Dear NYABPsi Chapter Members and Friends:
I am pleased and honored to serve as President of the New York chapter for the 2016-2017 program year. As we enter our 50th year, we’ve decided that it’s a good time to step back and assess our goals and aspirations. I have been involved in the organization locally and nationally for 35 years, and this is my fifth term as president. ABPsi has been central to my development as an African descent woman and as a professional. Nationally and through our chapters, our organization has been a powerful force in relation to scholarship, practice, and activism aimed at the liberation of our people. It has been disheartening, at times, that we have struggled to bring the vast potential and resources of our organization to a larger cadre of students and professionals. Nevertheless, I am certain that with Kuumba (creativity) and Umomja (unity) we can achieve our goals.
Vision and Goals
To meet the challenges of the disastrous presidential election, we must be prepared to fight to maintain the Kujichagulia (self-determination), dignity and rights of our people and ALL people. We must all be mentally, emotionally, and physically fit. Given our large network of African American professionals, we can continue to be a resource to schools, local government officials, and the community at large. In addition, I propose several low-cost ventures that can be implemented with minimal human resources, given that this is one of our limitations this year. We will offer far fewer programs as we focus on our organizational infrastructure.
-Training and team building for our board of directors.
-Fill the vacant board positions. This includes professionals, graduate and undergraduate students, and high school students.
-Develop a strategic plan.
-Design a message and marketing plan that will reach and inspire African descent psychologists, psychology students, and other interested individuals.
-Leverage social media to a much greater degree to:
-Launch a campaign to reduce the stigma of mental illness and to promote mental, emotional and physical wellness
-Reach potential members
-Promote voter registration and provide voter education
-Enhance our visibility
-Conduct a needs assessment of psychologists in the NY area.
-Continue our work on our Hope for Lifers Program, and in conjunction with theCommunity Healing Network and national, the Emotional Emancipation Circles.
-Update and expand our website.
-Add videotaped testimonials about the value of the NYABPsi from current and past board members and members at large.
-Add a vast array of mental health resources.
-Continue the history archive project I began several years ago – videotaping past presidents of the NYABPsi.
Thus far, I have conducted videotaped interviews of Elizabeth Davis-Russell, Ma’at Lewis, Adwoa Akhu, Jamila Codrington and an audiotaped interview of Marjorie Hill (we will replace it with a video).
Involve students in this project.
We need more members and more people able to help us strengthen and revitalize our chapter.
We need to bring more talented people into our leadership pipeline.
There are many ways you can get involved, and we need all levels of involvement. Why don’t you consider one of the following?
-Assist us as we develop our needs assessment.
-Help us plan our 50th Anniversary Celebration.
-Contribute your ideas related to strategies for increasing our membership and visibility, and enhancing our leadership pipeline.
-Add your name to our list of mental health resources and/or our speakers bureau list.
-Present your research at a membership meeting – especially if you’re a student!
-Participate in our efforts to encourage African descent folks to participate in local and national elections.
-Share information about our organization with your religious leaders, physicians, teachers, students, hairdressers, barbers, and others.
I look forward to a productive year as we continue to build and strengthen our organization, and make meaningful contributions to our communities.
Lisa Whitten, Phd