Q & A: I Am Psyched! National Tour

I am Psyched! National Tour is a multimedia initiative that explores the history and contemporary contributions of women of color in psychology as they engage in psychological science, practice and social justice. Created by the American Psychological Association‘s Women’s Programs Office, the exhibit highlights achievements of women of color in psychology. Learn about the inspiring lives of many women who accomplished ‘the firsts’ in psychological science, to benefit society and people’s lives.

The UW-Green Bay initiative was led by Dr. Christine Smith who worked with a planning committee of six students: Addison Hunter, Hanette Kamanda, Joy Russ, Kailah Siggers, Leslie Lee, and Priyanka Bharadwaj. It was sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences, Psychology Department, Women’s & Gender Studies Program, MultiEthnic Student Affairs, Diversity Task Force, and Feminists for Action. 

I spoke with some of the people involved with I Am Psyched! National Tour about the creation of the event, student involvement, and what they are looking forward to the most.

  • Dr. Christine Smith: Associate Professor of Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies and the chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at UW-Green Bay.
  • Addison Hunter: UW-Green Bay student and member of the I am Psyched committee.
  • Kailah Siggers: UW-Green Bay student and member of the I am Psyched committee.

Christine, when you first decided to do this, what were you envisioning? What were your goals for the event?

Christine: When I saw the opportunity to bring the exhibit to campus, I was super excited.  I love psychology, and I think that we all need to be able to see ourselves in it.  I envisioned having people come to the exhibit and have a newfound appreciation for the contributions of women of color and be inspired to continue that work and encourage others to do so.  We need to know our past, and we all need role models.

You’ve put together a really great group of students for this. How did this team get assembled? 

Christine: I didn’t want to do this by myself—I didn’t want this to be the Chris show.  I wanted to involve students because I wanted them to be inspired, and I also felt that this exhibit is to inspire students, so it is important to have students involved in the planning.  Who knows better what students want?  And because the exhibit is on women of color, those students should be women of color.  So I asked faculty to provide names of good students they have had, and I asked some students I had in my classes.  These are the group who said yes!

Addison and Kailah, what made you decide you wanted to work on this?

Addison: This is a topic that I have recently become so interested in and I feel like it is something other people need to know about. Women of Color in the Psychology field do not get the appreciation that they deserve so being able to have this National Tour on campus allows us to give them the recognition that is long overdue.

Kailah: I wanted to work on this project because I felt as if it would be an inspiring change to learn about women of color I psychology and I wanted to spread awareness to other individuals.

What has been your favorite part of working on this?

Christine: In addition to the exhibit and events, the lead up for this was a course last Fall on the Psychology of Women of Color.  We learned about women of color in the field, psychological perspectives and research, and skyped with several women in the field who talked about their own journey.  I wanted my students to have a background before we did the exhibit. I learned so much, and I hope they did too.  I think they did!

Addison: I think that my favorite part of working on this event has been working with the other students on it. I have made wonderful friendships because of the event and it has allowed me to branch out more. It also has given me an opportunity that I never thought I would’ve had and I am so proud of the work we have done.

Kailah: My favorite part of working on this project has been getting the chance to speak with women of color within the field of Psychology. We were able to talk with Dr. Karen Tao, Dr. Thema Bryant Davis, and Dr. LeLaina Romero and they were all so inspiring and they gave me a lot of clarity in terms of continuing on in the field of psychology.

What are you most excited for?

Christine: In our class we talked a lot about multicultural therapy and the need for trained therapists and more folks of color who are doing therapy.  So I’m looking forward to the talk on Wednesday by Sheng Lee, who founded Us 2 behavioral Health, which provides therapy to low income and minority populations.

Addison: I am most excited for people to learn new things and hopefully grow a passion about this topic like I have. We have been working on this event for quite some time now and trying to plan for it so I am very ready for people to finally see what we have been working on and have a good time with it.

Kailah: I am most exited to attend The Association for Women in Psychology Conference hosted in Austin, Texas! Not only do I get to see other inspiring projects and research presentations, I also get to present some amazing work that me and the rest of my research team has been working on.

Learn more about the exhibit in this episode of Psychology and Stuff.

See pictures from the opening reception.


By Amanda Loehrke

Amanda Loehrke is an intern for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

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