Welcome and introduction

November highlights include The Five Pillars of Ethnic Minority Psychology, current progress of the Ethnicity and Health in America Series, and recent OEMA activities

Tiffany G. Townsend, PhD
Senior Director of OEMA

Tiffany G. Townsend, PhDThis November we witnessed the re-election of the United States’ first African-American President. Several news accounts report that it was the nations’ people of color that helped to catapult President Barrack Obama to victory; helping to secure 332 Electoral College votes. This is just one in a long list of indications that the demography of the United States is rapidly changing. The US Census estimates that by 2050, people of color will comprise more than 50 percent of the nation’s population, necessitating a paradigm shift in our field in order to appropriately address the mental health needs of our increasingly diverse society. For instance, recruiting and training psychologists of color is not just an affirmative action issue, but it is now a crucial requirement in order to ensure that psychology’s workforce adequately reflects America’s increasing diversity. It is psychologists of color that often act as leaders in service to communities of color and champions in moving the extant literature concerning multicultural psychology forward.

Our special section on The Five Pillars of Ethnic Minority Psychology: Strengthening Psychology’s Vision and Purpose to meet the Demands of an Evolving Discipline focuses on the five national psychological associations that were specifically organized to address the needs of psychologists of color in the profession and communities of color in our society. These organizations are helping to usher in a shift in the profession by serving as incubators for some of the greatest minds in psychology in general and multicultural psychology in particular. In this section, each organization provides a synopsis of their history, mission and vision along with their current priorities and major initiatives.

Following our special section, we provide a brief update on OEMA’s recent activities, which includes the current progress of our new initiative, the Ethnicity and Health in America Series, designed to raise public awareness concerning the varied health concerns of America’s people of color. A full description of this initiative is included. The update also includes other relevant calls and announcement emanating from the Public Interest Directorate.

Our goal for this issue was to highlight the ways in which organized psychology is working to address the needs of our diverse society. We hope that you have found this thematic issue informative. As always, I want to thank the staff of OEMA for their continued effort to produce the work of our office. I also want to extend a very heartfelt thank you to the presidents of each of the ethnic minority psychological associations for their contributions and endless support.