2017 Biennial Call for Proposals

Making an Impact: Transformative Community Research and Action around the World

Call for Proposals

16th Biennial Conference of the

Society for Community Research and Action

June 21th – 24th, 2017, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 

Making an Impact:

Transformative Community Research and Action around the World

Hosted by the University of Ottawa in partnership

with Wilfrid Laurier University

The Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association) invites you to our 16th Biennial Conference!

The Proposal Submission Site is Now Open!

click here to access the site

Bringing the Biennial to Canada!

Canadian community psychologists are excited to host the 2017 Biennial in their country. Community psychology has a long history in Canada that stretches back to the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto in the 1920s. In fact, the first use of the term community psychology can be traced to University of Toronto professor William Line in 1951. Today, we have a committed group of community psychologists working in a diverse range of settings on the forefront of advancing social justice and wellbeing in both French and English Canada. This first SCRA conference outside of the United States provides a tremendous opportunity to feature the great transformative community research and action that is happening both in Canada and around the world.

The 2017 SCRA Biennial will be held in Canada’s capital city at the University of Ottawa. Ottawa is an internationally recognized tourist destination that boasts many national museums, festivals, historical sites, diverse restaurants, and a remarkable range of leisure and recreational activities. Attendees to the 2017 SCRA Biennial will be able to witness the city as it prepares for Canada’s 150th anniversary as well as take part in the various events and festivities leading up to the big day. The conference also coincides with la Fête nationale du Québec, an important annual holiday on June 24 in Quebec (just a short car, bus, or train ride away from Ottawa), with many fun events occurring across the province (http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/canada/st-jean-baptiste-day). June 21, the first day of the conference is also Canada’s National Aboriginal Day, a celebration of the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of the nation’s Indigenous peoples, that is, the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples (http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/canada/national-aboriginal-day).

The conference will be hosted by the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS) at the University of Ottawa, in partnership with the Community Psychology Program and the Centre for Community Research, Learning, and Action (CCRLA) at Wilfrid Laurier University. Both centres have longstanding commitments to research, learning, and action that promote transformative change for increased social justice and wellbeing. CRECS has been the primary vehicle for community psychology training at the University of Ottawa for over 15 years, and the program at Laurier is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. This year, for the first time, the conference will be held in partnership with the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (formerly American Orthopsychiatric Association). 

Call for Proposals:

The theme of this biennial is Making an Impact: Transformative Community Research and Action around the World. Much of Canada has enjoyed a progressive history in areas such as universal health care, health promotion, early childhood interventions, immigration, and LGTBQ2 rights. However, this conference also is an opportunity to critically reflect on the many areas where progress is needed including addressing Canada’s colonial history and working toward compliance with the United Declaration of Indigenous Rights. Child and family poverty, homelessness, and systemic racism are other areas where process is also needed. As we welcome our international colleagues, we invite you to consider those critical areas where and how community research and action can make a transformative impact.

We encourage proposals in a variety of topic areas, particularly those related to impactful and transformative community research and action, including:

  • Social change and social innovation
  • Income inequality, economic justice, women’s labour history and activism,
  • Social determinants of health,
  • Globalization, immigration, citizenship, displacement,
  • Multiculturalism,
  • Indigenous rights,
  • Global climate change and sustainability,
  • LGBTQ2 human rights and advocacy
  • Community organizing, coalition-building, and civic engagement,
  • Community-campus partnerships, collaborations, and networks
  • Reproductive justice,
  • Grassroots change efforts, creative economy and arts-based community action,
  • Innovative prevention programs
  • Advancing wellbeing for vulnerable communities


To submit a proposal, please visit http://www.scra27.org and select the biennial conference link. The system will be ready to accept proposals on or about September 15, 2016. Make sure to check the specific instructions early on as certain restrictions may apply. The deadline for receipt of program proposals has been extended to: 11:55 PM (EST), Monday, November, 21st, 2016. Proposal submission guidelines will be available online.


Priority will be given to proposals that explicitly address one or more of the following expectations: (a) high quality, (b) congruence with the general conference theme and the topic areas listed above, (c) exemplars of community-academic engagement, (d) clear articulation of lessons learned from the session. Proposals should include a description of formats and activities that will maximize audience participation. Innovative, creative, and art-based approaches toward this goal are encouraged. Submissions should fall under one of the following seven categories:

  1. Poster Presentations facilitate individual and small group conversations through the use of a visual aid. Posters that highlight innovative methods for conference participant interaction are preferred. Poster presentations can emphasize research, practice, action, or other initiatives. Posters will be organized in thematic groups and be presented during designated poster sessions.
  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 topics. Submissions that explicitly describe the process or method that will be used to facilitate audience interaction and dialogue will be preferred. Symposia typically include 3-4 related papers, a moderator, and a discussant. Symposia are typically 60-75 minutes long.
  3. Ignite Presentations provide an opportunity to share research and ideas in a brief 5-minute format (20 slides at 15 seconds each) to ignite conversations and discussions between the presenters and the audience. Several speakers will follow each other in rapid transition followed by a time to engage in conversation. This format is ideal for presenting findings from smaller studies (e.g., student thesis projects), a new tool or method, or research that is still in progress. Examples of this type of format can be found at http://p2i.eval.org/index.php/ignite/ and http://www.pechakucha.org/faq.
  4. Roundtable Discussions should provide a forum for the sharing of ideas by several discussants related to innovative methods for addressing communal thriving; or debate of the issues related to the conference theme. This format is especially appropriate for sessions in which the discussants’ role is to facilitate the audience’s exploration of the issue. Roundtables should include from 4 to 6 discussants and last 60-75 minutes. One or more facilitators may lead a roundtable discussion.
  5. Town Hall Meetings feature participants’ discussion of critical and current issues or important future directions pertaining to community research and action and the field of community psychology. 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 hall meeting. These meetings are typically 60-75 minutes long.
  6. Workshops provide a means to teach new skills of relevance to the field (e.g., specific methods, analytical techniques, community outreach strategies). One or more instructors may teach a workshop.
  7. ‘The Innovative Other”. This format will provide an opportunity to submit sessions that are creative and innovative and do not fit within any of the other categories. This format is especially suitable for arts-based and practice-based presentations.

 Additional program components will include mentoring sessions, panel sessions with keynote speakers, and social events.


The conference will take place at the University of Ottawa. It will begin on Wednesday, June 21st and conclude on Saturday afternoon, June 24th. Pre-conference sessions will take place during the day on Tuesday, June 20th.

Details about conference registration, including travel, lodging and transportation arrangements, and conference accessibility, will be provided on the SCRA website (http://scra27.org/event/biennial-conference/2017-biennial/) and in the Preliminary Conference Program which will be available in March 2017. All presenters must register for the conference and pay registration fees. 

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

Questions related to the program can be sent to scra2017@uottawa.ca