About Us

Ethnic Diversity Task Force
Get InvolvedJoin Us

Ethnic Diversity Task Force (EDTF) Mission

Formed in January 2001, the Ethnic Diversity Task Force (EDTF) encompasses a group of ethnically diverse professionals including college students. Our mission is to promote greater mental health access and advocacy for culturally competent psychological services in communities of color.

EDTF Key Goals

  • Offer mentoring scholarships and support to high school, undergraduate and graduate students of color who are interested in mental health and link them with psychologists and other professionalsMentoring Program
  • Provide support and link psychologists of color with one another and with other psychologists, professionals, and professional groups
  • Provide opportunities for training and career development in psychology via contact with community agencies in collaboration with colleges/universities
  • Advance culturally competent mental health services in the communities in CT
  • Teaching Hair Stylists & Barbers about mental illness to help their clients
  • Increase the recruitment, retention and participation of ethnic minority students and psychologists within the state psychological association and communities
  • Create governance opportunities in CPA for graduate students in psychology

EDTF Initiatives

  • Partnership with integrated behavioral/mental health agencies
  • Create career opportunities for ethnic and linguistic minority students
  • Directory of Mental Health Professionals of Color – Bilingual/Multilingual
  • Mentoring Scholarships for graduate, undergrads & high school students
  • Community Health Fairs and Presentations at schools & in communities
  • Hair Stylists & Barber presentations both locally and nationally
  • Networking Socials across the state to enhance early career opportunities

News / Updates

Annual Yale Health & Wellness Health Fairs

Ethnic Diversity Task Force (EDTF):  Annual Report 2020


EDTF was formed in January 2001 and is a group of ethnically and culturally diverse professionals, college students, and allies. The mission of EDTF is to promote greater mental health access and advocacy for culturally competent psychological services in communities of color. 

EDTF Accomplishments 2020

Note: Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, EDTF activities were restricted to virtual meetings and presentations. Members were not able to participate in community and in-person activities and events as were typically held in prior years. These included participation in community based trainings such as the MindStylz program, community health fairs, and holding social events for members.

Mentoring & Networking Opportunities

  • Virtual meetings were held with psychologists and students of color to offer guidance, social-emotional support, and educational enrichment. Meetings took place with Early Career Psychologists (ECPs), post-doctoral fellows, graduate students in psychology programs, and college students in practicum placements.
  • Offered mentoring scholarships to students of color in undergraduate and doctoral psychology programs. 19 students received scholarships to attend the annual CPA Convention, receive free student membership in CPA for one year, and participate in EDTF activities.
  • Virtual presentations about EDTF and CPA, including the importance of social networking and advocacy. Presentations were given to practicum students and post-doctoral fellows at Community Health Centers and University of Connecticut Health Center.
  • Monthly meetings were held virtually for CPA students of color as part of the Student Leadership Development program of the CPA Diversity Committee. Meetings provided students with guidance and a chance to network and support each other. Presentations were made at some meetings by EDTF members and psychologists of color, who spoke about their experiences in different areas of specialization and where they are at/have been on their career paths. Speakers for this year included Dr. Deborah Bond, Dr. Angela Haeny, Dr. Maysa Akbar, Dr. Rocio Chang, and Dr. Derrick Gordon.
  • EDTF has also been involved in planning with the Student Division to help match mentors and mentees in a new initiative that is being organized.

Partnerships & Collaboration

  • Collaborative relationship developed with Community Health Centers (CHC), New Haven, CT. Several virtual planning meetings were held between CHC administrators and EDTF leadership. EDTF can provide mentoring and support to the CHC staff as well as students of color in practicum and fellowship placements. CHC interested in providing support to EDTF and CPA, such as informing about student placement opportunities and participating in presentations about mental health.
  • Planning has also been underway for active involvement with the Yale Multicultural Office and undergraduate and graduate students to re-establish the partnership with EDTF.

Leadership & Advocacy

  • Creation of CPA Diversity Committee, spearheaded by Dr. Maysa Akbar, PhD who is serving as the Diversity Representative on the CPA Board as well as Chair of the CPA Diversity Committee. EDTF continues to function under the umbrella of this newly formed committee.
  • CPA Student Leadership Development meetings held monthly for students of color, as described above.
  • Akbar served as Diversity Delegate to APA Practice Directorate annual PLC meeting in Washington, D.C.

Training Opportunities

  • EDTF listserv was used to post training and placement opportunities for students

  Cultural Sensitivity & Cultural Competency

  • Working closely with the CPA Board and within the Diversity Committee to increase cultural sensitivity and understanding in the association and the larger community by participating in plans for upcoming social justice presentation series.
  • EDTF leadership worked with CPA Board in formulating plans and responsive statements to 2020 events impacting people of color and diversity training.

Report Submitted by:    

Miki Lasher, PhD

Co-Chair of Ethnic Diversity Task Force

December 1, 2020          

EDTF Accomplishments 2019

Mentoring & Networking Opportunities
  • Meeting with Psychologists of Color that includes Early Career Psychologists (ECPs) and offering guidance and support with licensure examination
  • Offering high school, undergraduate and doctoral psychology students 15 mentoring scholarships to attend the annual CPA Convention and social mentoring event
  • Presenting at two major doctoral programs in the state (i.e. UConn & U Hart) on topic Many Hats Psychologists Wear followed by social event.
  • Partying at EDTF Summer Social at J. Roos Grille in North Haven, Connecticut
Partnerships & Collaboration
  • Meeting with various professionals of color (i.e. Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists) at dinner gatherings to advance greater accessibility of mental health services for minority communities and promote the Directory of Mental Health Professionals of Color Directory (MHPCD) on the CPA website
  • Partnering with ministers and leaders in the New Haven area to further educate them about mental health needs in their churches and surrounding communities. Also, addressing accessibility of mental health services through MHPCD
  • Collaborating with the Neuropsychology Division of CPA to waive fees for psychology doctoral students to attend CEU workshops
  • Interviewing and discussing with barbers at barbershops in New Haven County the need for training about mental illness of clients and how to make appropriate referrals which is EDTF’s MindStylz Initiative
  • Partnering with Comprehensive Neuropsychological Services (CNS), a large Neuropsychology Practice in CT to arrange for doctoral students to shadow and train
  • Participating in the annual Yale University Block Party Health & Wellness Fair in New Haven over the past eight years with four advanced doctoral students involved 2019
  • Supporting and helping to facilitate the Functional Analysis Program (i.e. FAP) at the University of Connecticut for CEU workshop at CPA.
Leadership & Advocacy
  • Appointment by APA of Dr. Maysa Akbar, PhD as APA Representative at the United Nations. Dr. Akbar is Diversity Representative on the CPA Board, EDTF Member, minority business owner and CPA’s Practice Leadership Diversity Delegate 2019
  • Award given by CPA President and Board for Outstanding Student of the Year to UHart psychology doctoral student, Emmanuel Silva De Sousa who is an EDTF Member and UHart Ambassador, CPA Marketing Director and chosen to be a participant in President Obama’s Community Leadership Program 2019
  • Award for Distinguished Contribution to Diversity in Psychology 2019 given to Dr. John Mehm, Director of the UHart Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology, CPA Board Member and long standing EDTF member
Training Opportunities
  • Negotiating and partnering with Gaylord Healthcare Psychology Director to train students and pursue APA training site approval with the support of EDTF
  • Supporting Middlesex Hospital Family Advocacy Program, Middletown, CT through the years, as they have recently received APA approval in 2019
Cultural Sensitivity & Cultural Competency
  • Presentation co-sponsored by EDTF along with the Connecticut Psychological Association the Urban Trauma workshop/training (i.e. 6 CE credits) with EDTF presenter Maysa Akbar, PhD, ABPP, Chief Urban Specialist and author of Urban Trauma, A Legacy of Racism
  • Presentations by Jan Owens-Lane, EDTF Chair continue to be offered to various practices, hospitals and organizations to advance cultural sensitivity and cultural competency, especially in minority communities such as: Cultural Sensitivity in Assessing, Diagnosing and Treating Minority Patients, Depression in African American Women, The Mask of Depression and Cultural Sensitivity in Recruiting and Supporting Minority STEM Students