Volume 24 Number 2 
Spring 2014

Regional Update Spring 2014  Gina_Langhout_large.jpg

Edited by Regina Langhout, Regional Network Coordinator,; University of California at Santa Cruz

This quarter, we have two student coordinators who have finished their terms: Rebecca Rodriguez, from Georgia State University, and Kendra Swain, from Curtin University in Australia. Thanks to both of them for their work for SCRA! I would also like to welcome a new student regional coordinator, Rahman Gray, from Victoria University in Australia. As we turn to current work across the regions, I encourage you to think about Seymour Sarason’s The Creation of Settings as you read about Egypt, as well as the U.S. Southwest and Southeast Regions. Community psychology has so much to offer our colleagues, our comrades, and us!

Rocky Mountain/Southwest Region, U.S.

Regional Coordinators

Jessica Goodkind,; University of New Mexico

Eylin Palamaro Munsell,; ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City

Student Regional Coordinator

Undergraduate: Brittney Weber,; Arizona State University

News from the Southwest  balloon_fiesta_350.jpg

Written by Brittney Weber and Eylin Palamaro Musnell

Greetings from the Southwest U.S. Region. In this issue we introduce our campus, ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City in Arizona.   It is the mission of ASU Havasu to offer high quality education at about 60% the cost of the larger campuses in the ASU system. These lower costs are achieved by a teaching intensive faculty, a smaller physical campus, and less costly degree programs. The college boasts a hands-on, learning-by-doing approach. Seniors of all majors are required to complete and present a capstone project. Class sizes are small, and there is a transdisciplinary focus.  Students are encouraged to experiment and to take an active role in the learning process.

ASU Havasu opened its doors in the Fall of 2012. Although there were several potential sites in Mohave County for the new college, Lake Havasu City was chosen in large part due to strong community support. Impressively, community members donated more than two million dollars toward establishment of the college. 

Working and learning on a brand new college campus comes with a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Many of the rules and norms of our campus community are still evolving. Yet, our campus is small, tight-knit and welcoming. ASU_350.jpg

We spoke with a few people around the college to get their impressions of our young campus community. Here are their thoughts.

"The idea is that it’s really close-knit here. We essentially know everybody, and we know when issues come up, both with faculty and students, and we try to help. With other universities, there’s a much bigger separation between students and faculty. On this campus, we don’t have the separation of departments, with everyone going their separate ways. Having full-time faculty is also beneficial and helps us to have a sense of community, instead of just having somebody (an adjunct faculty member) coming in to teach their class and then leaving. Faculty members are more accessible to students and, because of that interaction we have, that makes this campus unique compared to other places."        -Eric Aurand, Mathematics Professor

"Right now, there’s a sense of community within each discipline, although there doesn’t seem to be a lot of integration between, say, Life Science and Psychology. I think that, as we get more people on this campus, that divide will probably disappear, at least to some extent. It can be beneficial to have a mix of people across the disciplines in the elective courses, such as Gender Communication, where you certainly see a range of perspectives. This campus also provides the opportunity for a closer relationship with faculty members. Since it takes five or ten years for a campus to really start to take hold, I think there’s still quite a bit of time for incoming students to have that quick access, as opposed to the bigger campuses, where you’ve got three hundred people in a class and a teacher who may not even get to know your name over the course of an entire semester. I still think Lake Havasu really is such a unique animal, and we’re fortunate to have this campus here; it has a promising future."  -Shawn Gall, Senior Psychology Student

"Our sense of community is probably one of our best selling points. Staff, faculty, and students know each other, which is beneficial and can help students thrive. It’s interesting, because we have this closeness at the Havasu location, but each employee also has strong connections with and support from the different branches of ASU. Then, we have the community of Lake Havasu and their support and interest in the campus. I think [that is] the most important thing that’s here—a strong sense of community—and it carries through on everything students do."

-Cristen Mann, Instructional Technology Analyst

Southeast Region, U.S.

Regional Coordinators

Ciara Smalls Glover,; Georgia State University

Sarah L. Desmarais,; North Carolina State University

Courte Voorhees,; University of Miami
Student Regional Coordinators

Natalie Kivell,; University of Miami

Alexander Ojeda,; University of South Carolina

Candalyn Rade,; North Carolina State University

Nashalys Rodriguez,; Georgia State University

News from the Southeast

Written by Natalie Kivell

The University of Miami (UM) is excited to share that the first year of the newly launched PhD program in Community Well-Being (CWB) is going well for the first cohort of students. Applications for next year’s cohort were submitted on February 15th! This program is grounded in the praxis of Community Psychology and was developed to be a hub for engaged scholarship in community well-being and social change. The mission of the program is to produce community-engaged scholars who promote individual, relational and collective well-being through community-based research and action. Want to know more about the new program and faculty at the University of Miami? Check us out at

Additionally, The University of Miami is excited to announce that we have welcomed two incredible new faculty members to the department this academic year. Dr. Dina Birman joins us from the University of Illinois at Chicago to dive in as the new PhD Coordinator for the CWB program. We are also excited to share that Dr. Courte Voorhes, coming from Western Kentucky University, joined the team to as the coordinator of the Masters in Community and Social Change program. It is exciting times down at UM with a Masters program entering its 4th year, a brand new PhD program and new faculty joining the team!

West Region, U.S.

Regional Coordinators

Joan Twohey-Jacobs,; University of LaVerne

Lauren Lichty,; University of Washington at Bothell

Student Regional Coordinators

Erin Ellison,; University of California, Santa Cruz

Aran Watson,; Alliant International University

News from the Bay Area

Written by Erin Ellison and Aran Watson

The network of Bay Area community psychologists and colleagues from other fields continue to meet once a semester for an informal colloquium. The group generally consists of community and clinical psychologists, public health researchers, community workers, and others with interests in community-based research and intervention. If you are interested in attending and/or presenting at one of our meetings, please contact Erin Ellison or Aran Watson (see emails below). The goal of our network is to provide a forum to informally discuss work in progress, network with other community practitioners, and provide an exchange of ideas related to community intervention work. The larger group meets twice a year, alternating between University of California Berkeley and University of California at Santa Cruz. This fall we met on November 22nd, 2013 in Berkeley. We had two presentations of works in progress. Ivy McClelland, an MPH student, presented on her work in Oakland and Coney Island, with the Healing Arts Collective. The approach explores engagement with the arts in healing community trauma. Danielle Kohfeldt, PhD Candidate, presented on Youth Empowerment Processes and Outcomes, specifically related to the context of PAR and social justice art. Our next meeting will be this Spring, and will be held at University of California, Santa Cruz. If you would like to be on our mailing list, please email Erin Ellison ( or Aran Watson (

Midwest Region, U.S.

Regional Coordinators

August Hoffman,; Metropolitan State University

Luciano Berardi,; DePaul University

Nathan Todd,; DePaul University

Student Regional Coordinators

Jaclyn Houston:; DePaul University

Abigail Brown:; DePaul University

News from the Midwest

Written by August Hoffman

Please save the date! The SCRA affiliate meeting at the MPA Conference will take place on Friday, May 2, 2014 between 8:30 am and 2:20 pm. The conference program and other detailed information about the conference can be found at: Total number of presentations: 59; Total number of posters: 39; Number of Round Table Discussions: 14; Symposium: 6

tree_350.jpgThis year several Metropolitan State University students were accepted to present their research at the MPA conference. Topics include the psychological benefits of community development and urban forestry at the Newtown Victory Garden. Each participant will be sharing their experiences in working with the Newtown, CT community at this year’s SCRA roundtable discussions.

Also, plan to join other SCRA members from the Midwest Region on Friday May 2nd at 5pm for an informal dinner with division members & Poster Awards Session. Details about the location will be announced during the conference, or you may contact for more information. Avoid the rush and register early for MPA at:

Looking Ahead: The next ECO conference will be hosted by National Louis University in the Fall 2014.

List of Awardees at Midwestern ECO 2013:

Poster Award - First Place

Justina Grayman, Graduate Student at New York University

Presentation Title: "Community Organizers’ Messages that Predict Future Collective Action"

Poster Award - Honorable Mention

Kelly Collins, Research Assistant (post-bac) at Wayne State University

Presentation Title: "Collaboration with a common goal: Helping victims of child sexual abuse through academic-community partnerships"

Group Format Award - First Place

Corinne Weaver, Research Assistant (post-bac) at DePaul University

Presentation Title: "Collaborative Interviewing with Diverse Community Populations"

Group Format Award - Honorable Mention

Christopher Beasley, Postdoctoral Fellow at DePaul University

Presentation Title: "Modern Methods of Community Data Analysis"

Europe/Middle East/Africa:

Regional Coordinators:

Serdar Degirmencioglu,; Cumhuriyet University, Turkey

José Ornelas,; Instituto Universitário, Lisboa, Portugal

Caterina Arcidiacono,; Federico II University, Naples, Italy

Student Regional Coordinator:

Hana Shahin,, The American University in Cairo, Egypt

News from Egypt:

Written by Hana Shahin

During current times Egypt is experiencing a transitional phase, and is depending on its people to come together to develop the country further. Yet, these times have been affected by tension, political struggles, and fragmentation. Additionally, due to the conflicts and political polarization that have been present, sense of community became a matter of concern. Accordingly, to aid in Egypt’s development process, the civil society along with non profits and youth initiatives, have been initiating, strengthening, and implementing interventions of civic education that focus mainly on peace building, diversity, conflict and resolution, citizenship and civic leadership. Such topics have been discussed in various formats including trainings, seminars, documentaries and others, which mainly focus on Egyptian youth as the initiators of the revolution. Some leaders in the field of civic leadership and citizenship education are the Lazord Academy for Civic Leadership, which provides courses for undergraduate students, recently graduated young leaders, and young leaders in the civil society; Misriyati (meaning my Egyptian identity), which spreads peace education and diversity through providing a platform for dialogue and self expression; Selmeya (meaning peaceful), which works as a convener to deal with challenges regarding the goals of the revolution; Egypt Online, which works on peace, democracy, and citizenship education; and OREED, which spreads citizenship through trainings. These entities provide information in different ways and to different target audiences.

Furthermore, a Civic Education Conference was organized by the Goethe Institute and the Tahrir Lounge, in cooperation with the Hans Seidel Foundation and the German Federal Agency for Civic Education. This conference was hosted by the Center for Democracy and Social Peace Studies (CDSPS) in Bibliotheca Alexandrina last December, and was attended by a large number of people in the civic education field. Recommendations from the conference and the previous mapping report on civic education by the John D. Gerhart Center, in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy, have inspired a civic education mapping seminar that will convene multipliers to catalyze the mapping process of civic education programs and strategies implemented in Egypt. The goal is to help create new synergies among initiatives and address the gaps in the field. The seminar will take place at the American University in Cairo and will be attended by multipliers in their field and from different sectors, using a participatory approach to developing the mapping process. Such efforts continue to contribute to the development of the Egyptian citizens and aid the transitional period Egypt is going through.  

Latin America

International Regional Liaisons

Tesania Velázquez Castro,; Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Nelson Portillo,; Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), San Salvador, El Salvador

Written by Tesania Velázquez Castro and Nelson Portillo

There is significant development of Community Psychology in Latin America, both in training and in the field of research. A few years ago, a network of universities and professionals working on topics related to Community Psychology developed a system to coordinate actions for exchange and dialogue between countries of the region and to coordinate research topics. The Latin American Network of Training and Research in Community Psychology has members from more than 15 countries and has had six meetings in Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Peru and Brazil. The network also participated in a symposium at the Interamerican Congress of Psychology, on the topic of University Training in Community Psychology, and in a symposium in Brasilia, on the topic of Ethics in Training in Community Psychology.

Early this year, the Latin American Network of Training and Research in Community Psychology received funding to design and construct a website to enhance the dialogue between the Network’s members and to share the work done in Latin America, all around the world. To consult the provisory product, visit:‎

Australia/New Zealand and the Pacific

International Regional Liaison

Katie Thomas,; University of Western Australia

Student Regional Liaison

Rahman Gray,; Victoria University

2014:Training Opportunities Downunder for Community Psychology

Written by Katie Thomas

The second national screening of a film from the series Women, War & Peace was hosted in New South Wales on December 9. The five-part PBS television series challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain. The series reveals how the post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualties. Yet, women are simultaneously emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. With depth and complexity, Women, War & Peace spotlights women in conflict zones. This was a free community event open to all.

The film screened was I Came Here to Testify, which illuminates the momentous courage of Bosnia’s female war survivors in testifying to the world about some of the worst ethnic cleansing and atrocities committed during the war. In the Foca river valley, thousands of Muslim civilians were terrorised, relegated to concentration camps and executed. Before the war, Foca was an ethnically mixed community of forty thousand – half Muslim, half Christian. By the war’s end fewer than 100 Muslims remained. 

The film documents the journey of the women who survived to confront the men who raped and tortured them and to witness in front of their perpetrators to the International Criminal Tribunal. “They never thought we would survive to tell the story.” The screening was followed by an expert International Law Panel discussion with former Crown Prosecutor Julia Baly SC, a former Trial Officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); and past Prosecution Officer at the ICTY, Ms Kirsten Keith. The panel was chaired by SCU School of Law and Justice Associate Professor Sam Garkawe. Other international law experts were also on the panel. The screening was an opportunity to recognise the media’s blind spot in reporting on women in conflict and on women’s growing and formidable role in fostering resolution and restoring security when the guns stop. For Community Psychologists it was an excellent opportunity to examine the centrality of gender equity and justice in healthy community life.

Call for Submissions: There will be two training opportunities for Community Psychologists in November 2014. Women and Psychology is planning a conference from November 30, immediately following the 13th Trans-Tasman Community Psychology Conference 27-29 November, 2014 in Perth, Western Australia. The Trans-Tasman theme is: “Back to the Future: Collective Reflexivities for Transformative Change.” Professor Ian Parker will be offering a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday the 26th of November, which should also be excellent. For more information about the Women and Psychology conference please contact Heather Gridley or Katie Thomas

The organizing committee is currently inviting submissions. The specific focus of the conference is to revisit the critical foundations of community psychology to promote critical reflexivity and identify opportunities for change. There is an explicit emphasis on decolonization to decenter dominant and privileged voices. Rather than providing specific themes, we draw on Tanaka [1] to pose questions that speakers might utilize to stimulate thinking and encourage debate and discussion:

Voice: Who has the right/power/opportunity to speak and be heard?  Who is silenced by those who speak? Who speaks without authority, particularly in colonized spaces?

Power: How do the multiple manifestations of power and resistance play out in our discipline and the spaces we occupy? Do we examine how power and knowledge are connected?

Authenticity: Do we understand that we are situated in our own cultural space that includes issues of social, economic, and political power? What boundaries are consciously and unconsciously crossed in our practice and who is silenced by this?

Reflexivity: Do we as individuals explore our place in society and our role in constituting the taken-for-granted norms that operate? Do we understand that our communities are cultural places and that we contribute to its creation?

Reconstitution: Are we able to effect change and create environments conducive to self-determination and empowerment?

We invite submissions in the following formats that provoke critical analysis, thought, debate and encourage presenters to employ greater opportunities for conversation in their submissions – do not feel constrained to produce conventional presentations.

TOWN HALL MEETING – debate, discussion, & conversation

SYMPOSIA  - interconnected themed papers

NUTS & BOLTS – how to/practice forum

POSTER – maximum size BO (1metre X 1.4 metres portrait orientation)

Submission deadline for abstracts:  April 30, 2014. Contact:

United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Whales) & Republic of Ireland

Regional Coordinator:

Judy Lovett,; UCD Geary Institute

News from Ireland

Written by Judy Lovett

Three years ago, I had never heard of Community Psychology. Now, having been introduced to the concept by community psychologist Dr. Eylin Palamaro Munsell during her time in Ireland, and having attended the SCRA biennial conference last June, which gave me the opportunity to meet community psychologists working on many different projects, I am fast becoming its biggest fan.

In reality, Community Psychology has long been practiced in Ireland, yet it is rarely recognized as such; rather, it is divided up among other related disciplines. A core group of academics from a number of leading Irish universities are beginning to develop modules in Community Psychology, but it is still largely unheard of, and as such I have decided to host an event to promote it as a discipline in this country.

With the support of my colleagues in the UCD Geary Institute and Dr. Mary Ivers of All Hallows College, I plan to hold two meetings to promote Community Psychology and SCRA in Ireland, to be held in late spring 2014. These events will be hosted at the Geary Institute, and will be funded under SCRA’s regional coordinator budget. The first meeting will be an informal gathering of interested parties from a number of Ireland’s leading universities and higher education institutions. The purpose of this gathering will be to meet in person to discuss the current status of community psychology in Ireland, informed by the guiding principles and goals of SCRA.  Although there has been some contact via email between the different interested parties in Ireland, there has never been a group meeting of this nature. 

The second meeting, to be held a number of weeks later, will be a roundtable discussion at University College Dublin, timed to coincide with Prof. Joe Ferrari’s visit to Dublin. Prof. Ferrari will give a public lecture and will also speak at the All Hallows School of Psychology Psi Chi chapter inauguration. I must acknowledge the support of Dr. Mary Ivers, head of the School of Psychology at All Hallows, in this respect. Professor Ferrari’s visit will present an exciting opportunity for the discussion and development of Community Psychology in Ireland.

I intend to invite a number of interested parties to this roundtable discussion, accessed and mobilized through the participants who attend the informal gathering outlined above, in addition to targeted promotion of the event to leading social workers, educators and community group leaders, and invitations to the relevant schools of psychology, sociology, social work and economics in universities and colleges throughout Ireland. The purpose of the roundtable discussion will be fourfold. Firstly, it will serve to inform and educate Irish practitioners and academics about community psychology, through the medium of SCRA’s principles and goals. Secondly, it will provide an opportunity for delegates to discuss their own community work and link it to other domestic research and practice. Thirdly, we will produce a document from the meeting, outlining an action plan for establishing a strong network of community psychologists in Ireland, operating with a common set of principles, which have been inspired by those devised by SCRA. Finally, it will allow for the overall promotion of SCRA as an organization with a (growing!) link to Ireland. I look forward to sharing the progress made during these events in my next quarterly update.


Regional Coordinator:

Robb Travers;; Wilfrid Laurier University

Theory, Values, Research, and Policy: Community Psychology in Action - an update on the Indigenous Health and Social Justice Research Group at Laurier

Written by Robb Travers

At Wilfrid Laurier University, a group of Community Psychology faculty and students came together to form the Indigenous Health and Social Justice Research Group (IHSJ) in 2007.  IHSJ is a group of faculty, students, and community members with a common interest in researching and advancing the psychosocial, political, cultural, and spiritual determinants of health for Indigenous peoples. Our mission is to advance social justice through collaborative knowledge construction, dissemination, and community engagement. As Indigenous and non-Indigenous members we work with a consciousness of Canada’s colonial history, sensitivity to Indigenous methodologies, and honouring of Indigenous voice.  As researchers and citizens we collaborate with local, regional and international Indigenous organizations to advance understanding, within the dominant society, of colonial trauma and Indigenous rights and to collectively work to promote health and social justice. The group is co-directed by Dr. Terry Mitchell, Community Psychology Faculty member, and Darren Thomas, a Haudenosaunee man from six Nations who along with our Research Coordinator, Courtney Arseneau, is a doctoral student in the Community Psychology program at Laurier. The IHSJ research group provides many opportunities for training, community engagement, research and publication and social action. As community psychologists, we strive to work for community health and well-being through efforts of social justice, empowerment, relational wellness, equity, and diversity. These values address challenging situations of inequity and marginalization to achieve a higher level of well-being for oppressed communities.  Our goal is to create a high level of praxis to advance social justice through collaborative knowledge construction, dissemination, and community engagement. Considering the harsh realities and oppression facing Indigenous populations there are significant demands for transformative change and intervention.  As a group, we have increasingly become aware that potential solutions to inequity must address political realities.

Six_Nations_350.jpgIn 2012, IHSJ-RG Director, Dr. Terry Mitchell, and Dr. Ken Coates from the University of Saskatchewan began a research project called the Internationalization of Indigenous Rights, funded by the Centre of International Governance Innovation (CIGI). From this initial project we have created the CIGI blog, “The Rise of the Fourth World” on Indigenous rights and global governance, held policy dialogue meetings with Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and community members, and developed a paper series on the uptake of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in an effort to increase the dialogue locally and internationally about Indigenous rights. This initial research collaboration provided the synergy for the development of our Pan-American Indigenous Rights and Governance Network (PAIR-GN). PAIR-GN is an interdisciplinary, and intercultural partnership co-directed by Dr. Mitchell, and Jose Aylwin, a Chilean Human Rights Lawyer, who specializes on Indigenous rights in Latin America. PAIR-GN is a partnership of representatives from four countries (Canada (6 provinces), Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina), with 21 institutional partners, and 64 Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty members and community leaders. We are also fortunate to be collaborating with a group of senior advisors, including the Right Honourable Paul Martin and first United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, Mr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen. Together, through teleconferences, and a series of face-to-face meeting in Canada and Chile, we have developed a proposal for a large international research grant to conduct and mobilize comparative and interdisciplinary research on cultural, territorial, and political rights for Indigenous peoples across North and South America.

Partnership_Chile_350.jpgThe work of the Pan-American Network is rooted in an intercultural, multi-disciplinary right-based framework in order to move forward on the critical issues of political, cultural and territorial sustainability. We are considering the uptake and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in a comparative manner. By engaging community members, institutional and political representatives, researchers, policy makers and other key stakeholders, we strive to achieve transformative change. To this end we are building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and leaders within and across Canada and South America. We are bringing Indigenous issues to the attention of the public eye and addressing issues of Indigenous rights at the policy level, both nationally and internationally. Our group has had many successes since our inception, but our main success is that we have built tremendous partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally. We are very proud of our formal partnership with Six Nations Polytechnic, an Indigenous post-secondary institution located on the largest First Nation Reserve in Canada, and Six Nations of the Grand River with Laurier and CIGI. This forms a strong local triangle of organizations, with diverse skills, resources and networks, which work in a complementary and collaborative fashion to advance training, mentoring, research and action on Indigenous rights.  In June 2014, we will be hosting an international conference and public forum called Resource Governance: Indigenous Rights in a Global Economy at CIGI that will be broadcast internationally. We are bringing together Indigenous leaders from across the world including Luis Vittor from Peru, Roger Maaka from New Zealand, past UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights, Rodolfo Stavenhagen from Mexico, and Chief Wilton Littlechild and Ovide Mercredi from Canada. We are very excited about hosting an international forum about a critical social issue to facilitate policy dialogue and to produce research outputs with the goal of transformative change in advancing Indigenous rights, justice, and co-existence.

[1] Tanaka, G. (2002). Higher education's self-reflexive turn: Toward an intercultural theory of student development. The Journal of Higher Education, 73, 263-296.

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