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2017 January Minutes   

(Unapproved draft 4) Minutes

Monthly meeting of the PCUN

Psychology Coalition at the UN

Thursday, 19 January 2017 10:15 am

CUNY Grad Center,

635 Fifth Ave, NYC, room 5414

Present: Florence Denmark (President), Harold Takooshian (Secretary), Natasha Anjiere, Mary Berry, Lindsay Blevins, Melissa Bougdunus, Amanda Bradley, Zsuzsanna Feher, Michelle Herrera, Judy Kuriansky, Luke Lawson, Krystal Lozada, Echo Yikai Ma, David Marcotte, Alexandra Margevich, Mahroo Moshari, Jen Mount, Corann Okorodudu, Mat Osicki, Walter Reichman, Gina Roussos, Dinesh Sharma, Celeste Yera, Joel Zinsou

Guests:  20 graduate students from Judy's course at Teachers College

  1. Welcome. President Florence Denmark welcomed all to the first meeting of the new year. Florence especially welcomed about 20 first-time visitors to the PCUN meeting. In round-robin, all 40 participants introduced themselves.  (See Note 1, below.**)  For this new year, Florence noted her intention to keep the meeting brief at 60 minutes, to allow 30 minutes for committee meetings, so the agenda asterisks * “action items,” and other items will not be covered unless there is a special reason.
  2. Minutes. The minutes of the last PCUN monthly meeting on 11/17/2016 were circulated and reviewed. Motion to approve minutes as-is: Approved by acclimation.
  3. PCUN Committee reports
    1. Program.  David M noted that Psychology Day at the UN will be on April 20. Rachel, Chair of the Program was not in attendance, so Corann announced the side events accepted for the CSocD, co-sponsored by PCUN: 1 by SPSSI (Rachel); 1 by IAAP (Mary and Walter); 1 by Judy, the Palau Mission, and others.  The flyers with all the details about these events will be circulated later.
    2. Publicity.  (1) Harold noted the 5-person committee met on Dec 15.  (See Appendix 1 below.) (2) Website. As the new PCUN webmaster, Merry has already started to update the PCUN website, and is prepared to welcome materials from members (news, announcements, calendar items).  But first our PCUN must develop a policy to guide her on what should / not be posted. Members were asked to view the website before the Feb 16 PCUN meeting, at http://psychologycoalitionun.org/.  (3) Social media. Zsuzsanna offered to chair a Facebook page on PCUN Friends, drawing materials from the website, and she welcomes others to join her in this. (4) Logo.  Since the UN requires us to revise our current PCUN logo (above, left), Mary displayed a revised logo she requested from the original logo designer, Daniel Revelo (above, right). There was much discussion on the precise wording, but no resolution, so this must be revisited at our Feb 16 meeting. Meanwhile, Merry should post Mary’s revised logo this month, until a final logo is adopted in Feb.  (4) Judy reported the deadline for statements is Jan 21 for the climate change meeting in Cancun in May, 2016.
  4. Outreach. Judy reported on her list of Permanent Missions, for our members to sign up for outreach. The procedure for outreach will be defined, e.g. concerning preparation, review of mental health and wellbeing in that country, review of that country’s priorities, and package of materials to bring to the meeting.
  5. PCUN Task Forces.
    1. SDG Campaign. Corann, Chair of this TF reported that PCUN only received one SPSSI psychology SDGs response from Dr. Shelly Grabe to our first mailing. Since then she has sent a second invitation for psychologists to become involved with the imlementation of the SDGs as well as a third mailing of a survey designed by a subgroup including Ani and Mary with Michelle Herrara as the rapporter. With Joel’s help on technology, Mary displayed on the screen the current SIOP matrix, which can be adapted for PCUN use, at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeEja0mtnqi8VuAfYaKVq3NZZRksDcPTX0hSN_i63PD_ABDsg/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
      Several suggested including the UN graphics and icons of the 17 SDGs, especially for certain countries’ accessibility, and also the necessity to read DPI’s guidelines on exactly how the graphics and icons can be used. A full complement of these available for use have been produced and are on the web. Judy also suggested that there should be translations into the 6 UN languages; Mary suggested the English version be launched first and then other languages considered, especially since we would have to identify who would translate the responses (e.g., articles in other languages). David suggested using EndNotes when submitting citations.  Mary asked members to view the website for further suggestions.  Once  the site seems to be ready, it will be used by individual psychologists responding to the website to submit their research and practice related to the SDGs and by PCUN member/intern teams to enter the approved results of literature reviews on the PCUN SDGs priorities.  Florence thanked Mary and the SIOP for their efforts. 
  6. New business.
    1. Mary received no further changes the past month on her much-revised post-election statement, which now seems ready to post for PCUN.  Florence asked members to consult with their NGO, and send any suggestions to Mary by Jan 28, and thanked Mary for her leadership on this. The current draft appears below in Appendix 2. 
    2. Harold displayed a 24 x 36-inch poster of the PCUN Holiday Photo, for PCUN to present as a gift to CUNY, for providing PCUN with a free meeting room in 2016. Members were invited to sign the poster, for presentation to Teresa Ober at the February 17 meeting.
    3. As a follow-up of Corann’s suggestion and approval of the PCUN Executive Committee and members, Florence will send a letter to Lori Foster, Main Representative of SIOP, to congratulate her for co-authoring  the recent the UNDP report on behavioral sciences contributions to the SDGs. 
    4. Corann noted that APA has chosen a new CEO this week, Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD.  On behalf of PCUN, Florence will send him a letter of congratulations and invitation. 
  7. Adjournment. Florence adjourned the meeting at 11:16 am.  The next monthly meetings are at CUNY at 10:15-11:15 am on February 16, March 16, May 18, June 15.  Psychology Day is on April 20. Dinesh Sharma took a new-year photo of our PCUN, including Judy's students (below).

Respectfully submitted,
Harold Takooshian

** Note 1: This was an unusual meeting in two ways: (1) PCUN was unexpectedly moved to a smaller room with a small table, so there was difficulty at start.  (2) We had over 20 visiting graduate students from Judy’s class at Teachers College. 

2. PCUN currently has 12 member NGOs:  APA, ATOP, EHPS, IMCES, IAAP, ICP, IUpsyS, Norwegian PA, SIOP, SPSSI, WCP, WFMH. 

2017 jan pcun 

Appendix 1

PCUN Publicity Committee, 15 December 2016

The new PCUN publicity committee met for 30 minutes on 15 Dec 2016:

Merry Bullock (webmaster, by skype), Zsuzsanna Feher (Facebook), Ayorkor Gaba (social media), Michelle Herrera (Google), Harold Takooshian (chair, /This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Website http://psychologycoalitionun.org/  has been inactive for 2 years since English Sall resigned.  As the new webmaster, Merry is prepared to restructure and update our website, and directly receive materials to post. First Merry wants guidelines approved by PCUN on what should or should not be posted.  Some sample materials appear in Addendum 1 below. The website has the potential to store almost all of our information, from past minutes to future calendars. If useful, it might also have a password-protected, "members-only" section.

Google. Michelle noted the value of Google Drive to share files, including interactive files (like Judy's missions list). One possible disadvantage is that members should have a Google account.

Social media.  Zsuzsanna offered to form a PCUN community page on Facebook. Michelle noted the value of Twitter for many things, including calendar events. 

Addendum 1. Possible Website contents

Include: Rotating images, revised logo, counter... About PCUN:  Mission / History /Past minutes / Future calendar / Awards

Advocacy statements / Photo gallery / List of NGOs / List of officers /password-protected members-only section; Links to UN and Psychology: SDGs, CoNGO, NGOs, Psychology Day...

Appendix 2

Post-Election Campaign Statement, 19 January 2017

direct comments to by Jan 28 to: 

The PCUN Campaign Statement on the Recent and Current Social Climate from the Psychology Coalition of NGOs Accredited at the United Nations (PCUN)

The Psychology Coalition of NGOs Accredited at the United Nations (PCUN) is composed of representatives of psychology and psychology-related organizations that are Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) accredited at the United Nations (UN) and those affiliated with UN departments, agencies, and missions. The mission of the PCUN is to collaborate with other entities at the UN through the application of psychological principles, science, and practice to global challenges of the UN agenda, to promote human dignity, human rights, psychosocial well-being, decent work, empowerment, resilience and positive mental health.

In the last several months, an arousal of racist, nationalist, sexist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric and attacks has emerged in various parts of the United States, as well as abroad, that threaten the human rights and safety of diverse individuals and communities. We as psychologists have a responsibility to make our position known regarding this current counter-productive psychosocial/political climate; to acknowledge our deep concern and to share and discuss that we in the USA and in many other nations are facing unusual threats against human rights and social justice; and that we have a professional, albeit non-partisan, perspective on such behaviors, attitudes, and actions.

This climate is not now, and must never be, the “new normal.” There are deleterious psychological, social, and civil consequences of allowing, much less encouraging, the bigotry and disregard for human rights and dignity which is increasingly evident throughout the USA, and echoing around the world.

Based on principles enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, PCUN strongly supports inclusion, with compassion and respect for the human rights of all, and strongly opposes marginalization, stigma, hatred, violence and exclusion in all forms.

We call on our colleagues in the psychological community to acknowledge these challenges and to work to transform instances of the above violations.