ETHNIC MINORITY ISSUES:

                  Richard M. Suinn, PhD

Ethnic  minority  representation  in the leadership of the
American Psychological Association is slow indeed.  Nearly
80 years after  the founding of APA,   the first  minority
took  office  as APA's  79th  president in 1971.    It was
another 15 years before the second minority was elected to
the  office  and  over  a decade  has  gone by  before the
current  election  of  an  Asian  American,   myself,   as
president of APA.

However,  we are embarking on a year  which  suggests that
minority issues are  receiving attention in APA  - our own
Camelot of  sorts.  I  would  like to share some  exciting
changes  and  also  request  input  from  readers  of  the
PsychNews International.

When  I take office  as president  of  APA in 1999,  Rosie
Bingham,  an  African American, assumes responsibility  as
president of  the APA  Division of  Counseling  Psychology
(Division 17);   Steven James, a Native American,  accepts
the  presidency of  the  Psychology  of Religion  Division
(Division  36);    Derald  Wing  Sue,   an Asian American,
becomes president of  the  Society  for the  Psychological
Study of Ethnic Minority Issues  (Division 45); Siang-Yang
Tan an Asian American will be president of the Society for
the  Psychological  Study of  Gay,  Lesbian  and  Bisexual
Issues (Division 44); and Melba Vasquez,  a Latina,  takes
the leadership reins  of Division 35, Psychology of Women.
In  other words,  every  U.S.  ethnic  minority  group  is
represented by an incoming president of an APA Division.

In addition  to  the  APA Divisions,  inspection  of APA's
Boards and Committees segment of  governance shows another
setting  in which  an  ethnic minority  holds a leadership
position as chairperson. For example, Teresa LaFromboise a
Native  American  is  currently  the  chair  of  the   APA
Committee  on the Structure  and Function of Council,  Joe
Martinez  a  Latino  is  chair  of  the  Publications  and
Communications Board,  Melinda Garcia a Latina is chair of
the  Committee  on  Ethnic  Minority  Affairs,  and  Janis
Sanchez-Hucles a Latina is chair of the Committee on Urban

Of interest to PsychNews International readers is the fact
that Sarah Miyahira  an  Asian American in Hawaii is chair
of the Committee on International Relations in Psychology.
This  Committee's mission is to increase contacts  between
psychologists in  the U.S. "and their colleagues abroad...
to encourage and support the free circulation of...psycho-
logical  ideas and information...promote exposure to world
psychological  literature  ...  increase   sensitivity  to
cultural  and linguistic variance...encourage the advance-
ment of psychological knowledge that is relevant to inter-
national affairs..."

APA  is host  and co-organizer  of  the 24th International
Congress of  Applied Psychology which  meets for the first
time in the  United States, in  San Francisco August 9-14,
1998.    The  curren t  president  of  the   International
Association  of Applied Psychology  (IAAP) is Dr. Bernhard
Wilpert  from  Germany,   and  the  president-elect is Dr.
Charles Spielberger  (who served  as  president of  APA in
1991).   Readers will be  interested in the fact that  the
International  Association  for Cross-Cultural  Psychology
will also be hosted  by a U.S.  university for  the  first
time.  This meeting involving over 50 countries will be at
Western Washington University August 3-8, 1998 and I shall
be  a participant.  Current APA  president Martin Seligman
has declared an interest in  steps to promote world peace.
His initiative on Ethnopolitical  Warfare is the theme for
an international conference taking place June 29 to July 3
in Derry, Northern Ireland. The focus will be on stages of
genocide.   Hence APA will be  a  focus for  international
activities this year.

Although APA welcomes international psychologists to full
membership,   many  international  members  opt  for  the
category  of "International Affiliate."  To date, members
represent   several   countries   including    Argentina,
Australia,   Austria,   Bahrain,  Bangladesh,   Barbados,
Belgium,    Bermuda,   Brazil,  British  Virgin  Islands,
Bulgaria, Chile,  China,  Colombia,  Costa Rica, Croatia,
Denmark,  Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, France,
Germany, Ghana, Greece,  Grenada, Guatemala,  Haiti, Hong
Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India,  Indonesia, Iran, Ireland,
Israel,  Italy,  Jamaica, Japan,  Jordan,  Kenya, Kuwait,
Latvia, Lebanon,  Malaysia,  Malta,  Mexico,  Naura,  New
Zealand, Nigeria, Norway,  Pakistan, Panama, Philippines,
Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,
Slovak Republic,   Slovakia,  South Africa,  South Korea,
Spain,  Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, The
Netherlands,   Trinidad,   Turkey,   Uganda,  United Arab
Emirates,  United Kingdom, Venezuela, West Indies,  Yemen
Arab Republic, and Zimbabwe.

Returning  to APA's  progress  on minority participation,
the number of minorities in leadership roles surely makes
a statement: that minority members of the Association are
viewed  as capable of  leadership,  that majority members
support having  a minority  to  lead their programs,  and
possibly that diversity is indeed valued and cherished. I
say  possibly because a significant next step will be the
level  to which  future visible actions are accomplished.
As with any organization of major dimensions,  successful
outcomes  are accomplished by  APA through the efforts of
many people -  leaders and members and staff.  Similarly,
failure to move ahead can be the  result of reluctance on
the part of any of these contributors.

Our   time  ahead  will  be  a  testing  of  whether  our
minorities are indeed facing our "Camelot".   How much do
the  various units  that compose  our Association share a
common  interest  in  diversity goals?    Will  there  be
concrete actions that put  substance to public statements
of support?  Will our own members who represent diversity
themselves take the opportunity to contribute energies to
constructive movement?

The Council of  Representatives is  the APA equivalent of
Congress and the voting body on policy matters.  At their
recent meeting in  Washington, D.C.,  time  was set aside
for  the delegates  representing APA Divisions  and State
and Provincial  Psychological Associations to discuss how
to  increase  the numbers of  ethnic minorities in  their
units,   and hence to  increase  the  pool of  minorities
available  to  serve in future  Council positions.   Soon
after, at a training conference for Divisional president-
elects,  the very same  topic was placed on the agenda by
the meeting planners. At a meeting of another part of the
APA governance structure (the joint meeting of APA Boards
and Committees),  the Board of Convention Affairs  agreed
to  consider  ways of  making the next  conventions "more
welcoming"  to  all  new  participants,  including ethnic
minorities; the  Committee on Structure and  Function  of
Council  agreed to  give  recognition to those Divisions/
State/Provincial  organizations that  are  achieving  in-
creases in minority participation;  and  the Committee on
Ethnic Minority Affairs  agreed to help me design special
awards  to recognize educational institutions, Divisions,
State  and Provincial Associations  that are implementing
steps to help minorities succeed. In a recent audit,  the
central office of  the American Psychological Association
was  found  to be well ahead in equality in salaries  for
its minority and women employee - a goal toward which the
Chief  Executive  Officer,   Dr. Raymond Fowler had  been
actively moving.  Finally,  my presidential convention in
Boston in 1999 will highlight two themes: ethnic minority
issues, and cancer issues.    So the portents appear most
favorable  for  a new  era  in  American  Psychology that
focuses on ethnic  minorities. And I am  encouraging more
involvement of everyone.

I am issuing a public invitation for APA members, readers
of the PsychNews International,  other psychologists, and
other  professionals  to help me brainstorm what specific
activities  will  move   us  ahead  in  the  coming  year
regarding ethnic minority issues.  This is not a call for
a  list  of   historical  complaints,   accusations,   or
rhetoric.   This is a  call for creative ideas on action-
steps.   This is not a call for what "APA" should do.  In
the  final  analysis  "APA"  is  every  member;  so it is
equally  a call for what  you can do...and ultimately how
we  can  work together.  With the invitation  to identify
goals comes the responsibility of thinking through how to
reach those goals, and the responsibility of contributing
personal  efforts towards  reaching these goals.  Join me
and all the ethnic  minority leaders who are intending to
make the coming time, our Camelot.   I am also soliciting
ideas  for  keynote  speakers  for  the  1999  Boston APA

If you  are active  in organizations, convey the need for
us to join our efforts. I can be contacted through: Dept.
of Psychology, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO
80523,  or email:  Suinn@Lamar.colostate.edu.  Let's make
the future a celebration of diversity!

Dr. Richard M. Suinn is president-elect of APA and
professor of psychology at Colorado State University. He
has served as mayor of his city, head of his Department,
and was on the U.S. Olympic Committee's Sport Psychology
Committee. He authored 8 books and over 120 articles on
stress, behavior therapy, sport psychology, & diversity.

(1) This revised article first appeared as "Our
Magical Year!" in Communique, a Publication of the American
Psychological Association Public Interest Directorate
Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs, February, 1998.