As we close out 2017 and prepare for what will come in 2018, the need for community psychology looms large. And yet, knowledge of community psychology and the many ways it is practiced, defined, and understood continues to struggle for prominence. While the ethos surrounding community psychology is to defer credit to others, the existential challenge for the field remains a sustainability problem. This issue seeks to describe some of the challenges faced by those trying to sustain and grow the field as well as to highlight some of the myriad ways community psychology is successfully practiced.
Readers will note the broad range of articles and media types presented in this issue, a fact that the GJCPP staff are proud to highlight.
First, Bauer et. al. present the findings of a review of introduction to psychology textbooks and the presence of community psychology as a discipline. The results suggest that one avenue to counter a lack of awareness about the field is a concentrated effort to incorporate community psychology more fully into students’ first exposure to psychology as undergraduates.
Next, Schlemper and colleagues describe how Collective Impact and visual frameworks influence how home visiting programs may be coordinated for better systems-level service delivery. The preventative and systems-level value discussed in this article underscore some of the most important aspects of community psychology and its mission.
Two Community Action Bulletins and an SCRA Community Mini-Grant Spotlight offer additional examples of community psychology in action and how practitioners seek to meet communities where they are in order to serve those needs as collaboratively as possible.
Finally, with permission, we are bringing our readers two recent airings of a radio program called RadioActive, produced by University of Miami community psychologist Natalie Kivell. One highlights the active and crucial role of community advocates (who are not necessarily self-identified community psychologists) in improving neighborhoods. The other discusses the value of community psychology and how to Make Empirically Based Knowledge Cool Again (#MEBKCA). We encourage you to listen to these and other episodes and we will seek to bring you more as they are relevant to our content.
Wherever the end of this year takes you or the new year sends you, the editors at GJCPP wish you the warmest season’s greetings and hope you enjoy this final issue for 2017.
Editor, Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice
Community Engagement Institute
Wichita State University
As the executive director of the Community Engagement Institute, Scott oversees all activities and services, budget, and operations. Scott has been with CEI for nearly 20 years. He is committed to creating thriving and supportive communities and organizations and has background in community leadership, organizational capacity building, and applied research and evaluation methods. He works with a variety of nonprofit organizations, community coalitions, government entities, mental health consumer organizations, and self-help support groups.