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2022 GSC Essay Competition

Addressing The Legacy of White Supremacy and Western Dominance in Psychology


Recent calls to address the legacy of White Supremacy and Western dominance in the field of psychology have led to momentum to repair the historical wrongs committed against BIPOC communities. Yet, many BIPOC scholars and psychologists continue to reject the American Psychological Association (APA) 2021 “Apology to People of Color for APA’s Role in Promoting, Perpetuating, and Failing to Challenge Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Human Hierarchy in U.S.,” citing the need for tangible forms of restorative justice and radical structural changes.

This writing competition aims to inspire students to explore psychology’s enduring legacy of White Supremacy and Western dominance in the field. Recent scholarly efforts have interrogated how the prevailing culture of psychology continues to valorize Western society, White culture, and White people to the detriment of communities of color. We welcome perspectives that can deeply reflect on and examine the historical injustices committed by the field and how to make reparations in order to move forward as future psychologists. 

Submissions can be in the form of critical, reflective, or analytical essays. Essays are limited to 800 words, excluding references. Essays must be written in APA format. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  1. Educational and psychological testing

  2. Medical models of illness

  3. Mental health diagnoses and conceptualization

  4. Professional development and career pathways

  5. White Supremacy culture in academia

  6. Colonized models of mentorship

  7. Scientific methodology

We welcome submission from international students and students from underrepresented groups including BIPOC, first-generation college, low-income, LGBTQ+ and students with disabilities.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

  1. Applicants must be a current student at an undergraduate, masters, or PhD/PsyD program.

  2. Only one application can be submitted.

  3. Co-authored entries with other students are eligible.

  4. SPSSI membership is not required.

AWARD:

Essays will be published in the SPSSI newsletter The Forward. Winners will also be honored at the SPSSI summer conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • $300 for graduate student winner

  • $200 for undergraduate student winner

  • Two honorable mentions 

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

Entries will be evaluated by the GSC based on the following criteria: 1) review and critical analysis of research, 2) style and organization, 3) potential impact with respect to social issues.

DEADLINE: Thursday, May 5th 2022

HOW TO APPLY:

  1. Please use this online portal to submit your essays, which must be in a Word document file. You must select the "GSC Essay Contest" radio button on the online application form.

  2. Author name, institutional affiliation, contact information must be mentioned on the title page.

QUESTIONS: Reach out to the GSC Chair, Tina Lee here (trl2127@tc.columbia.edu).


About the SPSSI Graduate Student Committee