Updated: Sep 14
Ethnic Minority Issues in Psychology EMI Caucus
Presidential Endorsement Request Form
The EMI Caucus was organized to advocate for the advancement of ethnic minority concerns, issues and candidates, and to create opportunities for ethnic minority psychologists. Our mission is to serve as a forum for the discussion of issues on diversity, ethnic minority issues, and multicultural issues coming before the APA Council of Representatives; to formulate and further positions on issues consistent with the interests of its membership; to assist in recruiting and electing individuals with views and platforms consistent with those of the EMI Caucus to positions in APA Governance; and to further the interests of ethnic-minority issues in academic, scientific, and professional psychology. Commitment with EMIC purpose and mission as stated here will be used as criteria for evaluating all received endorsement requests.
Name: Diana L. Prescott, Ph.D.
Member of EMI Caucus? Yes__X____ No _______
1. Please provide your history of involvement in addressing ethnic minority, multicultural and diversity issues in psychology.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to request your endorsement. I come to you as a proven APA leader and collaborator, the only candidate who has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. I include, connect, and unify people, and I can mobilize others to correct injustice, build bridges, help heal our systems, and create positive, timely impact.
While attending high school and college in Indiana, I taught Spanish grammar in summer migrant school. The children were not being fairly assessed, due to language barriers. I thought I should double major in Psychology and Spanish and become a bilingual psychometrist. I talked to my Intro Psych professor, Dr. Sally Beck, and she told me I should become a psychologist. She thought others would be more likely to listen to my recommendations if I became a psychologist. I followed her advice and became a psychologist. Addressing the ethnic minority, multicultural, and diversity issues related to discrimination in the educational testing of Spanish-speaking children is the single reason I became a psychologist.
I have continued to work to improve the education and health of migrant farm families throughout my career. In Maine, I have chaired the Maine Migrant (now Maine Mobile) Health program board, helping develop behavioral integration services on the mobile healthcare unit. Through this leadership, I served on the Maine Primary Care Association Board of Directors. As an officer of the Association during the racism pandemic, I helped shape APA’s response. At present, our Executive Committee and Board of Directors are partnering with APA staff to better understand the historical ways APA has contributed to racism, and I am integrally involved in this effort to better understand and rectify injustices that may have occurred in our own organization and discipline.
2. What do you view as the most important issues that APA needs to address in the areas of ethnic minority, multicultural, and diversity concerns in psychology?
The racism and coronavirus pandemics have revealed the pain and injustice that exists in the United States. Our field is critically important at this moment in history to both help alleviate the pain and correct the injustice that led to it in the first place. We must use our understanding of humanity and our collective unity as psychologists to address the pain we are witness to each day, resulting from factors like the COVID pandemic, brutal racism, and the natural and human disasters we are witness to in Haiti and Afghanistan. The issue of immigration and the impact of federal and state immigration policies, especially on children, is critically important for us to continue to address. There are many important ethnic minority, multicultural, and diversity concerns in psychology present in our rural and underserved populations that needs the attention of APA. As President-Elect, I plan to extend upon the previous presidential initiatives of deep poverty and health equity in our rural and underserved populations.
3. If elected, please specify how you would address these issues in education/training, science, public interest and practice?
It is important to assure that everyone has a seat at the APA table (such as, education/training, science, public interest, practice, and applied psychology). I have learned as part of APA governance that we struggle as psychologists to include all voices in our organization. There is a wide range of diverse voices who are APA members. I believe I represent a vision for uniting our organization in the middle of extremely challenging times, to advance our strategic priorities and defend and protect our people.
Having taught and supervised students and trainees, I am hopeful about the future of our field, but protecting that future will take work. We need to ensure that APA leads our field in terms of educational standards, guidance, and opportunities that effectively prepare our next generation for the challenges ahead. It is critical we address the crippling burden of student debt and I believe that APA has a role in addressing the financial viability of our field for the next generation. It is important to identify the diverse individuals who have successfully obtained their education and training in psychology and promote them financially as recruiters and mentors of other diverse individuals. The highly qualified psychologists training our students need to be well-paid to provide this essential training. As our field changes, the training curriculum needs to modernize, incorporating important new developments in the field (e.g, Artificial Intelligence, telehealth, business of practice).
Psychology would not exist without our scientific base on which we rely for the underpinnings of what is meaningful and important in our work as psychologists. We need to assure that our scientists have the financial support they need to conduct their critically important research. Psychologists possess a large social-behavioral knowledge base with a foundation on research in science (scientist-practitioners). Science is foundational in practice, education, and improving the public welfare. I understand the critical importance of grant funding for research to advance scientific knowledge and assist with obtaining tenure and promotion. I would advocate to assure adequate federal and state funding for psychological research. I would emphasize the critical importance of identifying scientists of color and promoting them in their careers to assure there is inclusion and diversity in those who study psychological science. Scientific study of human behavior plays a central role in the most challenging issues in society. Uplifting and supporting the growth of the research pipeline for diverse psychologists, along with elevating the psychological subject matter experts on diversity and health disparity, should be a priority for APA.
I recently met with Dr. Brian Smedley, the Chief of Public Interest at APA, to better understand APA’s current PI initiatives. We discussed topics like our leadership training for women and minorities, how to create social change, engaging with marginalized communities, dismantling racism, fighting ageism, enhancing diversity in the discipline, population health and public health, police violence, the impact of COVID, and the threat of anti-LGBTQIA legislation. As APA President-Elect, I would work closely with Public Interest to assure these issues are being adequately funded and addressed.
Practice needs electronic tools and financial support to address the massive need for care that exists in our country, while simultaneously engaging in prevention efforts upstream. There is room in Practice for our integrated care efforts in medical clinics and schools, as well as more traditional independent and co-located practice.
If elected, I will honor the voices of my colleagues and consider all opinions. I will strive to be aware of my implicit biases and encourage others to help me be aware of them. I will care about the forgotten and underserved in America and around the world. I will work to be part of a world that makes no stereotypic negative assumptions based on race and assures safe and integrated communities for all people. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is critically important for APA and for the world in which we live.
4. What is the base of your presidential platform and your proposed initiative(s) to address ethnic minority, multicultural and diversity issues in APA and psychology? Please provide a link to your campaign website, if you have one.
My desire is to form a large diverse organizational umbrella under which all psychologists bring their unique mixture of race, religion, cultural background, physical difference, sexual orientation, gender identity, political perspective, and theoretical orientation, united by our love of psychology and our agreed-upon strategic plan. I emphasize the importance of including all voices under one umbrella, consistent with APA’s vision of a strong, diverse, and unified psychology that enhances knowledge and improves the human condition. Including everyone’s voice prevents perpetuation of discrimination and racism in our organization and allows greater impact on our mission in the world to benefit society and improve lives.
I represent a vision for uniting our organization in the middle of extremely challenging times. I have the leadership background which qualifies me to lead in very challenging times, having served twice on the APA Board during both the independent review and the COVID-19 and racism pandemics. We must defend and protect our membership, hear, and respond to the various voices of our psychologists, help psychologists obtain necessary resources to develop to their full potential, meet their needs, advance our strategic priorities, and take our united message for change outside of our APA house into the society in which we live.
Our website is diana4apa.com. Thank you again for considering my request for endorsement!