Call for Proposals

2013 Biennial Call for Proposals


 Follow this link to submit your proposal and follow the instructions carefully 


14th Biennial Conference of the Society for Community Research and Action

June 27th - 29th, 2013

The Society for Community Research and Action (Division 27 of the American Psychological Association) invites you to our 14th Biennial Conference!

Sponsor: The University of Miami, School of Education and Human Development

Theme: Communal Thriving: Pursuing Meaning, Justice, and Well-being

We aim to have a conference that will explicitly address the topic of communal thriving through highly participatory sessions. Many communities face enormous challenges with great dignity, resourcefulness, and courage. This conference seeks to explore the multiple ways in which communities thrive. People make meaning, pursue wellness, and struggle for justice throughout their lives. We seek to have discussions that honor people's search for meaning, justice, and well-being. We believe that in this tripartite pursuit, individuals and communities thrive. To facilitate these discussions, we solicit proposals that:

  1. Specifically reflect the theme of communal thriving or one of the six tracks identified below
  2. Identify specific ways of engaging the audience
  3. Prioritize participatory processes

The conference will have the following six parallel tracks, which are described in greater detail below.

  1. Communal thriving through community partnerships and social change
  2. Communal thriving through prevention and wellness promotion
  3. Communal thriving through narrative, arts, and new media
  4. Communal thriving through equity, diversity, and social justice
  5. Communal thriving through research
  6. Communal thriving through organizational and school transformation


As with past biennials, proposal submission and review will be handled through All Academic, Inc. Follow this link to submit your proposal and follow the instructions carefully.  The deadline for receipt of program proposals is: 11:55 PM (EST), Monday December 10th, 2012  DEADLINE EXTENDED TO THURSDAY, JANUARY 10TH 2013! CLOSED!

To facilitate dialogue that is inclusive of global linguistic diversity, and with appreciation for the multicultural communities in Miami, proposals may be submitted in Spanish with the plan for sessions to be conducted in Spanish. 


I. Communal thriving through community partnerships and social change

System level change requires (a) partnerships across players and sectors in society, and (b) value-based social change efforts aimed communal thriving. This track of the conference affords an opportunity to present and discuss research, ideas, and experiences related to collaborations and deliberate social change efforts.

II. Communal thriving through prevention and wellness promotion

Reactive and medical approaches to health and well-being are costly and not as effective as preventive approaches. While prevention seeks to reduce risk factors, wellness promotion seeks to enhance resilience, protective factors, and enabling environments. This track is aimed at presenting work on prevention and promotion that enhances communal thriving and well-being.

III. Communal thriving through narrative, arts, and new media

An important component of individual and communal thriving is meaning making. Storytelling, artistic expression, and engagement in new media afford people opportunities to be creative and expressive. Arts and new media are not only methods of expression, but also of communication; innovative and challenging ideas get expressed and communicated through new media. We wish to highlight efforts by community psychologists, community members, and other professionals that utilize expressive methods for thriving.  

IV. Communal thriving through equity, diversity, and social justice

The values of diversity and fairness are central to community psychology. Many communities suffer from oppression and exclusion due to discriminatory policies and practices. We wish to highlight efforts that promote communal thriving through interventions aimed at valuing diversity and social justice.

V. Communal thriving through research

Information and research are essential components of communal thriving. We wish to highlight how diverse approaches to research (including quantitative, qualitative, community based participatory research, and other innovative approaches to rigorous inquiry) contribute to community well-being. Data and data-based information can be a powerful tool to raise consciousness about oppressive conditions and potential for change. In addition to empirical research, we welcome integrative conceptual and theoretical papers addressing communal thriving. 

VI. Communal thriving through organizational and school transformation

System level changes happening in organizations can foster or inhibit the well-being of stakeholders. We are interested in learning about enabling structures and interventions that bring people together in healthy processes leading to positive outcomes, with an emphasis on organizational and school transformation.


Priority will be given to proposals that explicitly address one or more of the following expectations: (a) audience participation, (b) congruence with conference theme or thematic tracks, (c) clear articulation of lessons learned from session, and/or (d) exemplars of community-academic engagement. Submissions should fall under one of the following five categories:

  1. Poster Presentations facilitate individual and small group conversations through the use of visual aid. Presentations that highlight innovative methods for conference participant interaction will be preferred. Poster presentations can emphasize research, practice, action or other initiatives as reflective of the conference themes or tracks. Posters will be organized in thematic groups.
  2. Symposia provide a forum for discussion, debate, and explication of diverse perspectives as they pertain to the conference themes and/or tracks. Symposia may be used to present practice and/or research themes; however, submissions that explicitly describe the process or method that will be used to facilitate audience interaction and dialogue will be preferred.
  3. Roundtable Discussions should provide a forum for the sharing of ideas related to innovative methods for addressing communal thriving, or debate of the issues reflective of the conference theme. This format is especially appropriate for sessions in which the presenters' role is to facilitate the audience's exploration of the issue. One or more facilitators may lead a roundtable discussion.
  4. Town Meetings feature discussion of critical issues pertaining to communal thriving. This format is most appropriate for exploring the broad issues that cut across the conference theme, subthemes and related topics. One or more facilitators may lead a town meeting.
  5. Workshops provide a means to teach new skills of relevance to the field. One or more instructors may teach a workshop.

To make sure that the five formats above are as participatory and innovative as possible, submitters are encouraged to consider the following possibilities:

  • World Café
  • "Meet the Speakers"
  • Site visits to community projects
  • Group art
  • Audience response polling
  • Twitter "backchannel"
  • Q&A session systems
  • Visual learning (e.g., ImageThink)
  • Invite groups from the community to perform (e.g., music, theatrical performances, dance, drumming)
  • Activities (e.g., storytelling, drumming)
  • Reflective process
  • Structural participatory strategies (e.g., fishbowl seating arrangements)


The conference will take place at the University of Miami's Coral Gables campus in Miami, Florida.

 The conference will begin on Wednesday June 26th with a welcome reception in the afternoon, and conclude on Saturday evening, June 29th. Pre-conference sessions will take place during the day on Wednesday, June 26th.

Details about conference registration, including travel, lodging and transportation arrangements, and conference accessibility, will be provided on the SCRA website and in the Preliminary Conference Program which will be available in March 2013. All presenters must register for the conference and pay registration fees.

Lodging: Many lodging options will be available for the conference attendees, including hotels and student housing options. Detailed information on accommodations will be available on the conference website.

Conference Fees: Information about registration fees will be posted on the conference website.

Questions related to the program can be sent to

General questions about the conference can be sent to:

The 2013 Biennial Facebook Page is here:

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