Message from Past President 2021

Message from Past President Daniela Kantorova

Dear PsySR Community,

I am writing this letter with much gratitude and appreciation for your support for PsySR. As I look back to reflect on the last year, I can’t help but also reflect on my journey to psychology and PsySR.

I entered the field of psychology hoping to understand more about interpersonal processes that foster social change, but soon I realized that this information was not readily available in classes and practicum placements, and that I had to search for it in the margins. Somehow, I found PsySR on the internet, for which I am still grateful.

During the year 2011-2012, in the midst of the Occupy movement, a few peers and I started a PsySR student chapter at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California, and the following year I joined the steering committee. Over the years, I got to witness and participate, in PsySR’s growing pains and evolution, grappling with issues of racial justice and decolonization. This process is ongoing.

During the incredibly difficult year of 2020, PsySR as endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in solidarity with Palestinian people. We worked on ways to connect with our members, through our zoom conversations and the newsletter. We organized a National Day of Action, effort sparked by the news of the Office of Refugee and Resettlement sharing therapy notes of unaccompanied immigrant youth with ICE. This day of action expanded to a day of solidarity across struggles and culminated with a panel on Black Healing and Liberation. During this year we also started four new working groups, directly emerging out of our community conversations: Working group on BDS, Anti-Racist working group, Abolition working group, and APA watch and advocacy group. We also increased our social media presence with an Instagram and Vimeo accounts. There have been opportunities to collaborate with grassroots organizations such as Decarcerate Alameda County and support important local advocacy efforts.

Our membership has doubled in 2020. Now we have over 350 members around the world, and we need your support more than ever. There is so much more work to be done, to envisage psychology that is not rooted in white supremacist and capitalist ideologies, beliefs, and assumptions, but rather fosters justice, love, and collective liberation of all.

I would like to thank our admin team and steering committee for their work and support, and to our intern of 2020, Monica Noriega who did an incredible job reviving our newsletter, and of course to our administrative coordinator, Lori Markuson. I am grateful to all of our members for your continued support of PsySR’s work. I am excited to pass the presidency on to Monisha Rios, and stand in support for her work. It has been an honor to serve PsySR in this capacity. I wish all of us more justice, love, and peace in 2021.

With love and gratitude,

Daniela Kantorova, Past President (2020)