When I think about the last 18 months, it is easy for me to recall the challenges and struggles: transitioning to work from home, trying to figure out how to work with children home, the constant anxiety about said children’s health and mental health, my own mental health. There have certainly been any number of barriers to a desirable quality of life, and I know I share those barriers with many who have experienced similar difficulties. In some of my quieter moments, however, I can reflect on the remarkable gifts I’ve been given. One of the most amazing and valuable of these is the inner growth I’ve experienced as I come to better understand my own privilege and the legacy of privilege that I can perpetuate without intentionally acting against it. This growth was facilitated by an embarrassment of riches in the form of friends and colleagues who either took the time to guide me or cared enough to give me the unvarnished truth. Guidance and honesty are so precious; my heart definitely fills when I hold on to those gifts given freely without the expectation that I would be capable of doing anything with them (since history tends to show those gifts are not treated often enough with the reverence they deserve).
Such gifts resonate in the articles of this issue as well. From guidance with reframing traumatic narratives and shaping future CPs through the lens of feminist theory to community honesty in dealing with HIV/AIDS and examining why some countries don’t share knowledge as they should, this issue’s authors seek to bring readers into important conversations about transparency, generosity, and the impact that is possible when those values are fully engaged in the work. Additionally, the Journal shares a tool in this issue that asks practitioners to step back from the traditional needs assessment to consider the generational systems at play in each unique community. When we listen to the guidance of the community and receive their honesty, better and more sustainable change is possible. The Global Journal thanks these authors profusely for their labor and grace in getting to this issue’s publication.
Community psychology practitioners, when they are open to receiving the gifts of guidance and honesty from the communities they serve, have such a unique opportunity to perpetuate a cycle of growth rather than privilege and oppression. I hope with all my heart that we are able to do so in greater numbers in the new year and beyond. I will continue to practice learning with intention and promise to do all I can to provide in the Global Journal opportunities for others to do the same.
As always, thanks for reading. May the holiday season and new year bring joy, health, and peace.
Nicole M. Freund
Nicole Freund, MA, MBA, PhD
Editor, Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice
Center for Applied Research and Evaluation
Community Engagement Institute
Wichita State University