August 7, 2006

American Psychological Association Launches its 114th Annual Convention in New Orleans with Activities to Help the City in its Recovery

NEW ORLEANS - The American Psychological Association (APA) will hold its 114th Annual Convention in New Orleans on August 10-13, 2006. With approximately 8,000 attendees expected to attend the annual event, comes the spirit of revitalizing and recovery. After Hurricane Katrina, APA leadership and membership held steadfastly to their commitment to hold the annual convention in New Orleans. To assist with the ongoing recovery efforts within the city, APA has scheduled a number of volunteer activities and benefit functions to help in the city's recovery.

"The opportunity to contribute to the continued recovery of New Orleans has captured the imagination of APA members. Particular excitement has surrounded planning for many assistance and consultation projects and activities that will take place during the convention. Many psychologists have expertise in human reactions to trauma as well as recovery from such events. As a group, we want to lend both our labor and our knowledge to the people of New Orleans in an effort to help support their recovery," says APA President, Dr. Gerald P. Koocher, PhD.

The following activities will take place through-out the APA Convention:

  • APA Community Fair will be held on Monday, August 7 in the Upper 9th Ward. The fair will feature informational booths on resilience and mind/body health tailored for this community. As well as offer food, games and entertainment for all ages.
  • The American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy Community Service Day will be a joint effort with Baptist Crossroads. This event will take place on Tuesday, August 8. This project will involve light construction work on new and renovated homes.
  • APA members will join forces with Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday, August 9. Volunteers will help build houses in the ninth Ward neighborhood of New Orleans. This project received such an astonishing response from APA members that it quickly filled, causing Habitat for Humanity to agree to allow 2-shifts of 40 volunteers each to work on the project.
  • The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues is teaming with Common Ground Relief (http://www.commongroundrelief.org/) on a program to connect convention attendees with community assistance projects such as house cleanup teams, support at medical clinics, women's centers and childcare centers and distributing food and supplies.
  • The Preservation Hall Jazz band concert will be held on Friday, August, 11. All ticket proceeds go to the Habitat for Humanity. For those APA members who weren't able to volunteer to work on the local Habitat for Humanity projects, the jazz concert offers an opportunity to spend a lovely evening enjoying jazz while raising funds to support the rebuilding efforts taking place throughout the city.
  • Anticipated to be one of the larger events of the convention, APA members are looking forward to An Evening with Bill Cosby, on Saturday, August 12. All ticket proceeds go to the New Orleans Public Schools.
  • Throughout the APA convention there will be a school supplies drive going on. APA members are encouraged to bring school supplies such as pencils, colored markers, crayons, notebooks, backpacks, and calculators to the convention where collection sites will be available at numerous locations throughout the convention center. All donations will benefit the New Orleans Public Schools.
  • Just days after Hurricane Katrina affected New Orleans; the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology formed the KARE (Katrina Aid and Relief Effort) and with the help of the Society of Consulting Psychology has set out to provide New Orleans residents and businesses affected by Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita with assistance in rebuilding their organizations and/or their careers. Information on such issues as hiring, placing, training and developing employees; getting best performance in difficult circumstances; developing leaders; helping individuals return to their careers; helping individuals and organizations effectively manage stress will be available. Individual consultation and mini-workshops will be offered. As much as possible, services will be provided on a pro-bono or 'expenses only' basis. These events will take place August 11 and 12 at the Wyndham Canal Place. The contact person for this event is Vicki Vandaveer, Chairperson, KARE, she can be reached by cell phone at (832)724-7151.
  • The APA Society for the Psychological study of Ethnic Minority Issues will be collecting cash donations for the New Orleans Public Libraries to assist with the replacement of library collections lost in the flooding.
  • Psychology Volunteers for New Orleans Animals. Opportunities are available to help care for the large number of pets left behind when the city was evacuated through the Louisiana SPCA and the Animal Rescue of New Orleans. Psychologists and their families can volunteer.
The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.