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Q&A with Mina Warsame

An interview with the president of the Association of Black Psychology Students
November 19, 2020

The Association of Black Psychology Students (ABPS) was launched by Psychology alumni Harrison Pack (BA '18, psychology and sociology), Jade Robinson (BA '20, psychology), Ezekiel Cowan (BA '19, psychology), and Surene Clark (BS '17, psychology) in 2017. Mina Warsame, the organization's current president, talks about their mission, their recent work, and their future goals.

What is the organization's main mission/purpose?

We aim to support the academic, social, and career needs of students of African descent in psychology and related disciplines. [The ABPS] gives students of African descent an opportunity to develop a professional network geared towards social sciences.

What activities has the ABPS done in the past year/semester?

ABPS has hosted a few events within the past year and collaborated on a number of projects with other student organizations and institutions. We have held two events that aimed to promote stress relief, facilitated discussions on finding meaningful research experience, and most recently hosted a psychology professional panel. We hope to host more events that are catered to UMN students' career and academic needs––more specifically, Black students pursuing psychology who may face additional barriers in academia and the professional world.

What are the ABPS's goals for the near future, and what are your long-term goals?

Given the uncertainty and spontaneity of the past year, we are playing things by ear and are tentatively planning to host more virtual events. We hope to host events similar to our "Chat and Chew" with Dr. Rich Lee and continue discussions that highlight diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Our long-term goals are developing a stronger connection with the department, students, and faculty, as well as other professional organizations whose mission aligns closely with ours. A goal that I personally would love to see actualized within the next two years is the creation of a psych mentorship program for undergraduates belonging to underrepresented communities.

Are there any ways that Psychology alumni could help or become involved?

As previously mentioned, we want the opportunity to strengthen our professional network, so we can host more events that cater to U student's career and academic. We can be reached at blackpsy@umn.edu, or you can connect with us on Instagram @blackpsyumn.