Mission Statement

Welcome to the official Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) website. Founded in 1955, SEPA is the largest psychological organization in the southeast and one of largest in the United States. Originally comprised of psychologists in the southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Puerto Rico, our members for many years retained their membership and involvement when they moved to other parts of the country. With the 1999 revision of our Constitution, we acknowledged the broadly national flavor of our membership by officially welcoming the membership of psychologists from any state who are interested in the mission and affiliations of SEPA.

The purpose of SEPA is to advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare. Our mission is to stimulate the exchange of scientific and professional ideas across the diverse areas of psychological inquiry and application. The professional members of SEPA hold positions in settings such as universities, colleges, business and industry, hospitals and clinics, government, and private practice. In these and other settings, the psychologists of SEPA teach, conduct research, engage in psychological assessment and therapy, serve as administrators and consultants, and publish scholarly works on all aspects of the human experience. The student members of SEPA, from psychology undergraduate and graduate programs throughout the southeast and beyond, reflect the varied interests of their mentors in the behavioral sciences, from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations.

SEPA is unique in many ways. As the first regional psychological association to establish a committee to enhance the role of women in the organization, the mandate of that early committee has subsequently been expanded to include psychologists in underrepresented groups broadly (Committee on Equality of Professional Opportunity, or CEPO). SEPA was also the first regional psychological association to provide continuing education workshops for its members (popular in early days not only for their breadth of scholarship, but also for their location on the cruise ships of the Caribbean). SEPA has historically celebrated the diversity within psychology, and today, the Awards Program of SEPA is designed to encourage and reward presentation of the highest quality research by our professional and student members in both popular and traditionally underrepresented fields of psychological inquiry.

SEPA’s Annual Convention is where it all happens! Symposia and posters, invited experts, award winners, old and new friends meeting at social hours to catch up, network, spark new ideas, plan collaborations, or just relax and enjoy good food and good company in the ambiance of the South.

Membership in the Southeastern Psychological Association is open to students and professionals who share our interests and goals in psychology and would like to join us in this mission.

Additional Information about SEPA

History of SEPA

SEPA Policy on Inclusion of Underrepresented Groups and Gender Equality for Speaker Invitations to the Annual Meeting

The Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) condemns ALL forms of discrimination. We support the diversity of members and guests as well as the involvement of individuals who are interested in psychology in all its forms. The diversity of the SEPA community is reflected in terms of research interests, areas of practice, pedagogical efforts, theoretical training backgrounds and institutional affiliations of SEPA members. It also is reflected in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, language, national origin, veteran status, socioeconomic status, marital status, parental status, and religion of SEPA members. SEPA celebrates this diversity. The annual meeting presents SEPA with its premier opportunity to highlight member accomplishments and welcome new attendees (and potential new members) to the association to share their accomplishments and learn from others while in a supportive and inclusive environment. We have many student members and attendees, as well as early, middle, and late career members. SEPA strives to maintain an intellectually engaging, diverse and respectful program for all attendees. As part of the annual meeting, individuals can propose symposia and other presentation formats (such as “data blitz” sessions, workshops, roundtables, and others). The Executive Committee of the SEPA believes that the organization of the annual meeting, as well as the choice of all invited speakers for the meeting, must be done in careful recognition of the need to highlight the diversity of our membership in terms of topic areas. It is also important that our programmatic activities engage and recruit speakers/panelists/workshop facilitators that mirror the diversity of SEPA’s community. Our annual meeting program attests to our mission to promote gender equality and inclusion of presenters from underrepresented groups.

SEPA Policy on Invited Speakers

Organizers in charge of inviting presenters for any part of the annual meeting program are encouraged to generate an initial list of preferred invitees that includes women and speakers from underrepresented groups. Organizers are strongly encouraged to then invite potential presenters in an order of invitation that allows for balancing sessions or invited speaker lists in a way that reflects gender equality and the presence of those from underrepresented groups. Organizers may be asked to provide their invitation list through the point at which a panel or set of speakers was fully confirmed, so that it is clear who was considered and who was invited, and it is clear whether gender equality and speaker diversity was present in the invitation list. Of course, one cannot force an invitee to accept, and in some cases it is recognized that a panel may be restricted in terms of its diversity because of the nature of the topic and the small number of experts in that area. However, collection of these data aids in demonstrating the degree to which invitations were offered in a way that reflected this policy even if the final panel or speaker list could not reflect the ideal level of gender equality and inclusion of underrepresented groups.