At the Lewis House, Washington D.C.


From:  "Andrew Phelps" <>


Cc:  Dan Aalbers

Subject:  [S-ACC] APA Division 48 roundtable: Report

Date:  Monday, August 20, 2018 1:44 AM



Delphine Brody, Jancis Long, and myself did a roundtable presentation, "Imagination and Denial in Mental Health Advocacy," flyer  HERE  on Friday, Aug. 10, at the Division 48 hospitality suite at the A.P.A. (psychology) conference in San Francisco. We attempted to carry forward the advocacy from Alternatives 2018, there entitled: "Kindness and Responsibility: A New Attitude for Peer Advocacy" (FYI, flyer  HERE).

We (along with our friend attending) shared with activist psychologists how to work the problematic of behavioral oppression. We sought to characterize the oppression, to recommend "culture change" activity, such as "institutional shift," and present the pivotal role of imagination as a challenge to the polity of denial, notably in the context of "mental health."

Following our workshop, which went quite well, the Peace Psychology Division (48) gave an extended presentation, with Medea Benjamin (linked with, and co-founder of, the Code Pink project), on social justice in psychology. The demand on A.P.A. would be to actually reform, to reach to "culture change" - involving paradigm shift - and an attitude upgraded to promote, yes, "kindness and responsibility."

The standing difficulty involved has been analyzed as a failure to go deeply enough into the grassroots process (a concern shared on Social Accountability). We need to face the cataclysmic character of the era, to respond and to "sing." The "new attitude" involves the willingness to go that far, and do so with imagination, not confining ourselves to "protest" or to "taking money" in a functional sort of way. At the conclusion of the Division 48 social event (with Medea) following, I took the microphone and read part of "The Colonel," a feminist poem that speaks to the violence of the prevailing paradigm of social oppression (see  HERE).