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Call for papers: Beyond the generic Brown; South Asian and Arab people in the workplace

Starts:  Mar 15, 2023 09:00 (ET)
Ends:  Sep 30, 2023 17:00 (ET)
Associated with  Human Resources Division (HR)

Submission deadline: September 30, 2023

This is a call for papers for a special issue for the Consulting Psychology Journal, focusing on the South Asian and Arab community, entitled, Beyond the generic Brown; South Asian and Arab people in the workplace.

Topics addressing all intersecting identities from these two communities, be it religion, sexuality, gender, and ethnicity, will be open to being addressed, from the perspective of the impact of these issues on a work and leadership perspective.

Guest editors

  • Dr. Lubna Somjee
  • Dr. Rehman Abdulrehman


Following 9-11, rates of Islamophobia and hate crimes against anyone perceived to be Muslim skyrocketed. This included both Arab and South Asian people, regardless of religious or cultural affiliation. These two communities have been consequently negatively affected in many areas of their life, including work, often negatively portrayed, unless fitting the stereotype of the good immigrant. Xenophobia particularly impacts these communities.

With South Asian and Arab people (regardless of any intersecting identity) having faced discrimination well before the occurrence of 9-11, that single event further culminated the single lens through which people from these communities are seen, blurring together heterogeneous and distinct groups of people into a single brown blur, whose values and ideologies were assumed, and whom discrimination in all forms was justified and even legalized as acts against terror.

These forms of discrimination had profound impacts on the workplace. Examples include the instatement of bill 21 in Quebec Canada, preventing Muslim women from wearing the hijab should they work in a civic job, but also increased hate crimes against Sikh men and women.


This special issue for the Consulting Psychology Journal aims to begin to clarify the unique and intersecting issues tied to both the Arab and South Asian community with respect to work, and relative lack of representation in leadership. Moreover, it aims to address issues from these communities in the professional work world, as local to North American and western countries. Papers can address commonalities between communities but also unique differences.

To understand and respond to the systemic racism in the workplace, toward employees and leaders, this special issue of the Consulting Psychology Journal will focus on the experience and needs of Arabs and South Asians specifically, with the goal to achieve outcomes:

  • educate and inform consultants, human resources professionals and anyone in the business world about important issues tied to the psychology of work for the South Asian and Arab communities and leadership;
  • help validate the experiences of those individuals from these two communities to help promote growth and opportunity through a better understanding of issues tied to these communities;
  • approaches to growing and retaining Arab and South Asian leaders;
  • best practices in coaching this population; and
  • training considerations in coaching or consulting when addressing issues Arabs and South Asians face.

We are seeking both quantitative and qualitative papers that address the topics that include but not limited to topics below: 

  • general issues impacting South Asian and Arab professionals;
  • concerns of being often overlooked/invisible; 
  • the presence or absence of more South Asian and Arab leaders;
  • intersectionality on issues of religion, gender, LGBTG status, and the impact of those on professionals;
  • conflation of these two groups into a single identity;
  • issues impacting this population within various industries;
  • addressing stereotypes;
  • leadership programs for this population/ways to support growth towards leadership;
  • eurocentric notion of leadership and professionalism;.
  • cultural issues/barriers for Arab and South Asian leaders the North American work place;
  • problems with Islamophobia;
  • The Good Immigrant effect;
  • pros and cons of passing as white as a fair skinned Arab or South Asian in the work world;
  • internalized racism and colonialism;
  • ongoing issues of orientalism in the modern workplace; and
  • cultural influences on influential leadership.

Submit articles through the journal’s submission portal using the Special Issue Article type. For complete submission format guidelines on please visit the journal homepage.

Questions? Please contact guest editors Dr. Lubna Somjee and Dr. Rehman Abdulrehman