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Patrick R. Grzanka


From Our President:
Coming Together

Patrick R. Grzanka, SPSSI President, Divisional Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Psychology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

It’s hard to believe that in only a couple short weeks, our SPSSI family will reunite in Philadelphia for our annual conference June 21-23 (plus pre-conferences on June 20th!). Many of our veteran conference attendees will reconnect after a year or more apart, and we will welcome new members and attendees into the fold. Our annual conference is such a special occasion—unlike any other in psychology, in my opinion—because of the unique blend of intellectual rigor, passion for social issues, and comradery that exemplifies SPSSI’s values and goals. 

This year’s event, organized by the incredible team of Drs. Germine (Gigi) Awad and Sarah Hermann, looks to be another exceptional meeting. We are already breaking early registration records and are optimistic that this will be the largest SPSSI conference ever! We are thrilled to feature provocative and inspiring keynote addresses from Helen Neville, Linda Tropp, and Sara McClelland, who will surely challenge us to reconsider some of the most pressing social justice and scientific issues of our time. I’ll be speaking about fascism and intersectionality on Saturday night, and I hope you’ll join me for a reception after the address. If we’ve never met, please introduce yourself. I know I can speak for the entire SPSSI Council and Executive Committee when I say that we want this meeting not only to be a reunion but a genuine meeting, where people make exciting connections with future collaborators and friends. 

Last month, SPSSI was proud to release our Resource Guide on “Psychologists’ Response to the Violence in Gaza” and a Virtual Series Issue (VSI) on “Vicarious Conflict and the Ongoing Violence in Israel and Palestine.” The Resource Guide was developed over several months by a task force of scholars who represent a variety of social identity and disciplinary positions. Their careful work was supported by our Director of Policy and Communications, Sam Abbott, who recently celebrated six months with SPSSI. The special issue was developed by our esteemed VSI Editor Roxanne Moadel-Attie, whose thoughtful curation of scholarship published in SPSSI journals is a gift to the field. The perspectives offered in these respective guides are not monolithic or simplistic; they are brave accountings of persistent intergroup conflict and violence that must be brought to bear so that finally, someday, we can actualize the goal of peace. We hope that, amid so much strife in our immediate communities and abroad, these carefully curated, information-rich resources represent a way to think through and do the work SPSSI members are so good at: using psychology to expose injustice, rethink assumptions, and offer solutions—as well as healing.

I know that many of you are wrapping up the academic year and looking ahead to a restful and restorative summer. Despite all the conflict in our close surroundings and the broader global community, I hope you take time for yourselves and for each other. We have much to be thankful for, including SPSSI. It’s one of the reasons so many of us call SPSSI “home.”

See you soon,


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