The presidents of five ethnic-minority psychological associations met in Washington, D.C., March 20-22, to coordinate advocacy efforts and collaborative projects, including the distribution of educational materials, to increase diversity in psychology.
Representatives from the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), the National Latina/Latino Psychological Association (NLPA), the Society of Indian Psychologists (SIP) and APA's Div. 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues) spoke with APA Public Interest Directorate staff and APA President-elect Ron Levant, EdD, dean and professor of psychology at the Center for Psychological Studies at Nova Southeastern University.
In addition to providing updates on their organizations' activities, participants discussed Levant's aspirations for his presidential year, including his goal of promoting diversity in APA governance and throughout psychology.
Among the ethnic-minority council's other actions were:
Resolving that each ethnic-minority psychological association will assess its interest in applying for affiliate status with APA. This move sets the stage for the ethnic-minority psychological associations to send representatives to APA's Council of Representatives, if it votes to invite them.
At the February APA Council of Representatives meeting, Div. 45 introduced a motion to create seats for each of the unrepresented minority psychology associations; this proposal is currently in committee.
Appointing Frederick T.L. Leong, PhD, director of the counseling psychology program at the University of Tennessee and president of the AAPA, to coordinate the writing of a publication outlining suggestions for testing and assessment of ethnic-minority populations.
The monograph, which will be the third in a series of four, will likely include recommendations for promoting increased cultural competency in testing.
The ethnic-minority council also decided that the entire series of publications, which includes guidelines for research with ethnic-minority populations and recommendations for treating ethnic-minority populations, be mailed to all publishers of introductory psychology textbooks, psychology graduate departments and clinical journal editors, among others. The first two booklets are also available on the Web at APA Online Brochures.
Reviewing an SIP position paper on the use of Native American mascots for sports teams. The ethnic-minority council asked that SIP revise the paper to include a recent study illustrating the dispiriting effect such mascots have on Native American students. The group is expected to vote to support the paper at its August meeting, says Div. 45 President Steven James, PhD.
Receiving an update on NLPA's efforts to translate into Spanish the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) forms, which detail the rights of privacy to medical patients. NLPA will be working on a state-by-state basis to ensure that Latinos with limited English proficiency can understand the forms.
Requesting that member organizations send formal letters of support to the ethnic-minority council's board regarding the ABPsi reparations initiative--a statement of support for the national reparations movement. This position paper asks that the U.S. government and other entities that participated in slavery formally apologize to all black people of African descent in the United States. Additionally, ABPsi argues that monetary reparations should be made, perhaps in the form of funds for college scholarships or community development.