The National Multicultural Conference and Summit (NMCS) is convening for the 10th time January 4-6, 2017, and is the longest running psychological conference targeted at advancing multiculturalism.
The NMCS was founded in January 1999 as a biennial conference and summit to examine contemporary issues in ethnic minority psychology, facilitate difficult dialogues on race, gender, and sexual orientation and to develop strategies for multicultural organizational change (Sue et al., 1999). The election of APA’s first Asian American president, Dr. Richard Suinn, and election of five other Persons of Color to president of their respective APA divisions (Division 17, 35, 36, 44, and 45) presented an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on multicultural issues in psychology (Sue et al., 1999).
Hosted by four APA divisions:
- Division 17 Society of Counseling Psychology,
- Division 45 Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race,
- Division 44 Society for the Psychological Study of LGBT Issues, and
- Division 35 Society for the Psychology of Women,
NMCS provides a space for psychologists to develop greater awareness, knowledge, and skills to address the unique needs of historically marginalized and disenfranchised groups. NMCS themes have explored intersections of social identities, examined the role of social justice in multicultural psychology, examined unification through diversity, discussed transforming multicultural psychology, and explored psychology without borders.
This year psychologists will be Looking Back to Move Forward as we hear from NMCS founders Drs. Rosie Phillips Bingham, Lisa Porche’-Burke, Derald Wing Sue, and Melba J. T. Vasquez.
Dr. Rosie Phillips Bingham is currently the Vice President of Student Affairs at the University of Memphis and was the recipient of the 2015 APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Institutional Practice. Dr. Bingham is known for her leadership and mentoring skills. Among her many accomplishments are recognition as SCP’s Section for the Advancement of Women’s 2004 Woman of the Year and SCP’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring. She served as SCP’s first African American president and the first African American woman to run for president of the American Psychological Association (Neville, 2012).
Dr. Lisa Porche’-Burke served as the president of Phillips Graduate Institute and is a founding member of APA Division 45 where she sponsored scholarly discussion on ebonics. Along with former SCP Presidents Drs. Rosie Phillips Bingham, Derald Wing Sue, and Melba J. T. Vasquez, they envisioned NMCS as a way to bring together psychologists and focus on the mental health needs of marginalized groups in the United States (Bingham et al., 1999).
Dr. Derald Wing Sue is currently Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He’s a leader in multicultural counseling and Asian American Psychology issues. He has served as President of SCP to which he credits Dr. Rosie Phillips Bingham’s leadership and presidential address about inclusion for planting the seed that he too could serve as president (Parham, 2011). Along with his brother, Dr. Stanley Sue, he co-founded Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) to address mental health needs of Asians in American where he also served as the first president of AAPA. He has over 150 publications exploring themes of multiculturalism, social justice, racism, and antiracism. He has been recognized as an outstanding professor, and his book Counseling the Culturally Diverse is standard text in training on pluralistic perspectives in psychology.
Dr. Melba J. T. Vasquez is currently in independent practice and is the recipient of over 30 awards for distinguished service, advocacy, and mentoring. She is also a founding member of APA Division 45 Society for Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race. She has served as President for SCP and the Society for the Psychology of Women. Dr. Vasquez served as APA’s first Latina president where she supported major initiatives on immigration, preventing discrimination and promoting diversity, and on educational disparities.
Bingham, R. P., Porché-Burke, L., James, S., Sue, D. W., & Vasquez, M. J. T. (2002).
Introduction: A report on the National Multicultural Conference and Summit II. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 8, 75-87.
Sue, D. W., Bingham, R. P., Porché-Burke, L. & Vasquez, M. (1999). The diversification of
psychology: A multicultural revolution. American Psychologists, 54, 1061-1069.
Neville, H. A. (2012). Rosie Phillips Bingham. The Counseling Psychologists, 40(3), 443-472.
Parham, T. A. Derald Wing Sue: From all the places we’ve been. The Counseling Psychologist,
2011, 39(4), 601-641.
About the authorDiDiversity and Social Justice, National Multicultural Conference and Summit