SCP Executive Board Candidate Statements

SCP Executive Board Candidate Statements

Dear Beloved SCP Community!

As Past President and Coordinator of Elections, I welcome you to the SCP Elections Webpage.  I hope that you will spend some time on this page learning about the truly incredible candidates who are running for elected office this year in SCP.

This year we have 5 slates open (President-Elect, VP of Professional Practice, VP of Scientific Affairs, Early Career Professional Rep, SCP Division Representative to APA Council). This is a very important year for us, as we have sought to implement ways to not only strive towards an election process that is equitable and just for our valued SCP candidates as they run for office, but also be clear about our values of dismantling white supremacy within our field and our overarching aim of Black liberation.

Below you will find information for each candidate running for a particular office (listed in alphabetical order).  The actual voting will take place via APA ballot, which you should receive on April 15, and you will have until May 14, 2021 to cast your votes.  I will make sure to follow up APA’s announcement with one from SCP, so that if you don’t get access to your ballot you will know to request assistance from APA.

As you prepare to vote, we encourage you to set aside some time to do this 3-step process:

  1. Read the statements and learn about each of the candidates and the vision they have for SCP and our work on addressing anti-Black racism.
  2. Take time to reflect on how your personal biases are shaping your voting process. For instance, ask yourself, are you identifying with a candidate based on your shared identities, your CP lineage and/or friendships, and/or are you overlooking practitioner experience? Are there any other biases you can name before you vote?
  3. VOTE before May 14th!!

We know this may sound like a different message from our previous years, and that is very intentional so we give each candidate a fair shake.

Lastly, we value and believe in each of our SCP members who have stepped up with a powerful vision to lead in SCP – so we offer deep gratitude to Tiffany Williams, Marissa Floro, Jacks Cheng, Evelyn Hunter, Cisco Sánchez, Thomandra Shavaun Sam, Bedford Palmer, II, Shavonne Moore-Lobban, Bongjoo Hwang, Adisa Anderson, and Lisa Ferdinand. We can’t wait to see how each of you leads in our division forward in the future!

With love, solidarity, and in liberation as we strengthen our beloved community,

Anneliese Singh, SCP Past President

(Please expand each of the following headings to see the corresponding statements)

PRESIDENT-ELECT

             
Bongjoo Hwang, Ph.D.

What is your vision as SCP President-Elect?

I am honored to be running for the president-elect position for the Division that I have found home as a counseling psychologist. If elected, I would like to continue our divisional efforts to make our division as a professional home to everyone and to have our division more positive impact on the global society. The 3 visions I have include:

  1. Make more diverse and inclusive leadership structure. This will include providing a structure and opportunities to the traditionally underrepresented and underserved members, such as practitioner, international, BIPOC members etc., for their professional and leadership development.
  2. Make truly diverse and inclusive SCP community. We as a division need to continue to examine how our division polices and structures affect our members and how we as members affect each other and continue our efforts to make all of us feel welcomed and included.
  3. Make more impact in our global society. We as the society and as the global community have seen the old and new challenges that only one group or one country cannot solve, such as inequality, poverty, violence, war, COVID-19, and racism to name a few. This effort requires regional, national and international collaboration, and our division has a lot to offer.

My experiences of serving our division and the International Section in various leadership roles have prepared me well to lead and work together for our beloved division.  Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or suggestions for me.

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

It is my honor to run for the president-elect position for the Division that I have found home as a counseling psychologist.  If elected, as the president I would like to establish Diversity and Social Justice (DSJ) Team in order to continue our division’s efforts on uprooting anti-Black racism within our structures and practices. The DSJ Team can work as a permanent committee that works with the President, the Executive Board, and other groups within the division to continue to provide growth opportunities, assess our progress, and provide feedback and solutions to uproot anti-Black racism and also strengthen diversity and inclusion within our division.

My experiences of serving our division and the International Section in various leadership roles have prepared me well to lead and work together for our beloved division.  My greatest accomplishment is increasing the visibility of members of the organization that I serve. For example, as a co-chair of the International Section I worked with a Special Task Force to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to accurately address international practitioners’ needs and create a resource list of legal and professional support. I also worked with the section’s student representatives as a mentor to address the needs of the international student members. I believe my ability to follow through with both short-term and long-term goals, to work collaboratively with colleagues with different backgrounds, and to lead with cultural humility will help us accomplish more and better things together.


Shavonne Moore-Lobban, Ph.D.

What is your vision as SCP President-Elect?

It is an honor to be nominated for President-Elect of our beloved SCP! I am a Campus Director of Training, Assistant Professor, and Director of an APA-accredited internship at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. My leadership experiences span across APA Divisions (17, 35, 56), workgroups (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Workgroup, Presidential Task Force for Expanded Advocacy Integration Model), and state psychological associations (DC and MA). Most recently, I served a 3-year term on APA’s Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI). I was Chair of BAPPI in the final year of my term, which was a pivotal year for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing societal racism and brutality against BIPOC, and the APA strategic plan. Within SCP I have held leadership positions in the Section for Professional Practice and on the Steering Committee for the 2020 Counseling Psychology Conference. I am currently the Liberation Lounge Co-Chair, APA Elected Positions Coordinator, and lead guest editor for a special edition of The Counseling Psychologist on practice, science, and advocacy. My vision for SCP involves:

  • Recommitting to our cherished CP values as we continue progressing toward liberation and anti-Black racism positions in SCP.
  • Taking a deep look at our history to understand the ways that power, privilege, and oppression have permeated our CP systems and practices.
  • Implementing our strategic plan so we connect and reengage our CP colleagues.

I will lead as a compassionate, relational, strengths-based President with an action-driven approach to move our Division forward.

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

In alignment with my vision, I specifically plan to support SCP’s efforts to address anti-Black racism by:

  • Furthering the leadership opportunities for SCP students and colleagues of color.
  • Developing mentoring opportunities for SCP students and ECPs of color to connect, engage, and build relationships with more senior professionals in our Division.
  • Expanding our educational initiatives geared toward dismantling systems of supremacy that have permeated our practice, research, education, and training.
  • Engaging in thoughtful evaluation about how we recognize and award our colleagues’ social justice and advocacy efforts toward combatting many of the ‘ism our communities are plagued with.
  • Creating healing spaces both virtually and (as we can) in-person to dialogue about our path toward racial reconciliation.

I see the progress that we have made within SCP, and I also see the potential for further growth and healing. Hopefully soon, we will have the opportunity to reenter spaces where we can gather, connect, and continue progressing forward. We can engage in this work with our SCP members and reengage the SCP members that we lost along the way. Collectively, we will have intentionality about the ways in which we address anti-Black racism. As SCP President-Elect, I will lead through a compassionate, relational, and action driven approach to move our Division forward.

Aligned with our counseling psychology values, I will take a strength-based approach to understanding the needs and challenges of our Division, while also holding us accountable to the growth and healing that I believe we can achieve.

VICE PRESIDENT for PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

Bedford Palmer II, Ph.D.

What is your vision as SCP Vice-President for Professional Practice?

It is an honor to be nominated for the position of Vice President for Professional Practice. I am an Associate Professor and Chair of the Counseling Department at Saint Mary’s College of California. I have served our discipline at the local, state, and national levels; including as Chair of the ABPsi National Student Circle; as the California Psychological Association State Diversity Delegate; and as President of the Alameda County Psychological Association. I have also built a successful private practice, written a number of op-eds, produced and cohosted the 2018 SCP Best in Practice award winning Naming It podcast, and wrote a children’s book titled “Daddy Why Am I Brown?”. I also engage with social media to promote ethical professional practice (i.e., moderating the Black Mental Health Professional group on Facebook and founding the Licensed Mental Health Professionals club on Clubhouse app), and provide consultation and support for students and ECPs.

As your VP of Practice, I will work with the SCP membership to expand the division’s liberatory framework to effectively engage with ongoing national dialogues on antiracism and social justice in ethical professional practice. My goals are to develop committees that will work with me to: a) update existing and develop new in-person and web-based CE trainings focused on antiracist liberatory practice; b) develop a directory of counseling psychologists that encompasses the many ways that we professionally practice (i.e., psychotherapy, consulting, speaking, and creative media engagement); and c) developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the world of professional practice.

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

I continue to believe that through integrating a strength-based critical lens, couched in a commitment to social justice, and supported by a scientist-practitioner foundation; counseling psychologists are in the best position to move the profession of psychology to where it needs to be. My vision of SCP practice and practitioners is focused on taking ownership of the practical pillars of counseling psychology through a liberatory antiracist lens. With this in mind, I believe that as we engage in professional practice, we have the opportunity to engage as healers in terms of oppression-based trauma and engage as accomplices in the ongoing liberation of BIPOC communities.

It is imperative that SCP make appropriate efforts to provide the necessary tools and resources to enact the liberatory antiracist frameworks and strength-based models that differentiate our discipline from our more medically focused ken. As your VP of Practice, I will work to provide opportunities for professional development that focuses on how to ethically engage in socially just entrepreneurship as a counseling psychologist. I envision developing CE programs focused on socially just business practices that would start with web resources, webinars, and online consultation groups; and would expand into to program tracks during the APA convention, the Counseling Psychology Conference, and the National Multicultural Conference & Summit. I will push to redirect SCP funding priorities and develop strategic relationships to provide financial support for students and ECPs who commit to engaging with our liberatory professional practice program in order to support antiracist structural change.


Thomandra Shavaun Sam, Ph.D.

What is your vision as SCP Vice-President for Professional Practice?

It is with great enthusiasm I ask you to consider me for the next Vice President of Professional Practice. I currently serve as Director of the Forensic Treatment Mall at Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System where I have created systems for an inpatient forensic hospital to increase the provision of psychological services (group therapy, individual therapy, outreach). My practice background includes having worked or trained at a variety of settings: college counseling centers, community mental health, domestic violence and homeless shelters, pastoral services center and a marriage and family therapy clinic.

Building on the impressive work of Dr. Ferdinand, I will strengthen the offering of high-quality, practice focused CE webinars beyond maintaining licensure. In the spirit of SCP, I want to ensure the webinars are engaging, informative and transforming practitioner skills set resulting in higher quality of care for our clients. Additionally, I want to review current SCP traditions and services with intentional focus on practice (i.e., current award descriptions are highly focused on research and publication) and to increase practitioner member engagement. I also want to review additional areas for recognition of practice to be woven into the fabric of our division. Lastly, I want to partner with the various SIGs and STGs to provide a liaison to a practice think tank that informs SCP on ideas related to supporting practitioners, aids in responding to global /national issues in mental health and provides practitioners ways to create sustainable and transformative practices.

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

My vision for SCP practice and practitioners is to be reminded of the origins of our profession as a way to ground our work and understand our original values while also celebrating and embracing progress and inclusion of additional areas that our ancestral psychologists may not have envisioned. I want to increase active engagement in SCP for practitioners and create a symbiotic space for a variety of counseling psychologists who serve as educators, researchers, administrators and practitioners; creating a space where practice informs research, instruction and policy and vice versa keeps us all accountable to best serving clients and the greater public.

To address anti-Black racism within practice, it is critical that we are able to engage in self-inventory of our responses and wounds as supervisors, practitioners and people; challenging each other to own our gaps in knowledge and skills while also being brave to consider how we’ve engaged to grow systems that seek to uplift or negate people based on (perceived) race. Challenging policies and procedures at our workplaces or the provision of services that perpetuate such thought or actions that limits Black people requires vigilant attention and challenge; pushing the Division, APA and other similar organizations to identify anti-Black policies or practices that impede the advancement of BIPOC folx and result in a profession that reflects the ever-evolving population we serve which has outpaced psychology with regard to diverse membership; I want to uplift practitioners to answer this call in the Division, their clients and broader society.

VICE PRESIDENT for SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS

Evelyn Hunter, Ph.D.

What is your vision as SCP Vice-President for Scientific Affairs?

It is an honor to be nominated for SCP’s Vice President of Scientific Affairs. Counseling Psychology (CP) is in a pivotal moment as we move toward a liberating psychological framework. To this end, it is imperative that we engage a critical framework in our scientific methodologies and commitments such that our psychological science aligns with our professional values. As such, my priorities in the role of VP of Scientific Affairs would be to engage panels of experts in the CP community around building the following:

  1. Best practices in equitable scientific methodologies (including critical, participatory, qualitative, and quantitative frameworks),
  2. Anti-racist strategies in psychological science with Black/Brown communities,
  3. Affirmative science with trans and nonbinary communities,
  4. Strengthening the science to practice (and practice to science) relationship to enhance access to culturally appropriate, liberating, and evidence-based psychotherapy practices for BIPOC, lower income, and trans and nonbinary communities.

Across all initiatives, I envision centering education and training for students and ECPs, dissemination for the broader science community, and strengthening collaborative relationships (including APA Board of Scientific Affairs, local, state, and federal funding agencies, and foundations interested in psychological science). I am a committed scientist-advocate-practitioner engaged in studying how nuanced racial stressors perpetuate disparities in psychological and physiological health for people of color. If elected VP of Scientific Affairs, I would utilize my expertise as a psychological scientist, practitioner, and trainer to build SCP’s scientific reach and strengthen our collective understanding of engaging liberating psychological science alongside the communities we serve.

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

Anti-Black racism is a consequence of developing in the context of white supremacy. In my own experience, anti-Black racism tries to infringe upon my sense of self (e.g., imposter syndrome), my values (e.g., definitions of “professionalism”), and my understanding of “worth” in psychological science (e.g., what is evidence-based) I am committed to fighting anti-Black racism across contexts and if elected to the VPSA position, I will commit in the following specific ways:

  • As the VP of Scientific Affairs:
    • I commit to engage initiatives that directly oppose anti-Black racism, including a specific initiative to explore anti-racist strategies in psychological science.
  • As a member of the SCP Executive Board:
    • I commit to engaging in executive board training around fighting anti-Black racism.
    • I commit to challenging anti-Black racism that may arise in the context of executive board meetings, programming, and/or other SCP functions.
  • As a Psychologist engaged in science, practice, and training:
    • I commit to engaging a critical look at how anti-Black racism has embedded itself in my own science, practice, and academic training environments and engaging a specific plan related to fighting anti-Black racism across my environments.
  • As a human committed to caring deeply for other humans:
    • I commit to considering the ways in which my own areas of privilege intersect with the ways I engage the fight against anti-Black racism. In doing so, I commit to decrease the oppressive impacts of anti-Black racism on LGBTQ+, lower income, and other/non- religious identified communities.

Cisco Sánchez, Ph.D.

What is your vision as SCP Vice-President for Scientific Affairs?

Our field of Counseling Psychology is only as strong as the scientific basis upon which we work as professionals.  This is a guiding philosophy that was instilled in me during my extensive post-doctoral training (and my subsequent first position as a research scientist) in human genetics and neuroendocrinology. Being in a basic-science lab within a school of medicine for over a decade made me appreciate the need for applied work being based on sound scientific research versus solely on one’s intuition or emotions. Although at times something may feel right or just, we must be particularly careful when offering suggestions or applying interventions that can have long-lasting and irreversible effects.  And it is this guiding philosophy that I believe can continue to advance our field.

Thus, I am honored to be nominated as Vice President for Scientific Affairs.  In addition to serving as the Division 17’s Presidential Representative to the 2017 National Multicultural Conference and Summit, I have been actively involved in governance within other Divisions and within the greater APA.  Consequently, I have had the opportunity to work closely with and to establish relationships within the APA Science Directorate and with past members of the APA Board of Scientific Affairs.  Moreover, my unique aforementioned training, my experience publishing in both life-science and social-science journals, and my long-standing membership in other scientific societies (namely AAAS and APS) have provided me with unique experiences that I will draw from in my duties as a Vice President.

 How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

Since 2017, we have lived through the darkest period in modern U.S. history.  Yet the intensity of the past 15 months—during which we witnessed blatant racial discrimination, especially at the hands of law enforcement; the differential health outcomes in the midst of a pandemic largely due to racial/income inequality; and the attempted overthrow of our government by White supremacists—has taken a significant psychological toll on all of us.  As we move forward under a new Administration that is again using science to inform public policy, Counseling Psychologists can play a key role as our nation moves towards reconciliation and healing.

That is, we are uniquely situated to be able to help inform policy makers.  Counseling Psychology at its core has long included a strong focus on multicultural and social justice issues—a characteristic that makes us unique from other subdisciplines of psychology.  Our scientific work can and should be used to help inform decision makers as we work on addressing anti-Black racism.  Thus, as Vice President, I will continue promoting the scientific work that our members and affiliates engage in.  I will seek opportunities to liaise with groups that are focusing on anti-racism research to establish two-way communication while developing interdisciplinary, collaborative programming for professional conferences.  And I will engage with APA’s Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Advocacy Officer to ensure that our members continues to be included as APA plays an active role in combating systemic discrimination.

DIVISION REPRESENTATIVE to APA COUNCIL

Adisa Anderson, Ph.D.

What is your vision for APA Council Representative for SCP?

It is an honor to be nominated for the APA Council of Representatives (COR) for the Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP). I am a senior staff psychologist and Assistant Director of Grants and Multicultural Populations at the UC Berkeley Counseling Center, and adjunct professor at San Francisco State University. At UC Berkley, I hold leadership roles in multiple initiatives, such as the African American Mental Health Team, Chancellor’s Independent Advisory Board on Policing and Community Safety, Chancellor’s Committee for Developing an Anti-Racist campus framework, and The Black Leadership Collective. I was the CNPAAEMI Leadership Development Institute Fellow where I worked closely with the ethnic minority organizations and was immersed in a BIPOC mentoring initiative.

I currently serve as Co-Chair of the SCP Liberation Lounge (previously the Hospitality Suite) and serve on the SCP Social Justice Awards Committee. These local and national roles have prepared me to be a strong voice on the COR, advocating for CP and upholding liberation, social justice, multiculturalism, and community engagement values while challenging anti-Black racism in APA and SCP. I will advocate for student and ECP mentoring efforts and support of our BIPOC members. I also will support the implementation of the strategic plan while supporting efforts to improve operational effectiveness and foster leadership development across SCP. I will work thoughtfully and collaboratively to address the needs of SCP and APA in ways that unify various communities across shared visions and galvanize us to address ongoing critical societal challenges.

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

As SCP Representative to the APA Council of Representatives (COR), I will lead with deep commitment to CP core values that align with many of my personal values. These values include social justice, equity, inclusion, multiculturalism, liberation, decolonization praxis, activism, and critical consciousness. I believe I am particularly equipped and prepared to support SCP’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within psychology and engage in advocacy at the APA level, as I’ve demonstrated an extensive track record of efforts to address anti-Blackness throughout my personal life and career. I would seek to address this by offering and supporting policies, procedures, and practices that address anti-Blackness at multiple levels – individual, cultural, systemic, and structural. I would address priorities that promote increased representation of Black/African Americans in positions of leadership across APA, as well as increased APA membership:

  • Address barriers and issues with access to graduate programs, internships, licensing, and entry into professional psychology careers for Black/African Americans.
  • Promote efforts to integrate more scholarship, and research of Black/African Americans in top tier psychological journals.
  • Support initiatives to increase cultural sensitivity of graduate training programs in relation to Black/African American students.
  • Support increased training to APA and SCP membership about understanding anti-Blackness.
  • Work collaboratively with SCP appointed and elected members to seek consultation and develop efforts that further address anti-Blackness and guide my work on APA council.

I would be honored to serve as SCP’s representative to APA COR and support our division and field in these efforts.


Lisa Ferdinand, Ph.D.

What is your vision for APA Council Representative for SCP?

My vision as SCP Representative to the APA Council is to elevate the field of Counseling Psychology, to strengthen SCP, and to empower individual members to be transformative change agents as we address the societal challenges we are currently facing, in ways that are meaningful to the public and to students seeking to enter the helping professions. These challenges include the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 and racism pandemics, political division, the impact of misinformation, and climate change.

At the APA level, it is imperative that COR decisions that impact the field of psychology focus on increasing access for all, reducing mental health disparities, and dismantling systems that perpetuate anti-Black racism and other systems of oppression. In the recent past, these decisions have included securing voting rights for graduate students and Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations. In the future, decisions on APA’s ongoing response to the current pandemics, masters-level accreditation, and revised ethical and clinical practice guidelines will invite ongoing consideration about how COR decisions uphold or dismantle systems of oppression, including anti-Black racism. If elected, I will strive to ensure COR decisions are centered in Counseling Psychology values. As your COR, I will continue to work with members and governance to realize SCP’s strategic goals in relevant ways. Drawing on my contributions as VP of Practice, I will continue advocating for widening the circle of member engagement, enhancing organizational effectiveness, and implementing systemic changes that address anti-Black racism and other forms of oppression that are embedded in our organization.

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

My vision as SCP Representative to the APA Council is to elevate the field of Counseling Psychology, to strengthen SCP, and to empower individual members to be transformative change agents as we address the societal challenges we are currently facing, in ways that are meaningful to the public and to students seeking to enter the helping professions. These challenges include the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 and racism pandemics, political division, the impact of misinformation, and climate change.

At the APA level, it is imperative that COR decisions that impact the field of psychology focus on increasing access for all, reducing mental health disparities, and dismantling systems that perpetuate anti-Black racism and other systems of oppression. In the recent past, these decisions have included securing voting rights for graduate students and Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations. In the future, decisions on APA’s ongoing response to the current pandemics, masters-level accreditation, and revised ethical and clinical practice guidelines will invite ongoing consideration about how COR decisions uphold or dismantle systems of oppression, including anti-Black racism. If elected, I will strive to ensure COR decisions are centered in Counseling Psychology values. As your COR, I will continue to work with members and governance to realize SCP’s strategic goals in relevant ways. Drawing on my contributions as VP of Practice, I will continue advocating for widening the circle of member engagement, enhancing organizational effectiveness, and implementing systemic changes that address anti-Black racism and other forms of oppression that are embedded in our organization.

EARLY CAREER PROFESSIONAL SLATE

Jacks Cheng, Ph.D.

What is your vision for ECP-Chair Elect for SCP?

As a queer immigrant of colour, I take great pride in being a counseling psychologist who leads through social action and liberation in collaboration with the communities I lead. I envision an SCP that is truly a home for ECP, where we both remove barriers to leadership and involvement in governance and also support and celebrate ECP excellence, especially for folks who are underrepresented in SCP and APA. As consistent with SCP and APA’s strategic plans and initiatives, I take an anticolonialist and strength-based approach to my vision: I aspire to decentralize ingroup culture and access to institutional knowledge in order to facilitate indigenous and innovative contributions from ECPs who have not been involved in SCP. Specifically, I intend to achieve these goals through implementing a sustainable leadership structure and pipeline at the state and local levels to (a) foster ECPs’ participation and belongingness to SCP, (b) increase ECP representation in local government and institutional regulations, (c) allow ECP to mentor and benefit from each other’s experiences and expertise during professional development. The purpose of such a vision is ultimately to disrupt practices rooted in white supremacist values that elevate current members in power and dissuade outsiders, and to discover and share power with hidden talents not otherwise empowered.

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 
In my vision of SCP, anti-Black racism is recognized as a primary symptom of white supremacy that is omnipresent in the history and structures of SCP and APA. It is entrenched in our organization, such as in how perpetuating a white “professionalism” in how we conduct our “business” that undervalues and erases Blackness, in focusing on individual responsibilities in building an antiracist organization, in educating future counseling psychologists with white eurocentric traditions, in neglecting to look inwards and act on our internalized white supremacy. I am acutely aware of the power vested in the position as ECP Chair-Elect by SCP members, and I intend to use it to disrupt white supremacy and anti-Black racism. At the core of my commitment to antiracist and anticolonialist work is the importance of community and accountability. I would specifically support initiatives such as (a) a thorough examination of our policies and procedures to address blindspots and include explicit antiracist guidelines in the way we connect with each other (e.g., meetings, expectations, elections); (b) deliberate and continuous outreach to our sibling divisions and organizations to coordinate efforts dismantle white supremacy within our discipline; (c) a mechanism that celebrates the everyday work of counseling psychologists and students in a way that removes heroic or capitalistic narratives informed by white supremacy


Marissa Floro, Ph.D.

What is your vision for ECP-Chair Elect for SCP?

My vision for SCP as ECP-Chair-Elect is holding SCP accountable to the values of Counseling Psychology that attracts so many ECPs in the first place: appreciation of culture and community, holistic conceptualization of the whole individual across the lifespan, and the ongoing push for liberation. I specifically chose counseling psychology doctoral programs because of their clinical, advocacy, and research foundations of social justice and have continued to feel gratefully grounded in these values through the start of my career, COVID-19, and ongoing wave of hate crimes and manifestations of oppression. And what better way to manifest appreciation of development across the lifespan than to connect different generations within SCP. Connecting the passion, training, and energy of ECPs with the greater SCP structure would bolster the division’s strategic plan. Bringing the networks, knowledge, and credibility of the division to ECPs would provide guidance, mentoring, and community that so many of us lose once we leave our graduate programs. SCP, like so many institutions, should continually be evolving and innovating- what better way to do so than with the talent and skills of ECPs that were born within a digital age and have freshly acquired feedback about training that will shape the next generation of counseling psychologists? This innovation, rooted in social justice, will continue to attract future generations of counseling psychologists that will continue to enact change in the world. ECPs embody this future that so many SCP elders envisioned and I would be honored and humbled to represent them.

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

My vision for ECP engagement within SCP directly involves anti-Black racism and work towards liberation. Harnessing the cutting-edge training, research, and knowledge from ECPs, I would support the creation of ECP advisory boards and accountability sessions where professional elders can learn from the vitality, passion, and training of ECPs. Additionally, I would advocate for specific spotlights/mentorship pipelines/networking opportunities for BIPOC ECPs and other ECPs who are actively integrating anti-racism and fighting anti-Blackness in their services, scholarship, and advocacy. Along these lines of providing Black and other ECPs of color with professional opportunities, creating specific PAID ECP fellowships focused on auditing existing structures and conceptualizing new structures for both SCP and APA would not only continue to push against status quo and APA’s antiquated structures, but provide specific avenues for BIPOC ECPs to leverage the status of APA to bolster their own work, communities, and knowledge. Another fellowship could be focused on making fighting anti-Blackness literature accessible to the public and especially BIPOC youth through TikTok, podcasts, and Instagram. Another fellowship could be focused on the questioning of “mental health” to provide APA resources to indigenous and non-Western modes of healing. Another fellowship could be focused on challenging the ivory tower of academic publishing, highlighting the efforts of communities that create belonging and change without academic backing. These are just a few ideas of how the current anti-racist work and passion of ECPs can be highlighted and celebrated while actively changing APA and SCP structures and status quosce.


Tiffany Williams, Ph.D.

What is your vision for ECP-Chair Elect for SCP?

I am excited to put my name in the hat for the opportunity to serve as chair of Division 17’s Early Career Professional (ECP) Executive Committee. I am a licensed Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department of Tennessee State University. I earned a PhD in Urban Education: Counseling Psychology and a MEd in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Cleveland State University and completed my predoctoral internship at the University of Missouri Counseling Center and my postdoctoral training at The Ohio State University. As a future chair, my vision is to continue the tradition of offering a safe, non-judgmental, cohesive, and affirming space for ECPs. It is my belief that the ECP executive committee is a platform that we can use to communicate, empower, and support each other through the many challenges we face, as we transition and solidify our professional identities as psychologists. Through my leadership, should I be elected to serve as chair, it is especially imperative to me that I try to strengthen our base and build more meaningful and lasting connections with ECPs across settings (e.g., clinical, academic, etc.). It is important for us to come together and support each other as we navigate the typical experiences and challenges ECPs face as well as those that are nuanced and exacerbated by our sociopolitical climate (e.g., double pandemic, racial tension and injustice, violence toward communities of color, etc.).

How would you address this vision and support the division’s efforts to address anti-Black racism within our structures and practices? 

In the sake of transparency, it is important that I share I fully support Division 17’s social justice advocacy efforts to identify, unveil, and address anti-Black racism within our institutions, practices, and systems. If elected as chair, I would align with these efforts and intentionally engage the ECP committee in activities to embrace the anti-black racism (and other oppressions) eradication movement. For example, Dr. Della Mosely and colleagues planned and coordinated the Academics 4 Black Lives event that was described as a healing, meaningful, and supportive space for Black and non-Black identified individuals. It is through grassroots advocacy efforts such as these where the ECP committee can make a presence, offer resources, and ultimately serve as a platform to broadcast our message [condemning the perpetuation of systemic racism]. Under my leadership, we can develop a workshop series that reveals anti-Blackness in our professional spaces (e.g., academic, clinical, etc.), describes ways in which it informs ECPs identity development, and offer ways to challenge the dominant discourse while supporting a liberation narrative. Lastly, it is important to me that I help facilitate a healing space (e.g., like Division 35, Section 1 who offers a monthly “radical healing” space for Black women psychologists) to cultivate a deliberate dialogue about anti-black racism and ways to heal from its effects. I want to honor my colleagues’ efforts to support and foster healing for Black identified individuals, while educating and challenging the growth of non-Black identified individuals with their advocacy efforts over the last year.


“Deep gratitude to all who are moved to serve the division in these positions – beyond excited about our SCP 2021 Election Slate, which truly reflects the strength of our community!” ~ SCP Past-President Anneliese Singh