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Allen Chukwuhdi  



Stephanie Miodus  




Jason Cruze  

GSC Report: Promoting Diversity, Critical Dialogue, and Advocacy Skills to Address the Societal Psychosis of Our Times

Allen Chukwuhdi, Diversity Focus Member-at-Large, Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis

2020 was a turbulent and historic year marked by the irregularities of a pandemic, the police-murder of George Floyd, and an attempted insurrection on the nation’s capital. Whereas the asymmetries caused by COVID-19 may have induced some to ‘act-out’ in ways that they otherwise may not – it also offered an opportunity to contemplate ways to improve our morally fragile existence. That is, our habits in mind and ways of being have contributed to our psycho-social fragmentation. Which in turn challenges us to consider the way forward, and I suggest that the way ahead is not predicated solely on 'knowledge and cognition’ but also ‘acknowledgement and re-cognition’. The case of George Floyd, and the scores of other Black men, women, and children who have been killed by police clearly demonstrate how much work we have to do. As the ‘Diversity Member-at-Large’ I have been given the task of finding ways to make the ‘Graduate Student Committee’ more inclusive. Consequently, I am endeavoring to increase the membership by recruiting more people of color, specifically students of African descent, and by engaging our peers in modern psychoanalysis. I invite you all to join us in these critically important conversations.

Stephanie Miodus, Policy & Applied Work Focus Member-at-Large, Temple University

Advocacy is intertwined with SPSSI’s focus as it provides an avenue to address social issues and problems. For student members of SPSSI who are already engaged in research and practice targeting social issues, engaging in advocacy efforts can be a logical next step to expand their current work and have a societal impact. Yet, while many in the field acknowledge that advocacy is critical to psychologists’ work and training, there is limited focus on incorporating advocacy training into psychology graduate programs (Lating et al., 2009). Thus, as the GSC Policy & Applied Work Focus Member-at-Large, my aim for the current year is to provide targeted opportunities for graduate student members to learn and practice advocacy skills. Specifically, linking advocacy efforts to SPSSI members’ interest areas and providing an opportunity for students to collaborate on and disseminate advocacy products (e.g., policy resolutions). Given that research supports that providing advocacy-focused resources and opportunities is related to advocacy competence (Ramírez Stege et al., 2017), the hope is that SPSSI’s advocacy programming this year will spark graduate students’ interests and abilities to engage in sustainable advocacy efforts as graduate students and throughout their careers.

Jason Cruze, Membership Coordinator, California School of Professional Psychology

Our current severe political divide reveals a renewed national reckoning to combat systemic racism and the oppression of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), challenging each of us to critique our own moral standing in society’s social divide. To engage SPSSI members and community leaders, the GSC will facilitate a three-part Webinar Series titled: Societal Psychosis: A Meta-analysis of Systems that Obstruct and Destroy Our Social Bonds. The Series will cover themes including, 1) the criminal justice system, 2) racial justice and the structures of white supremacy, and 3) the question of social justice and immigrant rights. As the GSC Membership Coordinator, on May 3rd at 3pm (PST) I’ll be moderating (along with fellow committee members here) the first in the series titled, “Public Reckoning with the Criminal Justice System: Mass Incarceration, Historical Injustice, and the Road to Healing.” Panelists for this webinar include Jody Armour, the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at USC, Maritza Perez, Policy Analyst and Director of the Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, and Genea Richardson, Program Coordinator at Healing Dialogue and Action, where she advocates for women incarcerated and change in the carceral system. We invite you all to join us in these important conversations to help create and model an authentic space for critical and open dialogue.

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