Community Coaction

Coaction—literally, acting together—is a process that aims to resist reenacting oppressive structures while creating collaborative, sociopolitically sensitive, and contextualized movement towards shared goals (Suyemoto & Ballou, 2007). I prefer this language to the language of "service" or "leadership" because it emphasizes a collaborative process of working together, rather than a hierarchical structure. I believe this appoach is most effective for the promotion of social justice and is, for me, most personally fulfilling. It also reminds me that social justice needs to be structural actions, not only individual ones. And that structural change happens because of the many contributions, skills, strengths, and perspectives brought by multiple people across differences. At the same time, I find it difficult to language activities that fit into more traditional structures, such as elected positions, in ways that reflect my deep connection to this collaborative process. I think this reflects a tension in our structures (in which I participate) where even organizations working for social justice find it challenging to enact just relational and interpersonal processes.

To move from philsosophy to description: I am deeply committed to mentoring to increase the number of racial and ethnic minority psychologists and to increase cultural competence and the practice of anti-racist therapy by all psychologists. Therefore, I have prioritized partcipation in various mentoring and training activities. I also contributed many years to the Asian American Psychological Association, as President, Vice President, Board member, and as the first co-Chair of the Division of Women within AAPA. In these positions I had the opportunity to work with fantastic colleagues on a variety of projects including: formally establishing the first Division of the Association (DoW) which has been a gateway to professional development, support, and organizational leadership roles for many Asian American women psychologists; chairing 3 national AAPA conferences and particularly focusing on increasing the involvement of students, early career professionals, and practitioners; the establishment of the Asian American Journal of Psychology and the AAPA-APF Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation Fellowship; a major revision of the AAPA website, particularly aimed at increasing resources and opportunities for transitioning graduate students and early career professionals including sharing publications and teaching syllabi, and creating a searchable database of practitioners serving the Asian American community; and the creation of the AAPA Early Career Leadership Development Program—an ongoing program to promote leadership skills in early career professionals through mentoring, training, and involvement in AAPA governance. See my CV for a broader list of my involvement in formal organizations.