters some insight into what they will bring to their prospective positions. Jacklynn Fitzgerald is the sole candidate for today’s featured role.

Our question for APAGS Member-at-Large, Research/Academic Focus: 

Right now APAGS is concerned about adjunctification; that is, the movement of many tenure track positions in the academy to adjunct positions.  What advice would you offer student scientists, and what practical solutions would you ask the APAGS committee to focus on in the near and long terms to examine or address this issue?

Jacklynn Fitzgerald responds: 

fitzgeraldWith the rise in adjunct faculty, students should be increasingly strategic in choosing positions that advance them professionally. One common misconception is that accepting an adjunct position will lead to a tenure-track faculty opportunity within the same institution. While this is sometimes the case, it is not the norm owing to the fact that while adjunct professors are distinguished educators; their achieved skills may be dissimilar from those of a tenured-track research position. That is, while teaching as an adjunct professor can be fulfilling and creates unique opportunity, students should consciously consider ways in which these positions facilitate their ultimate career goals.

Additionally, as institutions rely on adjunct professors for different reasons, sometimes to expose undergraduates to experts with unique perspective and sometimes to free up finances, students should be aware that each rationale holds different consequences for an institution’s climate. Because of this reality, I believe that the APAGS committee should work long-term to create resources in order to help students choose an academic institution as a home and employer. Ideally, these resources critically assess the impact of adjunctification on the financial and intellectual health of institutions so that emerging scientists may better educate themselves on employment options.

 

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Be on the lookout tomorrow for our next post in this series and be sure to vote when you receive your APAGS electronic ballot on Friday! — APAGS Staff.

Psych The Vote! Meet 3 Candidates for APAGS Member-at-Large, Membership

psychthevoteWe’re Psyching the Vote for APAGS Member-at-Large, Membership Recruitment and Retention Focus! During the month of April, APAGS members can submit an elections ballot for elections for APAGS chair-elect and four members at large (link contains position descriptions and official bios). Members will get an email with voting instructions on April 1. This post is the third in a series of six between now and March 31 in which candidates voluntarily answer our questions in 200 words or less, to give voters some insight into what they will bring to their prospective positions.

Our question for APAGS Member-at-Large, Membership Recruitment and Retention Focus: 

What is the value of staying a student member of a large umbrella organization like APA, especially when there are many niche organizations one can be part of, and when APA makes many of its member resources freely available to the public?

Roseann Fish Getchell responds: 

fishEach graduate student has the potential to find value in the unique benefits of becoming an APAGS member.  I want to share my own motivations for joining the APA as a graduate student focused on investing in my future as a professional psychologist to reflect how we can all find our own niche.  1. Connection: I have had the opportunity of meeting amazing students who are truly making a difference in their communities across the country. We have shared common interests, goals, and passions within groups like the Advocacy Coordinating Team–I admire them and am encouraged by them every day. 2. Mentorship: The number of students, staff members and psychologists who genuinely care about building the future of our profession is overwhelming. Whether I am meeting a psychologist at a convention/conference, reading an article in an APAGS blog, or connecting with a committee member, the opportunities for mentoring are endless. 3. Leadership: With the help of incredibly supportive APA staff, the majority of APAGS is organized and run by student volunteers who are engaging in dynamic leadership. There are so many ways to get involved! Visit my website, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages for more information!

Keri Frantell responds: 

frantellWhile I think it is incredibly valuable to be involved with niche organizations, being a part of the larger APA organization allows a few unparalleled opportunities: specifically for networking, emphasizing a well-rounded understanding of the field, and offering a chance to learn and share with diverse perspectives. Due to costs, both financially and with time, we often have to choose divisions that support our interest areas carefully. I have many interests outside of my specific division areas that are vital to my identity as a psychologist. Being a part of APA allows me the opportunity to connect with other professionals beyond my few selected niche areas, and to find connections and similarities with people who I otherwise might not ever meet. When conceptualizing ideas, research areas, and even clients, I know that I find it can be easy to become entrenched in a single, familiar area. APA offers a chance to connect with diverse perspectives, increasing my understanding of important issues. I love to connect with others to learn and grow as a professional. Membership in APA allows us to become well-rounded professionals while offering support in connecting to those with similar or dissimilar interests.

Whitney Stubbs responds:

stubbsI was a student member of APA long before becoming active in any real sense. It was not until my first APA conference in 2014 that I truly felt a part of the APA community. I have vivid memories of this conference, particularly my interactions with members of the Division 40 student affiliate organization, ANST. Not only did I feel welcomed and accepted into this new community, I felt inspired and supported. In retrospect, this point marks when my professional identity truly began to develop, and I began to seek out mentorship and professional opportunities to meet my training needs. Being a part of a community of bright, motivated, and passionate individuals has pushed me to grow, both personally and professionally, and has helped me realize that I could truly make a difference within our field. When I reflect on the benefits of membership, particularly active membership, I think about supportive community, personal growth, professional development, and networking. I also think about the diversity of opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and pursue common goals that aren’t always offered by smaller professional organizations. For me, it is the relational piece, beyond the intellectual, that makes active membership so beneficial.

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Be on the lookout Tuesday, March 29th for our next post in this series and be sure to vote when you receive your APAGS electronic ballot on April 1! — APAGS Staff.