Diversity and Inclusion at NJPA

Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CODI)
The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CODI) is responsible for examining issues of diversity and cultural competence in the field that have an impact upon the practice of psychology.  The committee will look to advise the board in fostering multicultural awareness and inclusiveness within the organization. 

In 2018, The NJPA Executive Board approved a CODI proposal to create an Immigration Emergency Action Group that will explore how to address the mental health needs of those directly and indirectly affected by the immigration crisis.  This group will also explore the feasibility of working toward changing existing immigration policies and laws based on psychological research that demonstrates the detrimental short and long-term effects of the current practices (E.g., separation of immigrant families).  

CODI sends a diversity delegate to each APA Practice Leadership Conference in Washington DC. NJPA has had a long history of fully funding diversity delegates through the years that began when APA instituted training on diversity at the SLC in 2000. Through the generous support of APA’s Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP), as well as the Office of Ethnic Minority Affair’s (OEMA) Grants for Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention, & Training (CEMRRAT), our own diversity initiatives have been enhanced.
2019 Practice Leadership Conference Diversity Delegate:  Alexandra Gil, MA

2019 Co-Chairs:

Phyllis Bolling, PhD
Aida Ishmael-Lennon

Save the Date! CODI NJPA Fall Conference Program
November 1, 2019

2018 CODI NJPA Fall Conference Program 

Diversity Town Hall -- Engaging Clients across Cultural Divides:  Using the New APA Multicultural Guideline
Presenters: Susan Cohen Esquilin, PhD, Lale Bilginer, PhD, Phyllis Bolling, PhD, Briana Lee Cox, PsyD,  Caridad Moreno, PhD, Morgan Murray, PhD

On November 2, 2018, the CODI presented a continuing education program within our 2018 Fall Conference titled Engaging Clients across Cultural Divides: Using the New APA Multicultural Guideline. This program provided an overview of the APA Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality, published by APA in 2017. A particular focus was on the implications of these guidelines for the development of relationships between psychologists and clients, in both assessment and treatment contexts. The presentation included a discussion of the "layered ecological model" used by the guidelines. There was a focus on the first two of the ten guidelines which indicate that social identities are "fluid, complex, and dynamic" and exist within ever changing larger social environments. In the context of helping relationships, attention is focused on the self-definition of both the client and helper, how these self-definitions interact with issues of power and privilege, and the need for "cultural humility" by psychologists. There was an opportunity for self-exploration and small group discussions regarding participants' self-identities and the impact of identity differences between psychologists and clients. NJPA felt this experience enhanced sensitivity to issues of diversity and inclusion for New Jersey psychologists within their clinical practices and professional interactions.

2017 CODI NJPA Fall Conference Program

Power Dynamics and Domestics Violence: The Psychologist’s Role
Presenters: Phyllis Bolling, PhD; Aida Ismael-Lennon, PsyD; Alexandra Gil, MA; Morgan Murray, PhD; and Christopher Thompson, EdS

The focus of this program was to provide a combined Socratic didactic experience that will enhance the participant’s knowledge of asymmetrical power dynamics inherent in working with domestic violence survivors. Participants explored how their own intersecting identities associated with increased status and power may contribute to unacknowledged power imbalances within the therapeutic relationship, as well as how these same dynamics may play out in their clients’ relationships outside of the therapy room. Special implications for the psychologist’s role as a source of intervention was delineated from a multicultural perspective, attending to the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation within both the client and therapist.

2016 CODI Town Hall - NJPA Fall Conference

The 2016 CODI Town Hall on “Microaggressions: Why we need to Listen” was enthusiastically attended by approximately ninety NJPA members early on the morning of 22 October 2016. Participation by the members present clearly indicated a commitment to openly exploring issues of cultural competence both within the organization as well as with the diverse clientele we as psychologists service within the state of New Jersey.


  2015 Diversity Town Hall - NJPA Fall Conference

“What activities or ways will help NJPA members to become more involved on issues of diversity and inclusion?”

On October 24, 2015, the NJPA Fall Conference started with a meaningful diversity dialogue, including working towards understanding NJPA’s diversity make up.