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SPSSI Programming at APA 2008

by Ray Paloutzian, SPSSI 2008 APA Program Chair

My invitation:  I invite all of you to attend the APA convention next August 14-17 in Boston in order to not miss what is emerging as a very fine SPSSI program.  We have a full menu with plenty of program time for symposia, additional discussion sessions and social hours, plus poster hours.  As I write this, the review committee is reviewing the proposals and upon seeing them I am certain that the Boston SPSSI program will be solid, substantive, and engaging. Attend, participate, get involved, and enjoy it!

Topics. One special event will be SPSSI’s participation, with other Divisions for Social Justice, in a mini-convention devoted to hate crimes.  Another will be an invited symposium organized by Dan Christie at Ohio State University on systemic violence and peacebuilding.  The range of topics goes from those with global importance to local focus.  Public health, activism, disaster and crisis issues post 9/11, Katrina, torture, women’s issues, prejudice sparked by recent international events, cultural and worldview breaches – these and more are part of the submission mix.   Taken together, they promise exposure to leading edge scholarship at the crux of several social issues of our time.  My interest is compelled by them.  I hope yours is too.

Students. We also intend to have a special lunch for students during which they will have close-up time with the SPSSI senior scholars with whom they most want to become acquainted.  If you are a student, I invite you to let me know which senior scholars in social issues lines of research you would like to talk with.  I will try to arrange a meeting with them for you.

The Unique SPSSI Role.  SPSSI is the one division in APA that makes social issues its singular focus.  It has become increasingly important for SPSSI to have a strong voice in APA affairs, especially given the powerful voice that APA has when government and other policy makers call for psychological expertise in an advisory role for.  Therefore, a prominent contribution to the larger association is in the interests of SPSSI’s orientations and goals.  I look forward to our expanding this contribution in Boston 2008. You can contact me at


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