In 2021, SPSP was proud to award our Community Catalyst Grants to two initiatives that are making strides to support underrepresented voices in our field: the Disability and Advocacy Research Network (DARN!), as well as the Here and Queer event series.

DARN! provides community, mentorship, and advocacy for disabled psychology scholars and their allies, while the Here and Queer aims to lower barriers to inclusion by fostering community-building and tailored social networking opportunities.

2022 SPSP Annual Convention

The Disability Advocacy and Research Network (DARN) held a virtual mentoring lunch with more than 20 attendees at SPSP’s 2022 Convention. DARN mentors Lisa Aspinwall and David Myers led a discussion on the topics of advocacy and community, while Kathleen Bogart and Katie Wang led a discussion on disability research. These DARN mentors also presented a professional development panel on Navigating Disability in Academia. DARN! also launched their website, in February, and their listserv has grown to nearly 200 members.

The first-ever Here and Queer (HQ) meetup took place both in-person and virtually during the 2022 SPSP conference, with the goal of fostering a community for students and early-career LGBTQ+ social-personality psychologists. The in-person event featured an opening remark from SPSP President Dr. Laura King, opportunities for socializing, and several rounds of bingo. The virtual event included an LGBTQ+ themed trivia game and social time. Thanks to the support of the SPSP Catalyst Grant, attendees received gift cards for food delivery services. Both events were a big hit with the attendees, who rated the events very positively in a post-event survey. Attendees noted that HQ “was such a wonderful event,” and that they were able to meet new people who they hope to stay connected with as they progress in their careers. Others commented on the “sense of community and support” they felt during the events and said that they made new connections that improved their experience of the conference as a whole.

Looking Ahead

DARN will continue to hold quarterly Free-Form Friday meetings. We are looking forward to holding virtual AND in-person mentoring luncheons at SPSP’s 2023 Convention!

Encouraged by the full support of SPSP and the attendees, Here and Queer will continue to grow. Some of the initiatives that HQ is planning include continued social spaces, a new talk series (modeled after another SPSP-supported initiative, the International Moral Psychology Seminar Series), and expansion of the HQ organizing team. Through these initiatives, HQ hopes to strengthen the LGBTQ+ community of social-personality psychologists, showcase and broaden the reach of LGBTQ+ scholars' work, and foster LGBTQ+ SPSP members’ connections with each other.