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Association News
Nominations Sought for MUR Trustee
Psychiatric News
Volume 47 Number 9 page 10b-10b

As APA’s membership has grown in diversity over the years, there have been questions and concerns about how the interests and needs of minority and underrepresented groups could best be served. The Assembly serves as the body that strives to represent the voice of the members, and within the Assembly the Caucuses of Minority and Underrepresented Groups (MURs) play a crucial role in addressing the needs of minority members. There are seven Assembly MUR caucuses: American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian; Asian American; Black; Hispanic; Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual; Women; and International Medical Graduate.

Caucus members are self-identified, and joining a particular caucus is done by updating one’s membership profile on the APA Web site. To join a caucus, go to APA’s Web site at www.psychiatry.org; click on “Join and Participate” and “Online Member Profile,” and then log in; proceed to Section 3, question 3F—APA Caucus Membership.

While many members of the MUR caucuses have gone on to leadership roles in APA, there has never been official representation of the MUR groups on the Board of Trustees. Recognizing the importance of additional MUR input on actions that determine APA’s organizational operation and mission, the Board of Trustees in March 2011 approved an amendment to the APA bylaws to add an MUR Trustee as a full voting member of the Board. The MUR Trustee will be a member of one of the seven Assembly MUR caucuses and will be elected by members of the Assembly MUR caucuses. The term of office is two years.

The first MUR Trustee will be elected in the 2013 national election. Nomination letters, which must be received by June 15, should be e-mailed to murtrusteenoms@psych.org or mailed to APA MUR Trustee, Office of Minority/National Affairs, APA, 1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825, Arlington, Va., 22209. Nominees for MUR Trustee must be a member of one of the seven Assembly MUR caucuses, be current APA members in good standing, and have a valid e-mail address on file.

Nomination letters for MUR Trustee will be forwarded to each of the seven MUR vetting committees. (Eligible nominees will be asked to submit a 300-word biosketch, CV, and a Disclosure of Interest and Affiliations Form.) Each MUR vetting committee submits one nominee to the Assembly Committee of Representatives of Minority and Underrepresented Groups (MUR Committee). The MUR Committee submits two candidates and one alternate to the National Nominating Committee. The National Nominating Committee will announce the slate of all APA candidates on November 1. Only members of caucuses may vote for the MUR Trustee. inline-graphic-1.gif

For more information on national elections, please send an e-mail to election@psych.org.

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Psychiatrists who identify with any of APA’s recognized minority and underrepresented (MUR) groups are urged to join that group’s caucus. The MUR group caucuses provide a networking opportunity and foster communication among members who share a special interest. Caucuses meet during APA’s annual meeting. There are caucuses for the following groups: American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiians; Asian Americans; blacks; Hispanics; lesbians, gays, and bisexuals; international medical graduates; and women.

Participation in a caucus is a pathway to the following:

  • Exploring concerns about professional growth and advancement.

  • Identifying, supporting, and electing top-notch MURs for leadership posts.

  • Networking with members with shared backgrounds.

  • Advocating for minority patient populations.

  • Talking about key issues facing APA.

  • Initiating mentoring relationships.

  • Bringing concerns to APA leadership.

  • Assuming leadership roles in APA.

To join a caucus, see instructions in article at left. More information is available from Alison Bondurant in APA’s Office of Minority and National Affairs at abondurant@psych.org.

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