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The theme and vision for the 13th Biennial conference was NEW pathways toward community change and transformation.
One aspiration for community psychology has been, and will continue to be, around innovation, particularly toward transformative thinking, strategy, and action. We hope this conference builds upon our traditions while emphasizing new creations, continuing attempts to reflect on and reconsider our values, and ensuring the spirit of innovation never ends.
Our community psychology values provide a guide for all areas of our lives. The structure of our organizations and approaches should "pre-configure" social change. In other words, the way we interact, set policies, and live by our values-whether at home, in our offices, organizations or communities-should model those values and the changes we wish to see in the world. Our daily practices and structures should pre-configure that vision.
Our visions can be diverse. Our struggles toward innovation and transformation will involve paradox. From practice to policy, from academia to action, we can pay particular attention to community assets and yet still pay close attention to the fact that needs truly do exist in communities. We can create better blends of strengths-based and critical approaches. We can focus on structures and systems while paying close attention to individuals. We can fight blaming-the-victim thinking while also helping to strengthen resilience. We can strive for social and environmental justice for all, working on this change in our local and global communities.
As part of our efforts to live by the values we hold, and in our attempt to create new methods, modes of evaluation, and areas of study in community psychology, we can celebrate our values through innovation and transformation.