- Editor’s NoteWrite Right Now!
Irecently attended an event where i had an interesting conversation with several of my colleagues about the need for students and professionals to carve out time to reflect and write. I shared that as a mental health practitioner, educator, and event planner, it is sometimes difficult to move commitments and other responsibilities aside to write. We discussed family and parental challenges as well as the need to devote time for good self-care. We also talked about how we feel about time quickly passing and the elusiveness of reaching professional goals. Finding balance when life moves swiftly is sometimes difficult to grasp. Our discussion concluded about the possibility of being in a setting that would allow for some level of detachment from daily responsibilities and serve as a space to reflect and write.
After the event, I came home and thought about the chance of being a part of a symposium/retreat that could serve as a space for professional writing. I assumed that there are a number of professionals who struggle to hold themselves accountable for writing and completing their manuscripts in a timely fashion. Moreover, sometimes professionals are able to find time to write but then have difficulty moving beyond cognitive/emotional structures that impede progress (e.g. writer’s block). So, I searched around and found very few writing groups that were inclusive and/or for people of color and then figured I would initiate one for the ABSC. I made some calls and booked a flight to Lima, Peru and found a wonderful hotel that could serve as a quaint setting for professionals working on their manuscripts, dissertation, thesis, or book. Lima is a wonderful city that offers the unique experience of Peruvian culture as well as provides a multitude of spaces for writing with the sunrise and sunset over the south Pacific Ocean. [End Page vii]
Joined by the Caraway Management Group, the ABSC will offer our first writing retreat, Write Right Now!, in Lima, Peru in December, 2018. The design of the retreat is fairly simplistic where we will meet each morning for breakfast and discuss writing goals for the day and talk about potential barriers to meeting goals. We will organize into small writing teams based upon people’s interests and then break for the day to write. To hold ourselves accountable, we will reconvene as a large group over dinner each evening and discuss our progress over the course of the day. By the conclusion of the retreat, each person should have completed or have a clearer idea about meeting his/her manuscript or project goals. This retreat will hopefully be the first of many to come that will center the writing experiences and professional growth of people of color.
What makes this issue of the JBSR special is that we have a few articles that are devoted to the sexual and mental health of persons of African descent. The first manuscript is by Drs. Garrett-Walker and Longmire-Avital who share their work, “Resilience and Depression: The Roles of Racial Identity, Sexual Identity, and Social Support on Well-Being for Black LGB Emerging Adults.” Using a hierarchical linear regression, the authors suggest, “decreases in social support predicted higher levels of depressive symptomatology while increases in social support in addition to components of racial and sexual identity predicted increases in reported resilience.” This research stresses the need for more research and dialogue about the impact of marginalization on Black LGB emerging adults.
The next entry, “Relationship Contingent Self-Worth: The Role of Happiness, Well-Being, Self-Esteem, and Depression” is by Drs. Boyd, Lawrence, Brooks, Perkins, and Clark of Virginia State University. The authors surveyed over eight hundred students at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and found that high levels of well-being have a “psychologically healthy contingent self-worth.” What’s fascinating about this article is that there are few studies that attend to the concept of happiness and depression in African American college students and this work continues to address the need for additional research on the cultural factors that may impact healthy relationships.
Similar to the Boyd et al. study...