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SPSSI at APA 2017 - Convention Highlights from D.C.

Angela Bahns and Nicole Overstreet, Division 9 Program Chairs

SPSSI members came together this past August in Washington D.C. for the 2017 APA Convention. The 2017 Convention marked the celebration of APA’s 125th anniversary, and featured programming to chronicle important moments in the organization’s history. 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s address at the APA Convention, which was commemorated with two special sessions “Confronting Our Own Racism and That of Others — An Experiential Group Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.” and “Creative Maladjustment to the Soul Poison of Racism — Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1967 APA Speech.”

For this year’s Convention, SPSSI featured programming around the theme: Moving Toward Social Justice: Insights for Research, Policy, and Practice. Some of the highlights of the SPSSI track of programming included a legislative update from Roddy Flynn, the executive director of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus (video link); a symposium from the Stanford Social Psychological Answers to Real World Questions (SPARQ) team (link to press release?) on reducing racial, gender, religious and class bias; and a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the APA Committee on Socioeconomic Status. The SPSSI track also featured a conversation hour on decolonizing psychology with South African Psychologists, two panels on allyship and social justice advocacy featuring current research findings as well as honest and authentic dialogue about privilege and oppression, and a symposium on minority-minority relations, among other exciting sessions. In addition, many SPSSI folks were involved in a special data blitz symposium and poster session featuring research related to the Division 9 theme. We also held a joint social hour on Friday evening with SPSP (Division 8).

SPSSI Fellow Mahzarin Banaji gave an invited address as a recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award presented by APA, and Mary Whiton Calkins, the first woman president of APA who served in 1905 was presented a posthumous award by current APA President Antonio E. Puente.

Bookending the Convention were a pre-Convention Policy Workshop and Advocacy Day hosted by SPSSI with the APA, Trauma Psychology and the Society for Community Research and Action and a post-Convention brown bag session “PsycAdvocates Unite” for APA members who do policy work and advocacy to network and share strategies.

Start planning your submissions now for the 2018 APA Convention in San Francisco, CA, August 9-12. We hope to see you there!


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