section officers


The heritage page celebrates the accomplishments of ethnic minority psychologists who have made significant contributions to the field of psychology.

  1. Remembering A.Toy Caldwell Colbert
  2. Remembering Carolyn Payton
    Division 12's Section VI has a rich history!  Please click on the link below to read the journal article by Russell Jones, Ph.D. describing the history of Section VI.  
    Racial/Ethnic and Cultural Issues

Remembering A.Toy Caldwell Colbert
Dr. Toy Caldwell-Colbert transitioned peacefully on the morning of March12, 2008 with loved ones after a courageous battle with cancer. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers during this time of need for her immediate and extended family.  Toy was a dedicated psychologist and visionary member of APA committed to clinical science and practice and increasing attention to the specific needs of women and ethnic minorities ( http://www.apa. org/monitor/ julaug07/ colbert.html ).  Her leadership, mentorship, and warm heart will be missed by many, including her large extended professional family.  In her honor, you may wish to remember those in your personal community that may suffer from the effects of cancer and mental health.  To remember her many contributions to our personal lives, psychology, commitment to education, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations are made on her behalf to her beloved alma mater where she had served on the Board of Trustees:  You may donate online at: http://www.spelman. edu/alumnae/ giving/ or by mail to Spelman College, Office of Institutional Advancement, Box 1551, 350 Spelman Lane, SW, Atlanta, GA 30314.  Please be sure to note Dr. Toy Caldwell Colbert in the memo line so that your thoughtful gift may be directed accordingly. 

Central Statue University News Item:

Atlanta Journal Constitution New Item:

Remembering Carolyn Payton
By Ayana Watkins-Northern, Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Services
Chief Psychologist
Howard University Counseling Service

The contributions and accomplishments of Dr. Carolyn Payton have been many. From her work on numerous boards and committees of the American Psychological Association (APA) to serving as Peace Corp Director under the Carter Administration, Dr. Payton has left a legacy of hard work on behalf of ethnic minority people. She has done so from a sense of personal responsibility and personal authority. Specific to the field of clinical psychology, Payton was an educator, clinician, trainer and supervisor. She developed the first APA accredited Pre-doctoral Internship Training Program in Clinical and Counseling Psychology in a historically black institution--Howard University.As Dean and Director of the Howard University Counseling Service, Dr. Payton was a pioneer in addressing the need for quality clinical service for ethnic minority populations. She also placed a premium on clinical training. Acquiring advanced training was an expectation that was made clear to all her staff. She instilled in her staff the desire to excel as clinicians and offered moral and material support to help them reach that goal. Dr. Payton took this a step further and established a group program, which offered group psychotherapy and group counseling as a treatment modality in the African-American population. This defied virtually all of the existing literature on research in group psychotherapy for minority populations, particularly Blacks or African-Americans. Training in groups, subsequently became one of the primary characteristics of the Psychology Internship Program at the University Counseling Service.

Perhaps one of Payton’s most lasting and important contributions to clinical psychology for ethnic minorities was her role as mentor. Effective mentoring requires the ability to provide guidance, critical evaluation, support and modeling for taking up the role. Mentoring can be thought of as “professional parenting.” From this context, one could say that Carolyn Payton parented many professional off-springs. In so doing, she has left the field of clinical psychology richer for both the clinician and the client. Carolyn Payton’s legacy will have a lasting impact upon the quality of mental health services available to the underserved populations in this country. Back to Top

Racial/Ethnic and Cultural Issues
Russell T. Jones
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University

Perhaps the most efficacious way of presenting the history and purpose of our section is through the provision of archival information documenting its inception, as well, as its current status. Therefore, what follows are the minutes from a meeting of the EOAA Committee presented by Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little in May of 1985, describing the need for and goals of a section aimed at minority issues within Division 12.  A formal presentation from August of 1985 by Dr. Gray-Little which further elucidates the needs and goals of the section is also provided.  These are followed by a list of the current activities and the status of the section.


The EOAA Committee of Division 12 met from 9:00 to 5:00 of May 4, 1985, in Los Angeles.  The members present were Jorge Montijo, Stanley Sue, Gail Wyatt, and Toni Bernay and Bernadette Gray-Little, co-chairs.  The remaining committee member, Alan Malyon, was unable to attend.Following the introduction of new members the history and current status of the EOAA Committee of Division 12 were reviewed.  Particular attention was given to the problems that have prevented a stable membership or leadership for the committee and which have resulted in a lack of focus.  Those present agreed the committee needed to set definite, specific goals; to concentrate its efforts on these goals; and then to disband once these goals were achieved.  One idea that has been broached in a number of previous committee meetings was the suggestion to use the committee as a basis for establishment of a new section on ethnic minority issues within Division 12.  Through becoming a section the aims of EOAA can be better served in several ways.  First a section would have a representative to Division 12 meetings and thus formal recognition within the divisional structure; second, each section has program hours guaranteed at the APA convention; and third a section provides opportunities for enlisting members for the section and for Division 12 as a whole.  Furthermore, a section Newsletter would provide opportunities for disseminating information on the activities of the section.In addition to promoting the overall objectives of the Division the Section on Ethnic Minority Issue would also aim to

  • foster research on clinical intervention with minority populations;promote sensitivity to cultural and ethnic issues in the training of all psychologists;increase the quality and accessibility of training opportunities for minority clinical psychologists;enhance the representation of minority psychologists within APA Division 12 governance and the Division 12 Fellowship;enlarge the role of minority psychologists in the journal editorial and review process; and
  • provide an internal forum for the exchange of ideas on minority issues and on topics of concern to ethnic minority psychologists.

Toni Bernay and Bernadette Gray-Little had already requested time at the August convention to have a symposium or open forum on “Minority Psychologists and Clinical Psychology”.  The committee will use this time to present its ideas regarding a new section within Division 12 and to enlist the support of a variety of groups in the formation of the new section.  The remainder of the meeting was spent in allocating responsibilities for planning and conducting the forum.

Bernadette Gray-Little
Co-chair, EOAA Committee

The EOAA committee was constituted by Division 12 in 1975, to study ways to ensure full participation of diverse groups of psychologists within the Division.  Originally chaired by Bonnie Strickland, some of the committee’s early efforts were directed toward a study of the composition of the division, developing a talent bank for underrepresented groups, and learning more about the needs of special groups of Division 12 members (Rayburn et al., Clinical Psychologist, Winter 1984, pp.13-14)At various times, throughout the past decades the committee has included within its purview efforts to enhance the presence of women, gays and lesbians, and racial and ethnic minority psychologists, among others.  More recently, as women and gay and lesbians psychologists have obtained formal structured recognition through Divisions 35 and 44 and women through Section IV of Division 12, the attention of the committee has been more heavily directed to racial and ethnic minorities and in particular to the formation of a section on minority psychology.  The primary reason for this focus was the perception that, without the formality of a section, the committee’s efforts to enhance participation of minority psychologists and to bring into relief minority issues would continue to be ad hoc rather than central to the life of the Division.  Specific advantages of section status include guaranteed program hours at the APA convention, the opportunity to enlist new members, representation in Division 12 executive processes, and a formal society of psychologists with scientific and professional interests in racial and ethnic minorities.Our purpose in inviting you here today is

  • to bring this process to your attention,to outline goals and potential activities of the sectionto solicit your ideas regarding a minority psychology section, and
  • to enlist your support for the section. 

During our time here we will circulate a petition.  (As you may know, formation of a section requires the endorsement of at least 2% of the Division membership.  Thus we ask those signing the petition to indicate if you are a member of Division 12.  We also welcome names and addresses of those who are not currently members of the Division but may be interested in joining the Division, the Section, or hopefully both.The members of the EOAA committee constitute our panel today.  I have asked each of them to take 5-10 minutes to describe a facet of the goals and functions of the section.  If you have questions regarding a particular presentation please feel free to direct them to the speaker at the end of the presentation.  We will have time for more global questions and comments after the brief presentations. I wish to highlight a pair of goals familiar to all of you: (a) quality training of a larger number of minority psychologists and (b) training psychologists to be sensitive to ethnic and cultural issues.  Both of these goals have as their primary end improvement of mental health services for minority populations, as well as improvement of research on ethnic and racial minorities.  The first of these goals has largely been measured by the number of minority psychologists produced.  Most indications are that this goal is to some extent being realized, though recent data suggest a decline in the number of some minorities, especially blacks, receiving doctoral level training psychology over the past 5 years.  There may be many reasons for this decline, though a slackening of recruitment efforts could be partly responsible.  As support for training clinical psychologists declines and eventually dries up, renewed  efforts will be needed even to maintain the number of minority psychologists trained at current levels.The second goal, training clinical psychologists to use culturally sensitive research and treatment models, has been more elusive.  Only a small percentage of clinical programs offer courses related to ethnicity (Bernal & Padilla, 1982).  The number of internship programs offering specific focus on this area is just as small (Wyatt & Parham, 1985).  Although endorsing the desirability of exposure to material on cultural diversity, many programs actively resist inclusion of formal coverage of these areas on the grounds that they are not basic, that there is not time, or that there is no one to offer such coverage.  Ideally, relevant material would be a part of all research and practice courses- a situation more likely to occur when specific courses on ethnic and cultural issues are present.Both of these goals- training of minority psychologists and training psychologists to be sensitive to cultural issues-deserve the continued attention of the Division as it works to influence committees on graduate education, accreditation, and the like within APA, and research and funding agencies outside APA.  I see the role of the section as enhancing and reinforcing these efforts and keeping these issues before the eyes of the Division.

As a direct outgrowth of the preceding pioneering efforts, Section VI, “Racial/ Ethical and Cultural Issues,” of Division 12 was officially established in 1986.  The initial executive committee consisted of:

Gail E. Wyatt, President
Lillian Comas-Diaz, President-Elect
Elsie Golil, Secretary
Russell T. Jones, Representative
Sam Turner, Membership Chair
Reiko True, Program Chair.

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