In this issue

SPTA and Diversity Updates

States are busy!

By Jennifer F. Kelly, PhD, ABPP

Jennifer Kelly


It's been an exciting year for the Diversity Directorate. We worked hard to focus on relevant issues dealing with today's social climate. We continued our Diversity Dialogues series with an event exploring Islamophobia. We recognized the importance of involving young people in culturally-informed conversations so we provided a space for parents to begin engaging their children in age-appropriate discussions about diversity and multiculturalism through two movie events - “Zootopia” and “Hidden Figures.” Our seminal event, the Diversity Brunch was a great success and fostered a spirit of collaboration and networking. We are beginning our new year with an exciting change in leadership. The Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs will be chaired by Speshal Walker, PhD, and the Committee on Women and Girls will be chaired by Adriana Flores, PhD. We welcome the energy and new ideas that these leaders will bring.


In 2017, the Indiana Psychological Association (IPA) Diversity Committee continued to gain momentum. Last year, we were able to develop a formal mission statement for our committee to guide our work. Additionally, a diversity webpage with a resource guide was created as a link on the IPA website. In 2017, our committee built on these accomplishments by creating a survey that was disseminated to the IPA membership. The intent of the survey was to determine the current needs of the membership as it relates to diversity and to also identify members who have self-identified expertise in various areas of diversity. The committee will be analyzing the results of the survey to guide future goals and to develop a directory for the membership of psychologists who can be contacted with questions on specific areas of diversity. The IPA Diversity Committee continues to maintain a relationship with graduate students at a local hospital. They provide monthly article reviews on topics of diversity that are shared through IPA's weekly “PsychBytes,” which is produced through IPA's Communications Committee. The Diversity Committee continues to have a representative participate in the IPA Continuing Education (CE) Committee meetings to help bring ideas of how to include diversity in CE events and accommodations statements.


Culturally Informed Clinical Practice

This conference will bring together clinicians and representatives of the Tribal Nations community in Northern Michigan to provide a unique and valuable cultural and clinical training with diversity CE's for psychologists and CEU's for social workers and professional counselors. More than ever, psychologists are called to understand diversity factors in order to provide appropriate and effective psychological services and also meet professional licensing requirements. Yet many of us did not benefit from comprehensive diversity classes or other diversity experiences while in training. Recognizing and supporting clients' sociocultural identity and understanding the historic, intergenerational, socioeconomic and political factors that impact their lives can be challenging for clinicians while also essential for effective service provision. This conference will address the overall importance of culturally informed practice, intergenerational trauma, religion as cultural diversity, clinical innovations and best practices, challenges for clinicians and clients, and culturally informed practice in integrated care settings and among specific, underserved populations. In collaboration with community elders from the Tribal Nations, the day-long event will include experiential and cultural components specific to Native American communities in Michigan as well as the more traditional teaching components of a clinical training event.


Since 2013, the Missouri Psychological Association (MOPA) Diversity Committee has been taking active roles in helping citizens and professionals become more sensitive as they address difficult diversity issues affecting them and develop linkages to existing mental health services that can assist them in coping with concerns. The MOPA Diversity Committee advanced efforts on the following committee objective this year: Identify and develop workshops or presentations that enhance multicultural awareness and competence. There was a successful continuing education workshop in September 2016 and March 2017 on culturally and linguistically appropriate services conducted by a Diversity Committee member and past president of MOPA. In addition, the 2017 MOPA conference infused diversity and inclusion through its theme – “Many Hands, Many Voices, One MOPA.” Presenters from a variety of backgrounds (race, ethnicity, religion, gender identification and sexual orientation) provided clinical education on numerous topics (racial/ ethnic group oppression, social class, age, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity). As a result of enthusiasm generated through this diversity-informed conference and our four successful “Mingle with MOPA” social hour events (currently in three major cities in the state), there has been new and renewed interest generated through early career professionals, students, as well as seasoned professionals in MOPA participation.