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Mission & Background

The Psychologists of Color (PoC) and Allies SIG was established in 2017 to provide a community and network of VA psychologists who value ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity. Over the years, the PoC and Allies SIG continues to grow and prosper, helping to lead AVAPL and VHA in addressing issues of racism and discrimination and making AVAPL and VHA welcoming to all psychologists, regardless of ethnic/racial background.
An active and growing community, the PoC and Allies SIG holds national monthly calls, a listserv dedicated to increasing knowledge, awareness, and support of psychologists of color as well as opportunities to learn and connect through programming at the AVAPL conference.
To be added to the Psychologists of Color (PoC) and Allies SIG listserv, please send a request to: or

Psychologists of Color (and Allies) SIG Activities

Current activities include:

  •  Hosting a listserv that is dedicated to learn more about, unite, and support our psychologist brothers and sisters of color. Job opportunities, and resources and tools related to addressing racism and discrimination are regularly posted.  The listserv provides a format for discussing current issues that affect psychologists of color as well as networking opportunities for psychologists of color.
  •  Monthly calls that focus on timely issues of benefit for psychologists of color.  Examples include highlighting and honoring psychologists of color across VHA, discussion of current events and how such events impact psychologists of color in their work, hiring and recruitment issues, and providing updates on latest news from VA Central Office such as new mental health policies or guidance.
  •  Organizing and hosting webinars in collaboration with APA Division 18 VA Section focusing on state-of-the art clinical treatments and issues of diversity and inclusion in mental health services.
  •  Organizing and conducting diversity and inclusion-related presentations at the annual VA Psychology Leaders Conference.  Other conference activities involve hosting networking events and dissemination of education/training/research.
  •  Providing consultation to AVAPL leadership related to issues of diversity and inclusion both within the Association and within VHA psychology.
  •  Contributing columns to the AVAPL and APA Division 18 VA Section newsletters.
  •  Maintaining this webpage as a resource for those who wish to learn about and develop their skills as an ally to psychologists/people of color.

Psychologists of Color and Allies SIG Leadership




Gayle Iwamasa


Christopher Watson


Maurice Endsley

Research Coordinator

Nicole Jackson

Outreach & Hospitality Coordinator

Charlotte McCloskey

National Call Coordinator

Veronica Shead

National Call Coordinator

Hana Shin

Social Media Coordinator

Josephine Ridley

Mentor Coordinator

2020 Events

Date Event
July 13th Racism, Systemic Oppression, and Health Disparities Webinar
July 17th AVAPL Roundtable: Confronting Racism and Anti-Blackness in AVAPL and in the VA
July 20th Working with Race-Based Stress & Trauma Collaborative Webinar with APA Div. 18 VA Section
July 30th VAPL Conference Virtual Event: Affirming the community: Addressing racial justice in VA psychology
August 31st Establishing & Maintaining a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee

Internal VA Resources

External Resources

DISCLAIMER: AVAPL is not responsible for the content or privacy policies of these Web sites and linking to these sites does not constitute endorsement by AVAPL of the sites' sponsors or the information, products, or services they provide.

For Racial/Ethnic Minority Providers

  •  Branco, S.F. & Bayne H.B. (2020).  Carrying the Burden: Counselors of Color’s Experience of Microaggressions in Counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 98, 272-282.  DOI: 10.1002/jcad.12322

Dealing With Prejudice and Racism in Treatment

Self-Care for BIPoC

Resource Lists

Policy Issues


Recruitment, Retention, and Promotion

African American History & Culture


Self-Assessment Tools/Activities

Cultural Competence Training


  • Singh, A. (2019). The racial healing handbook: practical activities to help you challenge privilege, confront systemic racism & engage in collective healing. New Harbinger.
  • Kendi, I.X. (2019). How to be an Antiracist. One World.
  • Helms, J.E. (1992). A race is a nice thing to have: a guide to being a white person or understanding the white persons in your life. Content Communications.
  • Tatum, B.D. (2017). Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? Basic Books.
  • Saad, L. (2020). Me and white supremacy: combat racism, change the world, and become a good ancestor. Sourcebooks.
  • Omi, M. & Winant, H. (1994). Racial formation in the United States: from the 1960s to the 1990s. Psychology Press.
  • Bonilla-Silva, E. (2017). Racism without racists: color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America, fifth edition. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Rothstein, R. (2018). The Color of Law: a forgotten history of how our government segregated America. Liveright.
  • Sue, D.W. (2003). Overcoming our racism: the journey to liberation. Jossey-Bass.
  • Sue, D.W. (2016). Race talk and the conspiracy of silence: understanding and facilitating difficult dialogues on race. Wiley.