CEMA Middle Easterners/Northern Africans (MENA) Working Group

The APA Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) is convening a working group to examine the status and implications of recognizing Middle Easterners/Northern Africans (which includes Arab Americans) as an ethnic minority group. CEMA sought psychologists with clinical and/or research expertise in areas that included but were not limited to Muslim and Arab mental health; acculturation, identity and discrimination of Middle Easterners/Northern Africans; and therapy and/or counseling of Arab Americans).

Duties and Meetings

The working group is charged with soliciting and receiving input on the question of whether Middle Easterners/North Africans qualify as an oppressed and marginalized ethnic minority group. This may include an assessment of the incidence and prevalence of discrimination and harassment of Middle Easterners/Northern Africans. The working group will examine the implications for recognizing Middle Easterners/Northern Africans as an ethnic minority group for the policies, practices, and programs of the American Psychological Association.

The work of the group will be conducted largely through face to face meetings, email, and teleconferencing. It is anticipated that there will be two face-to-face meetings in D.C. during one calendar year. The first meeting will take place during the APA Spring Consolidated Meetings held March 30-April 01, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The date of the second meeting will be determined during the initial meeting.


Kevin Cokley, PhD, Chair
Associate Professor of Psychology
Department of Educational Psychology
College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station D5800 – SZB 262N
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 471-7498 (office)
(512) 475-7641 (fax)

Germine H. Awad, PhD
The University of Texas at Austin
The College of Education
1 University Station Stop D5800
Austin, TX  78712-0383
(512) 471-0526

Nora Alarifi Pharaon, EdD
17 Ames Avenue
Rutherford, NJ  07070-1701
(201) 507-1800 x13
(201) 507-1888 fax

Sylvia C. Nassar-McMillan, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS
Professor and Program Coordinator of Counselor Education
North Carolina State University
2310 Stinson Drive, Poe 520
Campus Box 7801
Raleigh, NC 27695-7801
Measurement Matters, an NSF funded project at North Carolina State University

Veronica A Kassab (student member)
1906 Oakwood Drive
Mount Pleasant, MI  48858-8065

Rita Stephan, PhD
U.S. Department of Commerce
Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, D.C. 20233

Ignacio David Acevedo-Polakovich, PhD (CEMA Member)
Clinical Faculty, MPSS Advisor
Department of Psychology
Central Michigan University
206 Sloan Hall
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
(989) 774-4404 (office)
(989) 774-2553 (fax)