With the cold settling into the air and holidays winding to a close, it is time for us at AGPS to reflect on 2017 and look ahead to 2018. In this issue you will find a letter from incoming board president Deborah Sharp, a compilation of reflections on the first annual conference by Sarah Pollard and Gianna Viola, and Amelia Canally’s interview with the members of the panel for our upcoming Annual Business Meeting and Panel Discussion on the topic of Beyond the Binary: Exploring Gender and Gender Identity in Groups.
For me, 2017 was a year that reflected the human process of progressing while regressing. I watched many of America’s hidden pockets of inequality and unfairness come roaring to the fore, cracking the fabric of our society. At the same time, oppressed groups began to find their collective voices, planting seeds of change in the fissures. We hope you all will join us for the panel discussion on the very timely issues of gender and gender identity.
We hope you all will join us for the panel discussion on the very timely issues of gender and gender identity.
AGPS is in a unique position to explore some of these large group dynamics as they manifest in our own organization and in our groups. The AGPS Diversity Committee is taking the lead in creating space for members to engage in difficult conversations about some of these ruptures in our society. The committee is holding its second Quarterly Diversity Dialogue on January 21, where we will continue to explore the dynamics of oppression and privilege in our country and in our work.
We hope you all will join us for the panel discussion on the very timely issues of gender and gender identity. The topics of gender and gender identity are at once distinct and inextricably intertwined. Both are fertile grounds these days for regression, as laws restricting bathroom access and women’s reproductive choices are proposed and enacted, and progression, through a growing understanding and acceptance of the fluid nature of gender and the societal reverberations of the #metoo movement. This alchemy in our communities is perhaps the most tangible example of the power of groups.
This alchemy in our communities is perhaps the most tangible example of the power of groups.
I connected with many of my female colleagues at the AGPS Fall Conference about the way the #metoo movement was helping to roll away the fog that usually surrounds issues of sexual harassment and abuse as well as the more subtle diminishment of the power of females in almost every profession. Unchecked oppression has the tendency to fade into the fabric of life. It is by joining voices and reaching a critical mass that any subgroup can assert that “enough is enough,” that the status quo is not acceptable, and to use that energy to create change. This alchemy in our communities is perhaps the most tangible example of the power of groups.
I hope that you enjoy reading a sample of AGPS members’ takes on these important topics. And I hope that each of you will continue adding your voices to The Voice, whether by sending in questions to our Voice of Experience column (email@example.com), volunteering to contribute an essay, poem or piece of artwork (firstname.lastname@example.org), or sharing in our conversations in the comments section of each piece.
Stacy Nakell, LCSW, CGP