Call for Proposals



October 4-6, 2019

San Diego, California


Submission Deadline: May 24th, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PST


MAKING WAVES AND BREAKING THROUGH THE BAMBOO CEILING: Reclaiming and Redefining Our Asian and Asian American Identities

This year’s theme building upon previous years’ themes of research, practice, and advocacy efforts with an increased focus on social justice advocacy and concrete actions to propel Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) mental health forward.Often, culturally or via family norms, AANHPI are sent messages to keep our heads down, to conform, and to uphold the status quo. Dominant societal norms reinforce the bamboo ceiling by, restricting AANHPI achievements, and perpetuating the model minority stereotype that AANHPI individuals are studious, meek, and successful. These stereotypes are then used to keep us “visibly invisible” and minimize our experiences and needs. These dominant messages are also a divide and conquer strategy that encourages us to marginalize our own, thereby keeping the dominant power structures in place, maintaining the status quo, and preventing us from having our voices heard. Therefore, with this theme, we embrace and highlight our duty, joy, and responsibility to present our authentic selves and showcase our work in order to inspire change and promote equity.

“Making waves and breaking through the bamboo ceiling” is a call to spotlight our intersecting identities and values that enrich and strengthen our communities.  We seek to transcend outdated social norms while retaining our true selves and honoring our elders, mentors, ancestors, and allies. We gather to share the wisdom, creativity, and expertise of our own intersectional AANHPI communities from across the globe.

There is not only one definition of what it means to be Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and/or Pacific Islander. It is time for us as a community to create and define these terms and use advocacy to link with our communities beyond academia and clinical practice settings. Let us focus on ways to see and uplift each other and ourselves as enough. Let’s break down the barriers that have muted and divided us, and share strategies and wisdom as we move boldly forward together.

We are seeking proposals that draw attention to the experiences of those with multiple intersecting identities, underrepresented AANHPI groups (e.g., South Asians, Southeast Asians, Filipinos, religious minorities, LGBTQIA+, international folks), as well as those that bridge past AANHPI research or clinical applications with present or future directions. In addition, we are interested in submissions that focus on collaborative projects (both nationally and internationally), interdisciplinary scholarship, multicultural perspective, cross-cultural psychology, and other works that further social justice movements. We encourage submissions from researchers, community leaders and activists, mental health providers, and educators who work with underrepresented communities. Moreover, we welcome submissions from professionals and scholars in allied fields (e.g., Anthropology, Asian American Studies, Communication, Education, History, Law, Nursing, Political Science, Public Health, Psychiatry, Social Work, and Sociology) with whom we collaborate and whose work informs Asian American mental health.


Proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following topics within AANHPI mental health:
Intersections of social identities such as race, gender, and sexual orientation (examining complexities of our different identities, focus on the different experiences)
       Research/outreach with underrepresented AANHPI groups (Southeast Asian, Pacific Islanders, LGBTQ, etc.)
       Collaborative and interdisciplinary work examining the diversity of the AANHPI community
       Exploration and examination of existing research, conceptual, and/or therapeutic models with AANHPI groups and adaptations/supplements to such models (e.g., cultural adaptations to cognitive behavioral therapy models, using both minority stress and intersectionality frameworks in research and/or clinical work)}
       Research, outreach and other topics involving the LGBTQIA+ communities
       Social reform, public policy, and political action (involvement of AANHPIs in current national and international political movements)"
       Social justice and equity
       Immigration, immigration reform, needs and challenges of immigrant communities (examination of different adaptation experiences, process of acculturation, code switching, etc.)
       Identity development across different racial/ethnic minority groups (while incorporating intersectionality such as racial and ethnic identity development at different ages/across the lifespan, intersections of race/ethnicity and gender identity development, etc.)
       Experiences of intersectional microaggression and other forms discrimination (e.g., gendered racism, sexualized racism, generational differences across experiences of discrimination, international perspectives on discrimination and microaggressions) 
       Inter/within group conflicts; intergroup coalitions
       Mental health and health disparities (research, outreach, programs that focus on access to care)
       Increasing visibility in the education system and clinical and counseling settings
       Multicultural, and polycultural perspectives
       Increasing visibility of AANHPIs with multiple heritages


Who May Submit

Individuals (AAPA members and non-members) at all levels of training (professional, graduate level, and undergraduate level), including non-psychologists interested in mental health issues affecting AANHPIs are encouraged to submit proposals. We particularly encourage submissions from those interested in AANHPI mental health who have not previously participated in AAPA conventions. Because strengthening the diversity of our colleagues in other organizations is of particular importance for psychologists of color, we strongly encourage submissions from members of other organizations, including but not limited to, the Association of Black Psychologists, Society of Indian Psychologists, and the National Latina/o Psychological Association.

While there is no limit to the total number of submitted proposals per person, individuals can only be the first author of one proposal submission. In the event that multiple first author submissions are received from an individual, the committee will review only the first proposal received. Exempted from this rule are presenters who are invited speakers.

       Deadline for all submissions is May 24th, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PST

       All presenters are required to officially register for the convention

Types of Submissions

     Interactive Sessions (75 minutes or 90 minutes): A facilitator introduces the topic and sets up a context for subsequent discussions and interactions among participants. For questions about submitting an interactive session proposal, please contact Poster/Sessions Co-Chairs Yun Garrison, Dieu Truong and Jessica Benson at

     Difficult Dialogues (90 minutes): A facilitator engages participants in a meaningful dialogue about issues that are difficult to discuss in everyday conversations. Proposal submissions must delineate how facilitators will establish and manage a safe space that promotes respectful expression of opposing views, and provides an environment in which differing perspectives are defended, heard, and considered by participants who hold conflicting cultural values and ideas.  For questions about submitting a difficult dialogue session proposal, please contact Poster/Sessions Co-Chairs Yun Garrison, Dieu Truong and Jessica Benson at

     Symposia (75 minutes): Three or four presentations are given around a common theme. An expert discussant may provide feedback. The symposium proposal submission must include one program summary that integrates the multiple presentations within the session. It must also clearly indicate the titles and contents of each presentation within the symposium. A chair for the symposium must be named on the application portal. No individual paper proposals for symposium presentations are accepted. For questions, please contact Poster/Sessions Co-Chairs Yun Garrison, Dieu Truong and Jessica Benson at

     Posters (90 minutes): Posters are displayed to disseminate information on various conceptual and/or empirical reports.
During the poster session, participants are invited to interact with poster presenters. Single research papers should be submitted as posters. For questions, please contact Poster/Sessions Co-Chairs Yun Garrison, Dieu Truong and Jessica Benson at


Guidelines for Proposals

       All online proposals will need to include:
     Contact information for each presenter
     Abstract (500 to 700 words) with no author names
     Program Summary (50 to 100 words) with no author names
     3-4 Learning Objectives (not required for poster submissions)

       Proposals will be sent for anonymous reviews. As such, the Abstract and Program Summary should not include identifying information of the author(s) and/or presenter(s).

       Submitters will be notified by email upon receipt of their proposal.

       For submissions that may be eligible to award Continuing Education units (CEs), individual authors will be contacted to provide additional information.

       Submission outcomes will be sent via email by July 8th, 2019.

Proposal Rating Criteria

Proposals will be rated based on the following criteria:
Relationship to convention theme
       Relevance/timeliness of topic
       Membership appeal
       Innovation and creativity
       Scientific/empirical soundness (for research symposia and posters)
       Adequacy of strategy for involving audience (for interactive sessions and difficult dialogues)
       Contribution to the field

Additional Information

Presenters should bring their own laptops (those with Mac laptops should bring the appropriate adaptor to connect to the LCD projector). LCD projectors for PowerPoint presentations will be provided. Requests for additional AV equipment will be addressed after the final selection of presenters has been decided.

Visit the 2019 AAPA Convention website at for more information. For all other questions regarding the 2019 AAPA Convention, please email one of this year’s co-chairs,  Justine Fan at or Jennifer Hsia at