Ethnicity and Health in America Series
The Ethnicity and Health in America Series is designed to raise public awareness concerning the varied health concerns of America’s people of color, while highlighting the impact of psychology and psychological factors on those health concerns. During four of the national heritage months dedicated to ethnic minority Americans (i.e., Black History Month in February, Asian/Pacific-American Heritage Month in May, National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month in September, and National American-Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month in November), OEMA focuses on a chronic health condition particularly relevant to the ethnic group honored during that month. A website is dedicated to providing information for each health concern and educational forums/workshops are sponsored in the community to educate the public regarding the significance of psychology to health.
In honor of Black History Month, OEMA focused on HIV/AIDS in the African-American community. In collaboration with the Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council of Washington, D.C., a panel discussion was held at the Marshall Heights Community Building in Northeast D.C. on Wednesday February 29, 2012 from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. The session included screenings of the short film HIV: D.C. and the ABC Primetime Documentary, AIDS in Black America followed by a discussion with a panel of experts in the area of HIV/AIDS, including Jason Evans, the writer/producer of HIV:DC; Rodney McCoy, program manager for the National Association of People with AIDS; and David P. DeVito, training director for the H.O.P.E. Program through APA’s Office on AIDS.
In recognition of both Asian-American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month this May, OEMA, in collaboration with several professional partners (including the Asian American Psychological Association) highlighted mental health among Asian-American/Pacific Islanders. A panel discussion, which was a joint venture with the D.C. Mayor’s Office on Asian American Pacific Islander Affairs, covered language and cultural barriers, social isolation of young AAPI children in American social life, and mental health topics that are often considered illicit or even taboo within the AAPI community. The panel, Asian Americana: Understanding AAPI Family Generations, took place on Monday, May 21, 2012, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the AARP Headquarters, Brickfield Center, 601 E Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20049. The discussion included presentations by Hien Vu, executive director, Vietnamese American Community Service Center (VACSC), Alexander Cena, secondary school programs coordinator & intern coordinator, Asian American LEAD (AALEAD); Emilie Dearing, APRN, BC; chair, National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA), and Sarah Cho Kim, PhD, assistant professor of counseling of the Department of Counseling and Human Development of George Washington University.
National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month and National American- Indian/Alaska native Heritage Month will be the focus of the next Ethnicity and Health in America Series events. Please check the website for specifics on the topic and the upcoming events. It should be noted that the Ethnicity and Health in America Series is an opportunity to for members to work with OEMA to provide content and information. The information on HIV/AIDS among African-Americans was co-authored by Scyatta Wallace, PhD, a Division 45 member and former Chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Psychology and AIDS. Similarly, empirical articles from Association members with relevant expertise in the field were featured on our site in May, along with student commentaries on mental health among Asian populations. This may be a great opportunity for students or early career scholars to get some experience writing on-line articles and to gain name exposure.
If you are interested in working on the Ethnicity and Health in America Series with OEMA, please contact the office.