- by Stacey Prince
The title of this article expresses questions that TJP’s leadership council has grappled with and that I’m sure will continue to be at the heart of our discourse for quite some time. I recently attended the National Multicultural Conference and Summit, where I hoped to further challenge myself and deepen my thinking on these questions. I am reporting back now with mixed results.
The first Multicultural Summit met in 1999, and the conference has taken place every other year since then. I was excited that it was in Seattle this year, both because it was easier for me to attend and to share the city I love with out of town friends. Although an official American Psychological Association (APA) event, the Summit traditionally has both a different focus and a different feel. Unlike an APA convention where one might find a few offerings on multicultural psychology, oppression, and social justice, the Summit is a conference where these topics are the explicit focus. Also, it typically has more experiential and participatory components, versus the receptive, lecture style, heavy on the powerpoint offerings that are characteristic of APA. Finally, the Summit has historically been a space where “difficult dialogues” on topics such as privilege and power within our profession, horizontal oppression between marginalized groups, and tensions between various aspects of our profession (research versus practice, for instance) are not only not avoided, but actually welcomed. For all of the above reasons, I was relishing the opportunity to explore areas that are of great relevance both for me personally and to TJP.
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