“Watering our roots,” is a call for reflection and revitalization of self in recognition of our interconnectedness and what it took to get where we are today. In addition to themes of “vision” and “self-care,” “watering our roots” signifies nurturing our network and building a solid foundation for our future. It also signifies attention to the sacrifices of our parents, our ancestors, and ourselves as we work in service to others. At times, we are encouraged by our cultures and/or families not to engage in self-care and self-compassion because that suggests weakness or acting selfishly. With this theme, we honor that caring for ourselves is not mutually exclusive from engaging in our cultural practices such as sacrifices for our families and is our professional responsibility to ensure strong “roots” so that we may give more to others. As a result, we seek to deconstruct, decolonize, and redefine what it means to care for self in our current cultural landscape. Simultaneously, we will explore our visions for the future as we practice rejuvenation of our organization and membership base. The world needs our brilliance and compassion, but we also need to ensure we are supported and support each other to continue our path. For some of us it may mean giving ourselves the permission to nurture and to take time to step back and check in; “What do I need for me so that I can have enough battery life for others?”
As an organization, AAPA is in a time of transition, we are in our fifth year of alternating conventions with and independent from the American Psychological Association. As highlighted and discussed in the AAPA 2019 Convention keynote, we still have much work to do within our organization to be more inclusive and welcoming of our diverse membership. We also honor the significance of “five years” as, on average, doctoral programs take five years to complete. Similarly, including undergraduate years, Master’s program can take 6 years to complete. We can also tie 2019’s convention theme, “Making waves and breaking through the bamboo ceiling,” to a Chinese parable about bamboo trees, which take five years to sprout above ground. Meanwhile, its roots are growing strong beneath the earth’s surface. “Watering our roots: Cultivating ourselves and AAPA’s future,” is a call to action to collectively set the course for the future of our organization .
We invite you to join us on this path of self-exploration, reflection, loving, and growth as we steer AAPA toward an exciting and inclusive future.