What are your goals, as APA president, for APA’s international engagement and for infusing an international perspective into APA’s own vision, activities, and initiatives?
Jean Lau Chin, Ed.D.
My goal as APA president is promoting Leadership for Change to have Leadership for Good. APA and the world have come through tumultuous times. Recent propaganda about fake news has created doubt among us; we see deep divisions surfacing that erode our trust, and violate our core values about integrity and truth. The world is watching us as Americans look for change.
My initiative is: Integrating Science and Practice amidst Diversity and Difference. Psychology as a field is grounded in Science and provides evidence based Practice—this is unique; it is our strength. Yet, we are too often siloed in our differences and contentious in our debate—leaving us fighting inwardly and unable to find the innovative solutions we want. We need an APA for all our members—one that advocates for practitioners, scientists, early career, students, and international members. We must make policy, create science, and promote practice that recognizes ourselves as global citizens of the world—who do not privilege our knowledge over that of others, make our voice dominant or ethnocentric over others.
I intend to engage all our members—US and international—to identify the problems and co-create the solutions for our future together. To promote this, we can use our technology to improve how we work and communicate together, and to bridge geographic distances of our international members. More importantly, engagement is a mindset of being: International, Intercultural, and Inclusive. Given the changing demographics and our growing interconnectedness, I hope to influence that mindset by creating Integrative Forums to find creative solutions among diverse colleagues—to be inclusive amidst our diversity. Infusing an international perspective into APA is about Learning and Unlearning. We must be willing to learn from one another; but we must also be willing to unlearn those truths that prevent us from hearing one another, or result in privileging one group’s truths over another’s. Only then can we promote our shared vision to improve people’s lives and create policy for the greater good while remaining true to our core values of equity, integrity, and social justice.