As I reflect on my two years of service as the FOCUS editor, I recalled vivid moments of preparing to write my editor’s columns where I was stunned and without words. The grief and horror I felt in response to shaking events in the country, especially amidst a pandemic, were often difficult to express. However, time and time again, while I was at a loss for words, I was inspired by the contributors to this newsletter. Division 45 members used this FOCUS platform as a way to remain connected to one another, to put to words our collective grief and reasons for hope. This edition marks the final newsletter in my term as FOCUS editor, and I am deeply grateful to each and every one of the newsletter contributors in the past two years.
During my term, we ushered in a new format for the newsletter. The current web-based format makes it possible for the content to be searchable on the internet, allowing for a greater breadth of impact of the incredible contributions of our division members. I hope this change has and will continue to expand the presence of FOCUS as a vehicle of change and advocacy into the future.
In this edition, we are honored to feature Microaggressions and the “Lived Experience” of Marginality by Derald Wing Sue. He draws from decades of research and highlights the crucial task of making visible the impact of demeaning meta-communications toward marginalized communities. Art Blume and Keoshia Harris conclude their terms as executive committee members with reflections of challenges that have been overcome and gratitude to the community for progress made. In his Council of Representatives Report, Gordon Hall shares reasons for hope and celebration as we see advancements taking place on racial and social justice issues at APA. Kevin Cokley, in his President-Elect column, shares reflections on his presidential theme: Confronting Racism Through Cross-Racial/Ethnic Solidarity: Toward Being an Accomplice.
I am excited to introduce the new FOCUS Student Editor, Oscar Lau, who came on board in August and immediately jumped into the editorial process, by bringing his vision and dedication into this newsletter edition. Oscar Lau is a first-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Alliant International University, Los Angeles. He received a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Drugs and Alcohol Counseling from Azusa Pacific University. In line with his academic studies, his research interests broadly lie at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and sexuality. Currently, Oscar’s research explores the impact of racial microaggressions on different ethnoracial populations. His research also pertains to the development of surveys to assess risky sexual practices and their implications on mental health. Clinically, he desires to develop the skills to work with East Asian populations and LGBTQ+ identity development.
In his Student Editor’s column, Oscar shares reflections from the past two years and the ways that many in Division 45 have provided him with a sense of connectedness and grounding amidst a very challenging season. Oscar and I are excited to bring to you the Fall 2021 FOCUS. We hope that this edition brings you moments of meaningful reflections as you look back on the past few years, along with reasons for hope as we welcome the new year.