While I have been working on the Global Journal with pride for nearly five years, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to offer this issue as my first official issue as editor. In particular, I’m grateful for the opportunity to present some important discussion about the tension between the power of policy and the power of culture to undermine it. Nashira Baril’s editorial about the hard conversations that are often left out of (or greatly diminished in) policy debates complements Liboro, Travers, and Shankandass’s piece about how legislation can positively influence communities, but it also sparks a conversation about which is more important to push first. Does legislation and policy provide the foundation for the messy discussions around inequity? Or should we be pushing for those messy conversations ahead of policy in order to break down cultures of oppression that can insinuate themselves in even the most well-meaning policy? In CP practice, this is a debate that is, can, and should happen every day.
This tension is also complemented by a series of articles and a book review that examine collaboration and empowerment. From research engagement to breaking down the ivory tower of publication to empowering local communities to engage in relational networks for knowledge sharing and capacity building, the authors seek ways to make collaboration and empowerment work for those whose voices are often not heard in traditional policy settings. Within these articles, there are real, on-the-ground strategies as well as more theoretical arguments, all of which are valuable to the practice of CP across a number of domains.
The team at the Global Journal always encourage discussion around the articles that we deliver, and there is plenty to discuss here. We will strive to engage that conversation where we can, and we encourage our readers to do the same through sharing articles, commenting on the site, and through the means most comfortable to them. Culture change, decolonization, and breaking down systems of oppression only start with taking in information; they move forward when we utilize that information outside ourselves.
As always, the editor inbox is open to questions and thoughts from readers and authors. Thank you for being here, and I humbly look forward to serving you as editor of the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice.
Nicole M. Freund
Nicole Freund, MA, MBA, PhD
Editor, Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice
Research Scientist, Center for Applied Research and Evaluation
Community Engagement Institute
Wichita State University