The Society for the
Study of Social Issues



   President's Column
   Maureen O'Connor

Happy New Year to all of you!  I hope that 2012 brings you all lives filled with justice and joy!  I am writing from Washington, D.C., where I am preparing for SPSSI’s mid-winter Council meetings. The agenda for our governance meetings is a full one, and it is thrilling to read through the reports from the multitude of working committees within our organization.  Our Awards, Grants, and Honors committees are busy with identifying and selecting the 2012 recipients of SPSSI’s many awards – please check our web site often,, for award and grant announcements and make sure that you, your students, and your colleagues are submitting and nominating as appropriate. Upcoming deadlines are elsewhere in the newsletter, but a consistent theme that I have heard from my many conversations with members during the fall was that their FIRST encounter with SPSSI was when they received a Grant-in-Aid, or one of our awards, and that has motivated them to become members  or become an even more active member.  Several recent award winners are serving on committees for the first time this year, as we build the next generation of SPSSI leaders.   You can also support these programs by making targeted donations to the accounts that support these awards.  I’d be happy to talk with anyone about making a targeted contribution in support of this aspect of SPSSI’s important work.

Perhaps the busiest people in governance right now, aside from our tremendous Central Office staff, are the co-chairs of our two upcoming conferences – David Livert and Demis Glasford for the 2012 SPSSI Biennial Convention in Charlotte, NC, on June 22 -24; and Sean Massey and Justin Hackett for the SPSSI/Division 9 program at the 2012 APA Convention in Orlando, FL, August 2-5. Calls for papers for both conferences have gone out and more details are elsewhere in the newsletter, but I encourage all of you to consider attending one or both of these important meetings.

Could there be a more exciting time to be in Charlotte, NC, than this coming summer?  The Democratic National Convention will be held there in August, and the city is in full preparation mode.  SPSSI’s Biennial will be held in the center of the city, in the beautiful Omni Hotel.  I have a brochure that lists 101 things to do in Charlotte (besides attend the SPSSI Conference), and a few that might be of interest to SPSSI members include visits to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture, the Levine Museum of the New South, the Mint Museum’s Craft and Design collection, Mert’s Heart and Soul, or perhaps, the Nascar Hall of Fame.

The Biennial program, “Learning from and for Research, Social Action, and Policy,” will highlight the best of social justice research and practice.   We have a number of special events planned, including the screening of several powerful films linked with academic panels, an Early Career Scholars Workshop and Teaching Workshop the day prior to the conference, special attention to global collective action, and Presidential-themed content on Education, Equity, and the Environment.  In support of this environmental programming, we’ve been granted an interdivisional grant from APA which we jointly submitted with Division 34 (Society for Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology), to bring environmentally-focused speakers to SPSSI and to encourage SEPCP members to attend as well.

Please get in touch if you are interested in learning more about SPSSI activities or becoming more involved in SPSSI governance.  Nominate yourself or your colleagues. See you in Charlotte!!!

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin