Division 45’s 20th Anniversary

A Message From Division 45’s Founding President

Dear Division 45 Colleagues:

Since my early days of involvement with APA in the 1970’s I always felt that there was a need for a division to represent the interests of people of color in the science and profession of psychology.

As a participant in the “Dulles Conference” in 1978, I argued strenuously for the conferees to recommend the creation of a division on ethnic minority issues. It was not to be at the time, and instead the conferees recommended the creation of an Office and a Board of Ethnic Minority Affairs (BEMA).

Little did I know at the time that I would become the first Director of the Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs and serve as the Central Office Liaison to BEMA!

But the continuing need for a division was always in my mind. Towards the end of my tenure at the APA Central Office during 1983-84, BEMA established its Task Force on Communication with Minority Constituencies. Under the able leadership of my successor, Dr. Lillian Comas-Diaz, this dedicated group of psychologists of color provided the impetus and organizational efforts that resulted in the creation of Division 45.

Over the past 20 years, Division 45 has provided superb leadership in bringing issues of concern to psychologist of color to a degree of prominence within APA that seemed unattainable at the time. This has taken place on a number of fronts. These include convention programming, representation on the APA governance structure including the Council of Representatives and the Board of Directors, and the development and adoption of policies and guidelines for psychological services to and research with people of color.

Please accept my heartfelt congratulations to Division 45 on this momentous occasion and my sincere thanks to the many psychologists who have freely volunteered their time and effort to make the Division a resounding success.

Esteban Olmedo, PhD
Founding President

Statement by Dr. Clive Kennedy for Division 45 Open House Celebration

It’s amazing how quickly time has passed. During that labor of love twenty years ago, the members of BEMA worked and played together, conceiving of and creating a permanent vehicle within APA structure to further the study of ethnicity and culture. Over these years, the officers and members of Division 45 have made us proud with unparalleled dedication and commitment, furthering the original vision within a multicultural environment. It is that same spirit experienced by BEMA members balanced by gender and ethnicity that drives the passionate but objective focus on topics previously avoided, ignored, or shamed. It is with utmost delight that I join APA in celebrating this important milestone.

Clive D. Kennedy, PhD

©2020 Division 45 - A Division of the American Psychological Association (APA)

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