WSPA's Good Trouble Committee
"My philosophy is very simple. When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, say something! Do something! Get in trouble! Good trouble! Necessary trouble! – John Lewis.
WSPA‘S Good Trouble Committee was founded in 2020 to address oppression and power imbalances as it relates to the profession and practice of psychology. Founding members are inspired by these words of the revered late congressperson and civil rights leader, John C. Lewis, whose immense legacy informs and infuses our mission and vision. As psychologists and members of WSPA, we directly strive to recognize, respect, and uphold the value of all people, their perspectives, experiences, and ways of living, regardless of age, gender expression or gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, socio-economic status, region of residence, physical or mental health status, religious or spiritual affiliation, sexual or affectional orientation, and political values and beliefs, among other facets of human diversity. We pledge to find good trouble by continuously recognizing and working to eradicate all forms of prejudice and discrimination, injustice, exclusion, and inequality that exist in ourselves, our organizations, and institutions, and their language, policies, and practices. Our vision for psychology, those whom we serve, our families, workplaces, and communities is one in which we actively seek, celebrate, and champion equal representation that contributes to human flourishing. We seek to cultivate and promote inclusion by engaging authentic, empowered, and full participation in the true sense of belonging. Ultimately, we strive to help create a more just, inclusive, vibrant world in which all humans are valued and respected, all voices are heard, and all people are free to lead healthy, fulfilling lives that realize their full potential.
By implementing thoughtful, practical, and innovative strategies, the goals of WSPA‘s Good Trouble Committee are to:
Increase access to and value of the WSPA for members of marginalized groups and those who serve such groups by strengthening and creating pathways for involvement, retention, and full participation of diverse members and leaders of WSPA.
Increase the capacity of WSPA members to identify, resist, and subvert oppressive systems and policies in ourselves, our work, and the wider world.
Consistently engage in interrogation in order to decolonize our organizational and professional norms, policies, and practices.
Promote educational opportunities for psychologists, psychologists-in-training, and other mental health professionals that are consistent with our commitment to routinely and consistently include and incorporate all relevant issues related to diversity and equity.
Create a welcoming, supportive community for all members, including networking opportunities for psychologists and psychologists-in-training of diverse backgrounds.
Foster an atmosphere in which all members feel safe and can engage in what is at times difficult and challenging but meaningful dialogue in the service of improving our own exploration of bias and privilege. These conversations may include calling in and/or calling out each other as one way of interrupting bias and modeling these conversations in other contexts, and with other individuals and groups.
Engage in legislative advocacy and other advocacy efforts that aim to abolish all forms of prejudice, discrimination, exclusion, and inequality and aim to promote a more just, equitable world. These advocacy efforts include, but are not limited to the field/profession of psychology.
Create low-barrier strategies to gain feedback from participants and enact requested changes which serve to promote inclusion and empowerment for WSPA membership.
Increase the accessibility and equitability of psychological service to Washington State residents and beyond.
As members of the Good Trouble Committee, we strive to:
Making space for the intersecting identities of all participants and creating safety for their participation.
Approaching dialogue with the purpose of understanding others in their contexts.
Calling each other into dialogue respectfully and with intention to encourage introspection.
Actively practicing cultural humility through introspection. We acknowledge that development of cultural humility is a dynamic, lifelong, and never complete process.
Providing and receiving feedback openly about our blind spots and unconscious biases that show up in our engagement.
Following up on received feedback by engaging in learning and making repairs and adjustments as necessary.
Learning to be comfortable with the discomfort as an important part of learning. We recognize that perfectly safe conversations can occur even when people feel uncomfortable.
Through self-reflection, broadening our understanding of cultural appropriation, its relationship to colonialism, and the harm done to minority communities.
Openly and continually engaging in recognition of our own cultural missteps.
Educating ourselves and each other on tangible examples of performative allyship and instead striving for genuine and consistent activism.
Individually exploring our own unique feelings of defensiveness and righteousness during committee engagement.
Engaging with each other by recognizing that everyone who shows up within our group has the capacity for good and the intention to learn.
Doing our own work around unconscious bias, power, and privilege by engaging in personal reading, participating in the study group, engaging in difficult conversations, and introspection.
Considering the power and space our voices reflect within the group and adjusting accordingly.
Using welcoming and inclusive language such as using members‘ pronouns, name choice, pronunciations, and spellings.
Placing the burden of responsibility on members of different dominant groups to call in other members of these groups who might be engaging in microaggressions, showing limited awareness of their biases, power, and privilege.
Providing support and check-in with those who may individually experience cultural trauma and/or who may have cultural trauma triggered within the context of committee work.
If you would like to learn more about the Good Trouble Committee, you are welcome to join our listserv to get updates about upcoming meetings and initiatives:
- Login to your WSPA account
- Select "Communications" from the Member Menu
- Choose "Message Boards" from the drop-down
- Opt-in to the "Good Trouble" message board
For additional information, please contact Kiran Neelarambam ( Kiran@ascentpcs.com).
Our Diversity and Equity Resources page, for more information.