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It Takes Many Voices

Tanecia Blue
Tanecia Blue

Tanecia Blue, PhD, ABPP
Board-Certified Clinical Health Psychologist
Director of Training, Clinical Health Psychology Fellowship
Chief, Behavioral Medicine
Tripler Army Medical Center Department of Behavioral Health

Society for Health Psychology is uniquely positioned for the challenges that we face during the current pandemics of COVID-19 and racism.  SfHP can bring to bear psychological science on the impact of marginalization and oppression on inequity, particularly as it pertains to health and wellness.  I am an African American woman who was born and raised in the southern United States.  The intersection of my identities have afforded me a certain perspective.  I hope to broaden my perspective and do what I can to create an inclusive environment from which to tackle these important problems.  It takes many voices. We are learning together as a community. One of the first tasks that I undertook was to have focus groups and meet and greets with folks in leadership roles. The discussions that I had with leaders of councils and committees were exciting and interesting. Most importantly, it demonstrated the excitement about inclusion that exists within our own organization.   There were wonderful ideas. For example, the students discussed ways to incorporate diversity by having a type of grand rounds that students could attend. Other strategies for increasing inclusion were discussed with the Health Research Council, Membership Committee, and Education and Training Council. It heartens me to know that there are multiple initiatives underway. One of my goals will be to help complete these initiatives and create connections within SfHP when initiatives seem to overlap. Another goal will be to promote learning opportunities so that we can remain current about the concerns of marginalized and oppressed communities. It is not lost on me that psychological and medical sciences have common foundations of white supremacy and patriarchy; those foundations are integral to a long history of marginalization and oppression. We are coming to terms with the broad impact of structural inequities on health and wellness, health disparities, and the healthcare system. Though I am optimistic about the changes in our world that may occur as a result of a reflection on social inequity, I am not so idealistic as to think that the change will occur with haste. I simply hope that what we do to become more inclusive in SfHP can impact APA and continue to add to more inclusion outside of psychology. Thus, in addition to the aforementioned goals, I hope to make a contribution by encouraging an increasing plurality of voices in SfHP in roles of leadership and in everyday SfHP activities. Let’s work together to increase inclusion in our society and learn from one another. Please contact me if you have any suggestions or wish to help in this diversity and inclusion efforts across the society, perhaps to know what may best suit your background, please do not hesitate to contact me at blue_fa98@yahoo.com.

I appreciate the opportunity to work in this role. Take care and best wishes for good health.

Tanecia Blue, PhD, ABPP                                                                                                           Society for Health Psychology                                                                                              Diversity and Inclusivity Officer