Psychologists’ Roles in Sites without Human Rights Protections- In 2015, APA COR voted to ban the involvement of psychologists in military black sites that operate outside of constitutional rights and human rights protections for detainees. At our August 2018 meeting, a motion (NBI 35b) was presented that would allow psychologists to deliver mental health services to detainees in these locations. SPSSI submitted a statement in opposition to this motion along with many additional organizations such as the Center for the Victims of Torture. All press and observers were removed such that discussion and the vote occurred within COR executive session. APA Council defeated this motion with a vote of 61% to 39%.
Removal of Hoffman Report from APA Website- COR voted to keep the report accessible on the APA website via the timeline page titled, “Timeline of APA Policies & Actions Related to Detainee Welfare and Professional Ethics in the Context of Interrogation and National Security.” The Hoffman Report will no longer be housed on its own dedicated page. In addition, APA will include on that timeline several letters that challenge claims made within the report.
APA Diversity and Inclusion Plan- APA hired a diversity consultant, Dr. Kumea Shorter-Gooden, to design the comprehensive diversity plan and guiding principles and prepare APA to hire its first Chief Diversity Officer. Dr. Shorter-Gooden led an optional interactive session during lunch followed by a brief presentation to full Council. Council provided feedback on the draft vision statement; diversity and inclusion model; and seven guiding principles.
Council Diversity Work Group (CDWG)- Both SPSSI reps serve on the CDWG which advocates for inclusive Council culture; participation and representation; and policies and procedures related to diversity. CDWG leadership from three EMPAs, Milton Fuentes, Leilani Crane, and Art Blume, worked with APA President Jessica Henderson Daniel to get 15 minutes on the August COR agenda. Milton Fuentes presented five of Stephanie Fryberg’s guiding questions for consideration during discussions and voting. For example, Fryberg’s interpretive power questions include “Who is represented and who is not?” and “Does the evidence guiding our decisions speak to the experiences of people affected?” Our hope is that these questions will promote COR accountability and reflection.
Ethnic Minority Psychology Associations- APA Council approved support (including financial support) for observer representatives (non-voting) from each of the Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations to attend APA Council for the next three years. This continued invitation includes EMPA observers are very involved in COR leadership, such as co-chairing the Council Diversity Work Group and presenting on culture shift process (e.g., Dr. Stephanie Fryberg’s interpretive power framework). EMPAs include the National Latinx Psychological Association, the Society of Indian Psychologists, the Association of Black Psychologists, the Asian American Psychological Association, and the American Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African Psychological Association.
Merger of APA c3 and c6 Organizations- In March 2018, COR approved a new work group be formed to plan for a merger between APA and APAPO (the c6 professional practice guild organization). Our understanding is that the APAPO budget was predicted to be bankrupt sometime in 2019, which some have pointed to as the possible motivation for combining APA and APAPO. More specifically, SPSSI members and COR Reps (Kim and Luis) have expressed concerns that this new model will: 1) over-emphasize clinical practice professional issues, and 2) further underserve advocacy issues of interest to non-clinical scientists (i.e., education, science funding, public policy related to social justice). At the August 2018 meeting, COR approved (91%) the APA/APAPO merger. COR also approved (89%) that all APA membership dues will now be divided to allocate 60% to the c6 and 40% to the c3 (still operating separately for legal distinctions). This likely also means that only 40% of APA dues would be tax deductible.
As always, we welcome your inquiries and comments in relation to ongoing APA Council work. Please feel free to contact us any time: Luis M. Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org and Kim A. Case at email@example.com.
Your SPSSI family representatives to APA,
Kim and Luis