Watering our roots: Cultivating ourselves and the Asian American Psychological Association’s (AAPA) future

"Watering our roots," is a call for reflection and revitalization of self in recognition of our interconnectedness and history. 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 to help others. At times, we are encouraged not to engage in self-care and self-compassion because that suggests weakness or acting selfishly. Our theme emphasizes that caring for ourselves includes our cultural practices and is also our professional responsibility to ensure strong "roots" so that we can give more to others. We seek to deconstruct, decolonize, and redefine what self-care means in our current cultural landscape.

This theme also highlights that, as an organization, AAPA is in a time of transition as we are in our fifth year of alternating conventions with and away from the American Psychological Association (APA). As highlighted and discussed in the AAPA 2019 Convention keynote, our organization needs to work on being 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 programs can take 6 years to complete. We further tie in 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 while 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.

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