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  • 2022 Year in Review

     

    What a year!!! My favorite author, Khalil Jibran said "progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be." A sentiment that captures some of DCPA 's internal changes this year.

    I am so humbled to have been the President of the District of Columbia’s Psychological Association this year and to have worked alongside DCPA’s outstanding Board of Directors and Committee Chairs. Their adaptability, conscientious decision making, advocacy and deep care for the community was the impetus for all our accomplishments
    this year.

    Organizationally, we recruited Braxton Management led by Ms. Kendall Braxton to oversee our daily operations, and Ms. Angela Sawyers to provide financial management support. We streamlined committee leaders work in the areas of marketing, advertisement, coordination, APA communication, and financial processes to facilitate the organization’s operational process and reduce workload of our committee leaders and BOD. We also reduced the Board meeting time to accommodate the Board’s needs post COVID-19, sought agenda items from all Board members to ensure inclusion of all
    pressing issues, and continue streamlining meetings. Our members received weekly newsletters including marketing advertisements.

    We made some modifications to our By Laws to include an addition of a Diversity Officer to the Board and an amendment to President-Elect nomination criteria as it pertains to years of service, two years instead of three years of service to DCPA. We also changed the criteria of DCPA’s membership application to continuing aligning our values of inclusion with our mission.

    To facilitate engagement with our members, we launched several membership drives with significant discounts that ranged from 20% - 50% off, and free membership for those experiencing financial hardship, in addition to conducting outreach campaigns that resulted in a 15% increase in our membership, and a notable increase in followers and engagements on our social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We also
    provided free self-care events to support our members during this year, to include wellness training, vinyassa, yoga, yoga nidra and meditation, and our Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Committee held space in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade.

    This year with the countless hours of dedication of each member, we were able to engage more meaningfully through various partnerships, community events and conferences as listed below:

    • Pride Parade - partnered with Capital Pride Festival
    • Military and Veteran Summit - advocacy and emerging areas in Military Psych -partnership with military psych.
    • Migration - collaborated on a call for psychologist volunteer assistance to migrants at Texas Border.
    • Congressional Office of International Leadership [COIL] - partnered with the
    Congressional Office of International Leadership on its first ever programming on mental health and provided training around stress and trauma.
    • Walk out of Darkness - partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide
    Prevention and joined their awareness and support day.
    • DSJI Joy Drive - partnered with PBF Sports, to conduct a ‘Joy drive’ in support of local DC Shelters, Thrive DC and N Street Village.
    • Practice Leadership Conference - all Board and committee leaders joined in
    attendance
    • National Practice Conference – Supported this national event in DC
    • American Psychological Association Convention APA - Our Past President
    represented the Association, and our Student Rep presented her research.

    At DCPA, educational programming is a pivotal asset to our members and communities, so we started with our Board’s DEI training to facilitate the process of aligning our values of diversity, social justice, and inclusion with our mission. We partnered with Catholic University on 6 webinars to address behavioral health, telehealth, and SUD. These webinars will be effective through August 2023. We also provided the following Continuing Education webinars:
    • Adult children of immigrants: an overview of context and strength-based
    interventions
    • Black pride: Black pain, and exploration of racial identity and mental health
    • Executive functioning: development of cognitive, emotional and behavioral selfregulation
    • A historical perspective of Assault and Trauma in Psychology: how professionals
    have failed the Black communities
    • What top DD network studies tell us about treating individuals with dissociative disorders
    • Student – no CE From classroom to career: A conversation with professionals in Psychology
    • Don’t let the TR fool you: DSM-5-TR is far more than a text revision
    • How to help clients make friends
    • Unconscious bias in clinical practice
    • Navigating the upsides and downsides of social media & video games
    • Acceptance and commitment therapy across the Asian and Black diasporas
    • Confronting the stigma of substance use disorders
    • Ethical considerations within suicide focused care
    • Psychotherapy with teens through telepsychology: enhancing engagement and motivation

    We have also added several Continuing Education webinars to our Home Study as listed
    below:
    1. Executive Functioning: Development of Cognitive, Emotional and Behavioral Self-Regulation.
    2. What the TOP Dissociative Disorder Network Studies tell us about treating
    Individuals with Dissociative Disorders.
    3. Gender Dysphoria: What therapists need to know Committee Achievements:

    • The ECP Committee hosted the monthly social Psych on Tap, a networking
    opportunity for psychologists and students. Topics of presentations included
    interactions between sociopolitical behaviors like voting and their impact on
    socioemotional factors in adolescents and adults; parallels of early HIV-messaging and current Monkeypox-messaging and its impact on BMSM; fundamentals of Psychedelics and their relevance to our field; and, navigating the exit from fundamentalist religious communities,
    • Bi-weekly Peer consultation groups through July.
    • Professional Affairs Advocacy and liaison with the DC Licensing Board.
    • Ad Hoc Research Committee - reviewed all our research criteria and aligned it with DSJI values for Student Research Grants to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, advertised research grant, and reviewed all application utilizing the new criteria.
    • Through this process, three students received $600 each.
    • Elections Committee - oversaw our election process, vetted nominees, candidates, advertisement of positions, ballots, and new Board Member outreach.
    • Advocacy Committee - issued statements and supportive resources addressing the shooting in Buffalo, New York, and in support of Ukraine.
    • Mentoring Program - hosted a webinar and continued efforts at recruiting
    psychologists to mentor students
    • Student Committee – held webinars, provided weekly coordination emails on
    events and mentorship opportunities students, collaborated with the ECP - Psych on Tap, Student interest groups, and presented at several conferences.
    • Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion [DSJI] Committee – provided community focused programming and recruitment of new members and students, spearheaded statements and collaborations with Professional Development in the provision of webinars, and sponsored the DSJI Holiday Joy Drive in support of two local transition shelters servicing predominantly communities of color.

    I would also like to take a moment to thank Ms. Angela Richardson and Ms. Kendall Braxton for their impactful and inspirational work. Their professionalism and alignment with our values of diversity, social justice, inclusion and deep care for the community enabled us to witness transformational organizational change, and I would like to wish Ms.  Richardson all the best in her future endeavors.

    2022 Awards won by DCPA:
    • Division 31 SPTA Diversity Award
    • Division 31 Outstanding Psychologist Award

    I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Division 31 for their efforts in advocating for, empowering and celebrating all state associations and its leaders. DCPA’s accomplishments this year would not have been possible without the leadership of our Board of Directors and Committee Chairs; Dr. Antoine Crosby, Dr. David Good-Cross, Dr. Donitra Ross, Dr. Georica Gholson, Dr. Holly Weber, Dr. Jessica Smedley, Dr.Justin Collman, Dr. Keri Kirk, Dr. Jeremy Kozne, Dr. Laurie Paul, Dr. Orna Goldwater, Dr. Roshni Rao, Dr. Soonhee Lee, Dr. Suzan Stafford, Dr. Stephen Stein, Dr. Victoria Sylos-
    Labini, and our wonderful Student leaders, Kira Charles and Serena Bradshaw. I am beyond grateful to have worked with these and many other colleagues in this field, whose dedication, and commitment continue to inspire.
    Most importantly, I would like to congratulate our incoming President for 2023, Dr. Laurie Paul, and President-elect, Dr. Jessica Smedley. Their contributions to DCPA had significant positive impact on the Association and its members, whether in advocacy, continuing education webinars, peer support groups, community events, media inquiries,mentoring students, supporting and advocating for ECP’s with a lens on social justice and inclusion. Please see attached massages to this e-mail from Dr. Laurie Paul, and Dr. Jessica Smedley. (Click their names to view their respective messages.)

    Lastly, we at DCPA will continue to advocate on your behalf and engage in meaningful action to support our profession and communities, and to collectively celebrate who we are and what we stand for in the field of psychology. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to have such an impact on our field, and so in closing I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to renew your membership!

    Happy Holiday Season to you and all your loved ones!

    With so much gratitude,

    Samira Paul
    DCPA President - 2022


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