PsySR is pleased to announce that our new president Elect is Dr. Daniela Kantorova from California. She will serve as President Elect until January 1, 2019, and then as President during 2020.
We are grateful to both Ian Hanson and Daniela Kantorova for their interest in running for president.
Daniela Kantorová was born and raised in Czech Republic, and worked as a translator, interpreter, and software architect before entering the field of psychology. She is currently clinical faculty at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California, and program director of the High School Counseling Program at Contra Costa College where students provide counseling to young people, and the Wright Institute Sanctuary Project that trains students in conducting psychological evaluations for asylum. Dr. Kantorová is also the co-chair of the First Responders Committee of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), which is a multigenerational and multiracial coalition dedicated to eradicating police terror. With APTP she co-developed a model of community response to incidents of police killings that is being replicated across California. Her interests include community building, trauma prevention through grassroots anti-racist organizing, and decolonization as it relates to education in clinical psychology. In her free time she likes writing poetry, photography, and spending time in nature.
It’s an honor to be nominated for PsySR President. My name is Daniela Kantorova, and I am clinical faculty at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. I have been a member of the PsySR steering committee since 2013. I was born and raised in Czech Republic, and immigrated to the United States in 2000. I am passionate about psychology education. In my work as a program director of two training programs, I focus on the intersecting issues of trauma healing and social justice. In one program, we train students to conduct psychological evaluations for the purposes of asylum; in the other, we provide counseling services to high school students.
I believe we find ourselves at a crossroads marked with a multitude of crises. The choice is, whether to come together, strengthen our relationships, and increase collaborative efforts to address the crises at hand – racism and legacies of colonialism, with violence and terror that they inflict; extremes of wealth and poverty; and climate chaos fueled by greed and disregard for human life. The choice is how can we, as professionals in the field of psychology and mental health, contribute to alleviation of these ills. As a white woman with educational and immigration status privilege I believe it is my obligation to stand in solidarity with people who have been target of multiple kinds of oppression, and listen deeply to their feedback.
To this end, I hope to increase PsySR focus on building relationships among members, increasing engagement, sharing, and collaboration to find creative synergies to support one another’s projects, and perhaps start new ones; to share knowledge and skills, and learn from one another. I hope the concern for human rights, social justice, and cultural responsiveness can be infused in all that we do – from research to clinical work to teaching to advocacy. In all aspects of my work I have always striven to create safer, collaborative spaces where new ideas can flourish and work can be done. I am particularly grateful to be able to have been a part of the organizing team of the first Racial Justice in Praxis conference, convened by PsySR’s Racial Justice in Action Group.
In order to grow PsySR, I propose a more focused effort to start student chapters around the country. In 2011, I co-founded the PsySR student chapter at the Wright Institute, and since 2016 I have served as a faculty sponsor of the chapter. Many students enter the field with desire to contribute to social change, and over time become disillusioned by the complicity of the mainstream. PsySR can be a space of critical discourse and learning.
Beyond PsySR, I hope to identify organizations with whom we could partner to build power that can be leveraged when advocating for human rights. I believe in the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly with grassroots community organizers who are often on the frontlines of the struggle and provide important insight into social justice issues. For the last four years, I have worked with Oakland-based Anti Police-Terror Project, that strives to eradicate police violence. I believe there is an important intersection between the work of psychologists and grassroots activists.
The crises that afflict the world every day look bleak. Let us redouble our efforts to advance the causes of human rights, love, and justice that are rooted in deep understanding of cultural and historical roots of present day crises. The work is both personal and collective. I hope to be there to accompany PsySR through this time.