Flourish—Providing a Network for Pre-Tenure Faculty of Color at #SPSP2022
Flourish—a network for pre-tenure faculty of color in social/personality psychology—hosted its third annual retreat following SPSP in San Francisco, CA. The day-and-a-half retreat provides scholars the opportunity to network, receive social support, and share resources as they navigate the tenure track.
Organizers Drs. Angela Bell, Kelci Harris, and Morgan Jerald began Flourish in 2020 with 13 attendees, supported by an SPSP Community Catalyst grant. This year, supported by an NSF Social Psychology grant, the retreat expanded to 38 participants from a variety of institution types around the world and stages along the tenure track.
For the first time, Flourish was held in a hybrid format. On day one, virtual participants joined via Zoom, and in-person attendees gathered at Manny’s, a community space in the Mission district. The retreat began with a Senior Faculty Lunch and Panel with Drs. Eranda Jayawickreme, Jessica Remedios, and Daryl Wout. The panelists offered advice about a range of topics, such as managing service expectations, work/life/family balance, navigating the tenure review process, mentoring students, and coping with the impact of the pandemic.
Afterward, recently tenured professors, Drs. India Johnson, Sylvia Perry, and Eva Pietri shared words of wisdom during the Flourish Alumni Panel. Participants especially appreciated their advice on maintaining a sense of authenticity and finding joy at predominately White institutions. As one participant described, “The alumni panel [was] rich and heartening, [and it was] a great time to connect and share support and insight.”
The following morning, in-person attendees regrouped for breakfast and peer mentoring, group discussions. For many participants, the most meaningful takeaway was the sense of community they gained from the retreat. When asked about their favorite aspect of the retreat, several noted:
- “The community—it was great to be in a space with other faculty of color where we could have frank discussions about the issues we face and discuss strategies for navigating them.”
- “Being on the tenure track can feel isolating sometimes, so I cherished this opportunity to connect with other wonderful, brilliant scholars of color.”
- “Flourish is at this point, one of the factors that most motivates my SPSP attendance. The opportunity to connect with peer scholars of color in psychology is one I don't often get at my home institution, and coming to Flourish feels like tapping back into my Psych community.”
- “The ability to meet, share ideas and tips with and learn from faculty with whom you might share multiple marginalized identities is an invaluable experience that is often not possible or safe at our home institutions.”
- “I've been feeling really alone in the field and haven't ever had a mentor who was a person of color. Flourish gave me an opportunity to connect with people and feel like there are people who…understand many of my experiences and challenges. That's invaluable.”
The organizers look forward to offering year-round virtual programming—such as writing groups, writing retreats, and professional development workshops—and continuing to expand the Flourish network in future years with SPSP.