The Association of Black Psychologists


The Association of Black Psychologists sees its mission and destiny as the liberation of the African Mind, empowerment of the African Character, and enlivenment and illumination of the African Spirit.

Purpose of the Association The Association is organized to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, including but not limited to:

  • Promoting and advancing the profession of African Psychology

  • Influencing and affecting social change; and

  • Developing programs whereby psychologists of African descent (hereafter known as Black Psychologists) can assist in solving problems of Black communities and other ethnic groups.

To accomplish these purposes, the Board of Directors (hereafter known as "the board") shall exercise the following specific functions:

  • Establish a central organization of Black Psychologists;

  • Develop funding sources for working capital, staff support, and educational programs;

  • Seek funding for projects involving Black Psychologists, such projects to include, but not be limited to: Scholarly Journals, Training Programs, Recruitment of Students and Faculty and community Mental Health Care Programs; and

  • Work with such organizations of behavioral scientists as are able to implement the purposes of The Association.


The Association of Black Psychologists was founded in San Francisco in 1968 by a number of Black Psychologists from across the country. They united to actively address the serious problems facing Black Psychologists and the larger Black community. Guided by the principle of self determination, these psychologists set about building an institution through which they could address the long neglected needs of Black professionals. Their goal was to have a positive impact upon the mental health of the national Black community by means of planning, programs, services, training, and advocacy. Their objectives were:

  • To organize their skills and abilities to influence necessary change, and

  • To address themselves to significant social problems affecting the Black community and other segments of the population whose needs society has not fulfilled.

The Association of Black Psychologists has grown from a handful of concerned professionals into an independent, autonomous organization of over 1400 members.

African Centered/Black Psychology - Definition

African Centered/Black Psychology is a dynamic manifestation of unifying African principles, values and traditions. It is the self-conscious "centering" of psychological analyses and applications in African realities, cultures, and epistemologies. African Centered/Black Psychology, as a system of thought and action, examines the processes that allow for the illumination and liberation of the Spirit. Relying on the principles of harmony within the universe as a natural order of existence, African Centered/Black Psychology recognizes: the Spirit that permeates everything that is; the notion that everything in the universe is interconnected; the value that the collective is the most salient element of existence; and the idea that communal self knowledge is the key to mental health. African Centered/Black Psychology is ultimately concerned with understanding the systems of meaning of human beingness, the features of human functioning, and the restoration of normal/natural order to human development. As such, it is used to resolve personal and social problems and to promote optimal functioning."



Professionals who hold The ABPsi CAC/BP are individuals who have met ABPsi criteria based on demonstrated skills, knowledge and abilities. Meeting these criteria asserts that ABPsi can reasonably expect the implementation of culturally appropriate teaching, research, clinical practice and assessment when integrating acquired culturally appropriate African-Centered skills to various areas of psychology. The applicant for CAC/BP is reviewed by a panel of highly skilled and respected psychologists. Consumers and institutions will view certification as a measure to ensure professionals have taken appropriate efforts toward understanding and applying the best practices in the field of psychology for clients of African ancestry. Certificants are held to a high standard of ethical practice as defined by The LCPP Standards of Black Psychology. Certificants are to participate in CAC/BP related activities to maintain their certification and to stay current with the changing dynamics within the communities they serve.


  • To create a framework for recognizing psychologists, researchers, educators and institutions that meet a conventional body of knowledge, practice and/or experience that demonstrates The ABPsi standards of proficiency in African Centered/Black Psychology;

  • To establish a measure of proficiency and established criteria to offer a certification in African Centered/Black Psychology;

  • To establish the baseline standards and conventional body of knowledge which will define African Centered/Black Psychology its evolution, applications and international recognition;

  • To establish a mechanism within The ABPsi for broadening the professional development and community service for The ABPsi members through licensure, proficiency and certification throughout the profession;

  • To substantiate The ABPsi as the primary body for shaping the credentials of professionals in psychology and related fields for the practice, education and theory as used for service in various arenas to African American people and people of the African Diaspora.


The ABPsi, being the principal body consisting of renowned Black psychologists in the USA and beyond, is responsible for taking the primary role in defining the cultural considerations necessary to properly address the psychological needs of African Americans and people of the African Diaspora.

No other organization or entity functions to determine if the particular cultural needs and history of Black people are being properly considered in psychology. This is the core of this program. A basic concern in addressing the needs of the Black community is that every psychologist should meet some pre-determined criteria for understanding the unique needs of Black folk and the historical matrix that established the present conditions faced by all people of African descent.

The premise of this program is for The ABPsi to take responsibility for, and promote, the recognition of African Centered/Black Psychology. The ABPsi is the leader and international resource for addressing the psychological needs of African people throughout the world, and the ABPsi is the only entity to carry the responsibility to certify individuals and institutions as being qualified and proficient in African Centered/Black Psychology, based on an accepted body of knowledge.


CHN and ABPsi have been working together since 2009 to build a worldwide movement for the emotional emancipation, healing, wellness, and empowerment of Black people. We are working to spark the creation of a global grassroots network of self-help groups focused on overcoming the lie of Black inferiority and the emotional legacies of enslavement and racism.

To participate in the Emotional Emancipation Initiative, contact Courtney C., The Community Healing Network: at or call 347-486-4CHN (4246).

Family­Care, Community­Care and Self­Care Tool Kit: Healing in the Face of Cultural Trauma

Community Healing Network (CHN), in collaboration with the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), is leading the global grassroots movement for emotional emancipation – to help Black people heal from and overturn the lies. Among CHN’s strategies for building this movement are: Emotional Emancipation Circles SM, an evidence ­informed, psychologically sound, culturally grounded process to help Black people heal from the trauma caused by the lies; and Valuing Black Lives: The Annual Global Emotional Emancipation Summit SM, to bring together Black leaders from across the Diaspora to develop and implement action plans to extinguish the lies...

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The word "Jegna" is a translation from the ancient kingdom of Abyssinian. In the African culture, Jegna is a title of distinction. The word Jegna has been translated into English as meaning: hero, warrior, soldier, courage, strength and protection of our culture, land and people, and elder.

Jegna (Jegnoch, plural) are those special people who have:

  • Been tested in struggle or battle,

  • Demonstrated extraordinary and unusual fearlessness,

  • Shown determination and courage in protecting his/her people, land and culture,

  • Shown diligence and dedication to our people,

  • Produced exceptionally high quality work,

  • Dedicated themselves to the protection, defense, nurturance, and development of our young by advancing our people, place and culture

A Jegna is a person who is still growing, still a learner, still with potential, and whose life continues to have within it promise for and connection to the future. A Jegna is a person who deserves respect and honor and whose work it is to synthesize wisdom from life long experience and formulate this into a legacy for future generations.


Are you a student who desires a jegna? Are you a professional who has a desire to be a jegna to students? If so, the VIRTUAL JEGNASHIP PROGRAM needs you!

The Virtual Jegnaship Program is a new mentorship program created to help connect student members and professional members of the ABPSI. This is facilitated through monthly correspondence via telephone or e-mail contact. This virtual mentoring is a wonderful way to give back to the Student Circle. Jegnaship is a vital part of creating and maintaining relationships between students and professionals.

To learn more about the program, please contact the Student Circle Jegnaship Chair.

Cecile Gadson

Jegnaship Committee Chair


The Jegnaship committee conducts a roundtable program, during each National ABPsi convention. This exciting event gives students an opportunity to engage in face-to-face conversations with ABPsi professional members, academicians and clinicians. Professional members speak to students about a range of topics that are relevant to their developmental stage. This event allows students to utilize the expertise that our professional members have as well as providing a unique networking opportunity for students!

This post is comprised of information listed on the ABPsi website. Visit ABPsi's website to get more information, view sources, and other helpful resources.

Huberta Jackson-Lowman, Ph.D.,

ABPsi's 45th President


7119 Allentown Road, Suite 203 Ft. Washington, MD 20744 Phone: 301-449-3082 Fax: 301-449-3084 Email Address:






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