Conversations that Raise Your Practice Game

The Assault on Social Justice and Social-Emotional Learning in Our Schools: Community Psychology Practice Implications


Description: The Newsweek headline reads " Social Emotional Learning Becomes Latest Battleground in School Curriculums". The article goes on: "The term SEL refers to the "social, emotional and character development" of children, according to Dr. Maurice Elias, a professor in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University who has written several books on the subject. Elias began his work on SEL in the 1970s, but the skills and development it entails weren't referred to as social emotional intelligence until his book Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators"

Schools in Indiana and Oklahoma may soon be banned from mentioning social-emotional learning. The Governor of Virginia banned teaching a subject that is not taught in Virginia schools, critical race theory, to promote "freedom of thought." In New Jersey, all 4th grade teachers in one district were asked to provide the school board with a complete list of all the books in their classroom. Perhaps they were Maus catching?

What does all this mean, and what are the implications for community psychology practice as relates to the schools?

Mo Elias will hold a Conversation with us on this experience and the implications for community psychology.

Bio: Maurice J. Elias is Professor, Psychology Department, Rutgers University, Director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, and Academic Director of The Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service at Rutgers. He is Past President of the Society for Community Research and Action/Division of Community Psychology (27) of APA and has received the SCRA Distinguished Contribution to Practice and Ethnic Minority Mentoring Awards, as well as APA’s National Psychological Consultants to Management Award,  the Joseph E. Zins Memorial Senior Scholar Award for Social-Emotional Learning from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL),  the John P. McGovern Medal from the American School Health Association,  and the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education.  

Watch Video Here

Newsweek Article Here

Fact Sheet Indiana HB 1134

Addressing Equity Through Culturally Responsive Education & SEL

Dream Assessment Model for Community Driven Solutions

Description: In this conversation to raise your practice game, Drs. William Jackson and Dawn X Henderson will describe the Dream Assessment Model developed by Village of Wisdom in supporting Black Parent Community-Researchers to co-lead a dream process amid COVID for Black students, parents, and teachers of Black students in North Carolina. They will facilitate an interactive conversation designed to move attendees through the model and discuss its implications on building parent power and community-driven solutions across the nation.   


Dr. William P. Jackson is the Founder, Executive Director, and Chief Dreamer of Village of Wisdom, a community-driven organization in North Carolina dedicated to closing the academic opportunity gap by protecting the Black Genius and the positive racial self-concept of Black learners through the love and wisdom of their families and communities.  William "Will" has leveraged the wisdom of Black caregivers and parents since 2014 to design the Black Genius Framework, to design tools, assessments that support parents and educators' capacity to create ideal and culturally affirming learning environments for Black and Brown learners. He is an RWJF Culture of Health Leader, a past Echoing Green Fellow, a recipient of UNC at Chapel Hills' Distinguished Young Alumni Award and has led Village of Wisdom to be one of 8 organizations selected by The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to receive a $2 million grant for Inclusive Education Research
His partner in this conversation, Dr. Dawn X. Henderson serves as the Director of Participatory Research at Village of Wisdom. She is a Community Cultivator and Space Creator with a vision to create dream cultivators and implementers across the nation and world so that Black and Brown people, their children, and their communities can thrive. Dawn is a community psychologist.
Watch Video Here

Practicing Community Psychology: Finding a Professional Home as an Evaluator Ann Price

Description: In this conversation, Ann Price will describe her career path and her conscious decision to focus her practice in communities through evaluation, her motivation for creating her own firm, and how she mentors new and emerging evaluators. She will describe her business model and how it has changed, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Ann will share advice on starting a business and what she would do if she could start all over. 


 Dr. Ann Price is President of Community Evaluation Solutions, Inc. an evaluation consulting firm she founded in 2004. Much of Ann’s work is with community coalitions and nonprofits with a focus on systems change. Ann and her team conduct evaluations in many areas including community collaboratives, youth substance abuse prevention, youth development, foster care advocacy, education, and public health. Ann is an active member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and the Atlanta Affiliate of AEA.  She is past co-chair of AEA’s Community Psychology Topical Interest Group (TIG) and the Nonprofits and Foundation TIG. She conducts workshops and trainings throughout the country on coalition development coalition evaluation, evaluation use and evaluation capacity. She is a regular presenter at the AEA national conference and the AEA/CDC Summer Institute. Her work is published in several peer-reviewed journals on topics related to coalitions as a mechanism for social change, success stories and public health prevention and evaluation. She has a podcast called Community Possibilities where she speaks to community leaders doing the hard work of systems change. Her book with co-author Dr. Susan Wolfe, Community Consulting: A Practical Guide to Collaborating with Communities is due out in 2023 and will be published by Cambridge Press. 

View Video Here

Moving from the Academy to Federal Government: Speaker Dr Theresa Armstead Lead Health Scientist employed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Conversation Description: Conversation is based on her book chapter, Federal Careers for Applied Community Psychologists: Transitioning into a Public Health Agency, Theresa shares in detail her transition from the academy to federal government, describes the skills and experiences that translate to both contexts, and discusses how she applies community psychology competencies in her practice. In this conversation we will extend the discussion of career pathways for community psychologists in federal service, explore the launching of a community psychology community of practice within CDC, and consider a pipeline for community psychologists entering public health. 


Bio: Dr. Theresa Armstead is a Lead Health Scientist employed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She serves as an Evaluation Team Lead in the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support. Previously Dr. Armstead worked at CDC in the Division of Violence Prevention and led the award-winning evaluation of an intimate partner violence prevention program. Before joining CDC, she held the positions of Assistant Director and Evaluator for the University of Iowa’s Prevention Research Center and Assistant Professor (clinical) in the Division of Community and Behavioral Health. She received her MS and PhD in Community Research and Action from the Human and Organizational Development Department at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. 


Full citation: Armstead, T.L. (2017). Federal careers for applied community psychologists: Transitioning into a federal public health agency. In J. Viola & O. Glantsman (Eds.), Diverse Careers in Community Psychology (5th chapter). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 

Community Psychologists Influencing Federal Human Service policy with Kelly Kinnison of USHHS

Description: Community psychologists practice in a number of policy spaces, including federal government. There are few bureaucracies as challenging to navigate and influence as our executive branch of government. Can we bring the values of community psychology practice to bear on this system and is it a rewarding career? In this conversation we’ll explore potential career pathways for community psychologists in federal service, how community psychologists outside government can more effectively influence human services policy, and emerging priorities in federal human services policy that community psychologists are ideally suited to address.

Bio: Kelly Kinnison is Director of the Division of Family and Community Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She oversees the development of research, legislative proposals, and policy on employment and economic mobility, marriage, fatherhood, refugee resettlement, housing and homelessness, incarceration and reentry, child support enforcement, local community strategies to address poverty, and related topics. Kelly provides leadership on cross-cutting policy initiatives such as the U.S. Interagency Council on Economic Mobility, and works with her team to develop innovative policy research with a cross-program lens. Recent examples include developing research, measurement tools, and practitioner engagement on social capital, training and technical assistance, and the role of lived experience in human services policy and programs at the federal level. Kelly came to HHS from the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, where she served as a Branch Chief of a team conducting research and analysis on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Prior to working for the federal government, Kelly was an evaluation consultant for community organizations working on violence prevention and mentoring. Kelly holds a Ph.D. in community psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Watch the video here


Play for Change, an Evaluation Firm by and for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) 


In this conversation, Kamala Sivalingam will describe what it feels like to navigate a traditionally white evaluation sector, her motivation for creating a firm by and for BIPOC and what it means to be truly culturally responsive. She will share intimate details about the failures that have shaped her business model, and the successes or wins that inspire consultants at Play for Change to keep doing the work that they do. 



Kamala, from San Francisco, is an evaluator, certified facilitator and Director of Evaluation and Research for the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential. She is also the Founder and CEO of Play for Change, a consulting firm by and for black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). She has lived abroad for nearly a decade and conducted social justice and evaluation projects out of Latin America, Asia, and Africa for the United Nations, MasterCard Foundation, and Save the Children amongst other organizations. Through these experiences Kamala has learned to work across varying identities and values systems, lean into uncertainty, and elevate the voices of people from different racial and ethnic groups. In an age of false news and the rampant spread of mis-information, Kamala sees evaluation as a tool for truth-telling and redistributing power and resources where needed.  Contact Kamala


Watch Video Here

Decolonizing SCRA Practice “Competencies” and the process that we use to get there- Rethinking & Revisiting with Geri Palmer, Vernita Perkins, Susan Wolfe, Tom Wolff

The existing community psychology “competencies” were constructed with the intent of promoting dialogue and innovation in community psychology training and practice. The objective was to provide a common framework for discussion of the skills involved in community psychology practice, and how those skills can be learned. Yet, we are in collective agreement that the voices of BIPOC community psychologists and allies have mostly been left out of this work. Critiques of the definitions have not led to revisions so far. Therefore, as SCRA is working to uproot white supremacy within the organization and decolonize policies and procedures, it is important that we come together to discuss what are next steps to reframe the current statements, such that, they reflect equity and inclusivity as fully as possible.

The question posed is: What changes need to be made to:
(1) The concept of “competencies” in CP Practice?
(2) Specific competencies and foundational principles?

This conversation will create space for us to think about the questions that are posed above in small groups and propose next steps forward.

We will also have time to integrate this work into a plan for a Pre-Conference workshop at the Biennial.

View the Video on our Youtube

Moving SCRA Forward: Let's Get Started

Practitioners, we have a lot of work to do. In February we began dialogue about the list formerly known as the SCRA Competencies. It is time to take an honest look at the competencies that were introduced in 2012, and to develop new “competencies” (for lack of a better term yet) focusing on Anti-Racism.  

This is just one of several initiatives that are underway to move SCRA forward, address racism and anti-blackness within the organization, and create an organization that better serves all its members. Follow up conversations will also be held on Decoloniality competencies and the overall definition of CP Practice This is all part of the re-invigoration of the Practice Council and talk about how the Practice Council can best support the practitioners within SCRA. 

There is an old saying that “Many hands make light the work.” The more people who are on board and helping with the upcoming initiatives, the less work there will be for all of us. We welcome all SCRA members - those in academic and practice settings, all levels of experience and background, and undergraduate and graduate students. We invite you to show up, engage, and be part of this exciting time in our organization. 

The video kicks off with continued discussion on whether or not competency is still a relevant term or if it minimizes growth or openness to understanding. How do we provide value to a project or understanding? How do we decolonize this work? 

View this video on our YouTube channel here.

 Racial Justice and Anti-Racist Practice

As CERA co-chairs, Drs. Palmer, Thomas and Fernández convened a special issue in the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice that aims to center the importance and urgency of Racial Justice and an Anti-Racist Praxis in community psychology practice, pedagogy and research. As lead Editors they have curated and organized a groundbreaking GJCPP issue that has brought together over a dozen contributions from scholars and practitioners engaged in these issues and topics. Highlighting the work of various community psychologists at different stages in their professional trajectories, of diverse positionalities, and situated within different context and institutions, the authors each reflect on the importance of racial justice in this sociopolitical moment, and the necessity for community psychology to embrace, develop and sustain an anti-racist praxis that goes beyond words and performativity. The special issue is likely be the basis for how the field of community psychology moves forward on racial justice and anti-racist efforts, critical to the discipline. The presenters will provide an overview of the special issue contributions, and open a discussion on the implications for the future of CP Practice

Could there be a “Community Psychology Practice Dissertation”? If so, What Would it Look Like?

SCRA and its affiliated universities value both community “research” and “action” (i.e., “practice). Looking at our past experiences and submissions over the years of SCRA’s two dissertation awards, there seems, as in most academic institutions with a PhD, a heavy emphasis on research and evaluation. Many graduate students’ post-degree work will emphasize community practice, where quantitative and qualitative work may be a big part, but not the emphasis. Programs do have good fieldwork courses, internships, and consultation projects that help develop good practice skills around collaboration and partnerships. Even research dissertations necessarily require strong practice skills. Yet, the primary output (or product) of community psychology dissertations tends to strongly emphasize the research component.

Watch this video on our YouTube channel here

Bridge Building in the US: Is there a Role for Community Psychologists in Bridging the Divides in Our Nation? 

We hear from Paula Green Ed.D. (, an internationally recognized and honored expert in promoting dialogue in many of the worst conflicts on the globe. More recently she has focused on bridging the divides in the US (see She will briefly describe her international and US work and what skills she brings to the work of engaging in bridge-building.

View this video on our YouTube channel here.

Traditional Nonprofits Are Not Today's Solution

Traditionally the nonprofit structure strives to address a gap created by system inefficiencies. However, nonprofits tend to focus on sustainability instead of intentional program design that eliminates the need to exist. The conversation will dive deeper into this topic and discuss considerations for nonprofits and professionals who work with nonprofits to explore the sector's current value, direction, and impact.

Dr. Amber E. Kelly, President and CEO of Community Engagement Collective

Watch this video on our YouTube channel here

Becoming Community

Vernita Perkins

By now we can all agree we are in the midst of times we possibly never expected. Some sensed this day was coming, but likely most had no idea. Every aspect of our world is under question, under scrutiny, under threat, and rightly so. If we are engaged and doing our work (from retired/late career to undergrad student; practitioner or academy), daily we find ourselves reprioritizing, evaluating and assessing what is really important, what will add value, what will be significant and whether or not we are part of the problems or part of the solutions. Being an effective community practitioner calls on a complex yet universally simple combination of knowledge and skills from a wide variety of diverse sources, that now require constant change, flexibility, humility to self-reflect and self-govern, and the willingness, no matter how seasoned we think we are, to learn from others. If you are in academy and feel this doesn’t apply to you, reconsider. The world is changing and in the coming days, weeks, months and years fewer and fewer things will be as it was. It’s time now to gather all the tools, insights, information, mental processes and behavioral opportunities you can to enrich and resource yourself for the way forward. The future synthesizes down to those who make meaningful contributions for the good of all and those who are stuck in the old systemic ways that divided and served only a few. You will need to choose who you are.


Watch this video on our YouTube channel here

In Search of Community-Based Research, and the Racism I Found 

When do community psychologists get to answer the questions, how does the entrenched nature of racism shape individuals and interpersonal relationships in our communities? More often, community psychologists rarely get to answer this question when conducting community-based research because most funders want outcomes like a reduction in adverse incidents rather than seeking to address racism. Rarely do community psychologists identify barriers to intervention implementation from the lens of racism. Dawn X. Henderson, Program Director, Research and Evaluation, Co-Director of the Collective Health and Education Equity Research (CHEER) Collaborative, will use an ecological lens of racism to engage participants in a learning experience that guides the framing of socio-cultural constraints in community-based research. Using dialogue and a case study, participants will model how racism framing can explain the often entangled and complicated relationships in community-based research.    

Dr. Dawn X. Henderson is the Program Director of Research and Evaluation in the Duke Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation and Co-Director of the Collective Health and Education Equity Research (CHEER) Collaborative in North Carolina. She began thinking like a community psychologist when she and fellow students in the Student Government Association organized a "walk out" against the Board of Education's removal of the principal in her high school. However, her formal and doctoral training in community psychology began in North Carolina State University's Applied Social and Community Psychology Program. Since then, she has been on a journey to increase her knowledge and practice of community-based research, working across school districts and nonprofit organizations, to strengthen university-community relationships. She is an Interdisciplinary Research Leader Fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a former fellow of the American Evaluation Association Graduate Education Diversity Initiative, and Leadership Development Fellow with Division 27 in the American Psychological Association. She can be caught doing research on those healing and resistance strategies youth of color and their communities engage to promote well-being. 

View This Video on Our Youtube Channel Here

(Re)Humanizing Community-engaged Praxis During COVID-19: Lessons from the Global South

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and amplified deep fault lines of inequality, dehumanization and disposability that mark the lives of many Global South communities. Miya (Bengal origin Muslim) communities in the Northeast Indian state of Assam constitute the vast majority of ~2million people who were disenfranchised by the Indian state in 2019. Some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded segments of the population, they are now at risk of detention and statelessness. As such, Miya communities bear a disproportionate burden of the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic and lockdown. Against this backdrop, I will discuss the nature, scope, challenges, and imperatives of community-engaged praxis alongside frontline community workers and grassroots activists from Miya communities. I will reflect on some lessons on (re)humanizing and (re)imagining community-engaged praxis in the present times.

BIO Urmitapa Dutta is an Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her activist scholarship focuses on everyday violence, i.e., forms of inequality and oppression that are normalized and become endemic to the social fabric. Working alongside and in solidarity with communities/groups in India and the US, she uses critical qualitative methodologies to denaturalize oppressive conditions and to articulate experiences that are silenced by officially sanctioned narratives. These understandings inform epistemic, community-based and policy interventions that center the lived struggles of historically oppressed and marginalized groups. Urmitapa is presently building a community-based participatory action research project in collaboration with community workers from Miya communities in Northeast India facing threats of disenfranchisement, detention, and statelessness.


View this video on our YouTube channel here.

Research as Community-based Action for Black and Indigenous Lives

Ciann L. Wilson is an Associate Professor in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Co-Director of the Centre for Community Research, Learning, and Action. Ciann is of Afro, Indo, and Euro- Jamaican ancestry. She has over a decade of experience working within African, Caribbean and Black communities across the greater Toronto area first as a youth programmer and now as a health researcher. Her areas of interest build off her community-engaged work to include critical race theory, anti-/de-colonial theory, African diasporic and Indigenous community health, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive wellbeing, and community-based research. Her body of work aims to utilize research as an avenue for sharing the stories and realities of African diasporic, Indigenous and racialized peoples and improving the health and wellbeing of these communities. Ciann is the Principal Investigator for the Proclaiming Our Roots project, which utilizes community mapping and digital storytelling to convey the lived experience and histories of mixed Indigenous-Black communities in Canada.

Watch This Video on Our YouTube Channel Here

Geraldine Palmer, Community Wellness Institute

Community Wellness Institute (CWI) was established in 2018 to formalize Geri’s community practice work with for-profit and non-profit entities including a multicultural congregation. FACE is CWI’s acronym for the core values of fairness, awareness, compassion and excellence, and the name of our blog The Face of Justice which can be found here ( CWI provides consulting services, workshops and trainings, and social research to inform our work. Our work is delivered from a framework that includes Paulo Freire’s concept of concientización or the awakening of critical consciousness. CWI puts this framework into action via workshops and trainings that center on consciousness raising including understanding implicit bias, why microaggressions matter, the power of cultural sensitivity, talking about race, and most recently after completing a study on historical trauma among African Americans, conversations around trauma and its implications and community healing.

This presentation will highlight the process of putting the workshops together, working with the client on content, presentation of material, break-out sessions, and connecting online evaluation surveys via Survey Monkey to online workshop packages that includes the survey, slide notes, advertisements for other organizations or companies, and a fillable certificate of completion, where applicable. I will also discuss how this work links to current issues of our day including Covid-19 as trauma and ongoing racist practices, specifically targeting African Americans. We will end with a Q & A.

Bio Geraldine (Geri) Palmer is a community psychologist with extensive experience as a community practitioner, serving in such roles as an executive director of two non-profit organizations. She is currently the co-founder and managing director of Community Wellness Institute and an adjunct faculty member at Adler University, Chicago where she teaches community psychology, social psychology and diversity and individual differences courses. Geri’s interests, teaching philosophy and research centers on social and racial justice, particularly concerns of African Americans. She is the Past Chair of the Cultural, Ethnic and Racial Affairs Council (CERA), a current nominee for President-Elect of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA), and member of the Critical Psychology interest group. She earned her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from National Louis University, and has won numerous awards for her work in the community including the African American Community Treasure Award from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Outstanding Nonprofit Partner from Governors State University Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha and the Phenomenal Woman in Human Services and Social Justice Award from The Reaching Back Foundation. Geri, along with a team of editors, are also working on an online textbook, Case Studies in Community Psychology Practice: A Global Lens through OER (Open Education Resources) dedicated to community psychology practice, The book is expected to be completed for the fall 2021-22 academic year. 

Watch this video on our YouTube channel here

Community Psychology and the Pandemic: The New Bank for Community Ideas and Solutions: An International Collaboration

In a time of crisis, we as community psychologists can work together as a discipline to respond.   One way to do this is to focus on the essential role of community building, to create communities for a better world. Over the last two months, a new and unique first-time collaboration has developed between SCRA and ECPA (the European Community Psychology Association) to build communities, by creating the New Bank of Community Ideas and Solutions.     

In this note, we invite you to a webinar to explore this concept and describe how the Bank will operate.  During this webinar the creators of this New Bank will discuss its origins, our hopes, and describe how it works. The bulk of the time will be devoted to your ideas and reactions to the New Bank. We also will urge each of you to check out the attachments that include a form for submitting your examples This will allow you time before the meeting to think about what you might submit and to whom you might disseminate the request for more stories.We will also make time to hear your own ideas for strengthening the Bank; we welcome your suggestions and possible involvement.

 The New Bank for Community Ideas and Solutions – What is it?

Capturing Surprising community responses to the global pandemic.

Communities across the world have been actively responding to the coronavirus outbreak. Many of these responses have been both creative, distinctive, and effective.  We would like to collect and share community responses, stories, experiences, and surprising collective moments, so that others can learn from them, and perhaps adapt them for use in their own communities.

Perhaps your own community has experienced a surprising situation or developed a distinctive response to the coronavirus outbreak. If so, we encourage you to share your experience by filling out our form with your example accessible at

We aim to post these experiences in multiple sites (e.g., ECPA, SCRA, CTB, etc). We will also share the stories in a Facebook Group and later at the new webportal of the New Bank of Community Ideas and Solutions. To see the early examples that have been submitted go to:

We hope this site may help to demonstrate the importance of community building in a time of crisis, and illustrate the many ways that community psychology and community action can make a contribution.

Remembering our shared moments and experiences will help to create a better world!

Wolfgang Stark (Germany); Bill Berkowitz, Tom Wolff and Bradley Olson (USA)Cinzia Albanesi and Caterina Arcidiacono (Italy)Maria Fernandes-Jesus and Maria Vargas-Moniz (Portugal).



Watch this Video on our YouTube Channel Here

"What's White Supremacy Got to Do With It?" (No, not that kind of white supremacy…)

Megan Renner, Founder & Chief Connector, Heart-Head-Hands Consulting & Coaching Despite the ubiquity of individualized notions of white privilege and white fragility, broader themes of whiteness and white supremacy may remain unfamiliar. In fact it is through their very invisibility to the dominant group that these social formations accomplish their “work.” It is often during natural/national disasters that their impacts and implications become more visible to all. At this moment of crisis with COVID-19, it is all the more imperative to incorporate an expanded analysis into our practice and policy advocacy.

As a step towards building a foundation of common language and shared meaning, this session will first offer a distillation of several frameworks into five master themes. These themes can then form the basis for a dialogue to examine how they manifest—in our personal lives, our professional work, our institutions, and surrounding systems and structures. Ultimately, there are a multiplicity of actions we can take to unmask the invisible norms of whiteness that surround us, as we strive to promote social justice and transform our world beyond its foundations in white supremacy.

Watch this video on our YouTube channel here.

Conversation on Community Psychology and the Pandemic - How do we help our communities?

In Part I of this fascinating conversation on March 27 twenty eight CPs from all around the globe (Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Portugal, Canada, US) gathered for an inspiring discussion of what they were observing. Part II of the conversation continues and builds on Part I.

Watch this video on the SCRA YouTube channel here. 

Tips for a Successful Consulting Practice w/ Susan M. Wolfe, Ph.D., CEO and Community Consultant, Susan Wolfe and Associates, LLC

As Community Psychologists, we all at some time act in a consulting capacity. This might include delivering the results of an evaluation, facilitating the development of a coalition, or service obligations as part of a university faculty role. This session will provide tips for successful consulting in any role, as well as tips for those who want to pursue a full-time consulting practice.  It will include discussion of skills and strategies that have worked well to enhance this presenter’s private practice as well as her performance in roles when she worked for health care, government, education, and other organizations.

Download the PowerPoint from the presentation here

View this Video on Our YouTube Channel Here

Community Psychology in Lebanon with Ramy Barhouche

In this conversation we are highlighting community psychology practitioner Ramy Barhouche’s work on peace-building and conflict transformation in Lebanon.  For the last 8 years, Ramy has worked with several local and international non-profit organizations focused on community empowerment and peace-building through strategic planning and action. Most recently, Ramy began his work in Lebanon as Project Director at Search for Common Ground, an international organization that focuses on peace-building by bringing different groups of people in conflict to work towards a unified solution. To meet this goal, Ramy’s project focuses on three things: conflict and power dynamics analysis, strategic communication, and community-led initiatives and dialogue. Through the conflict and power dynamics analysis, the project aims to better understand the situation and tension between communities in Lebanon, and see where it's most likely to make a change. Through the strategic communication initiatives, the focus is on utilizing different forms of media (e.g., film, radio programs, music videos) to spread awareness of issues and elicit discussions about overcoming differences. Lastly, through community-led initiatives and dialogue, the project identifies community influencers, referred to as champions, and trains them in conflict resolution and dialogue facilitation, and funds them to implement initiatives in their communities.

View this Video on Our YouTube Channel Here

Unlocking Excellence: Advancing Postsecondary Success for Boys and Men of Color through Policy and Systems Change with Christine Robinson

Robinson is a Senior Advisor, Consultant, and President of Stillwaters Consultation. She has worked for decades designing, implementing, and evaluating systems and policies that enhance outcomes for historically marginalized communities. Robinson has consulted with numerous foundations, federal, state, and local governments, and nonprofit organizations. Her work consistently engages Christine community voice, systems, and policies, and builds upon individual, organizational, and systemic assets. During this call, Robinson will discuss her most recent project, focusing on postsecondary persistence and completion by men and boys of color. Through a community psychology lens, Robinson will outline a national demonstration project which examines how municipalities, nonprofits, and postsecondary education stakeholders in five metropolitan areas, Detroit, Newark, Los Angeles, and Oakland, have worked in distinctive ways and with unique populations of male students of color.

Robinson outlines:

  • The value of completion of higher education to boys and men of color, as a way to unlock human potential, ingenuity, opportunities, increase earning power and facilitate more profound contributions to their families and communities.
  • Rejection of the dominant, deficit-based narratives, suggesting that male students of color are "broken," "unprepared," or have "low skills," and that "personal failure" is the cause of low graduation rates.
  • Briefly review a national demonstration that critically examines the quality of educational experiences and contextual factors, shifting the focus to how institutional systems, policies, programs, and practices can facilitate or hinder educational pathways.

View this video our YouTube channel here. 

Download the Powerpoint presentation here

Download the Lumina reports from the demonstration project below



Los Angeles



Cross-Site Report

Challenges of Practice Pedagogy in the Context of a Research Degree

with National Louis University Community Psychology PhD Program Co-faculty Tiffeny R. Jimenez & Bradley D. Olson, and former student Ericka Mingo

This session will set out challenges and look for input on a unique Community Psychology PhD program that emphasizes a research-based educational experience with students who come into the program and will leave as practitioners. As co-faculty colleagues of this program, we will discuss our challenges as we grapple with the practice-research divide when it comes to the classroom and a pedagogy intended to be useful outside the classroom. We seek guidance on how to work to resolve these stated challenges, particularly in ways that can bring new, practical, and liberating knowledge exchange to the forefront, challenging our existing assumptions about the usefulness of the doctorate degree with the hope of advancing community practice pedagogy across the field.

View this video on our YouTube channel here. 

Melodi Wynne: a community psychologist working with the Spokane Tribal Network

Melodi Wynne (sqelixw, Spokane Tribe of Indians (STOI)) is a community psychologist working with the Spokane Tribal Network (a nonprofit on the STOI reservation). Melodi also works on various other projects in Spokane country where she tries to answer every invitation with action. Wynne earned a BA in psychology at Eastern Washington University, and an MA and Ph.D. in community and cultural psychology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM). She also holds a graduate certificate in conflict resolution from UHM. Melodi will talk about her journey to where she is, working within her own community, and the unique characteristics of that experience.

Revisiting the Definition of Community Psychology Practice with Dave Julian, Nicole Freund, Tom Wolff

This discussion will be kicked off by a special issue of the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice - so we'd like your thoughts on the definition of Community Psychology Practice

The original definition of community psychology practice was efforts “to strengthen the capacity of communities to meet the needs of constituents and help them to realize their dreams in order to promote well-being, social justice, economic equity and self-determination through systems, organizational and/or individual change” (Julian, 2006)

In the intervening years much has emerged that requires the field to revisit this definition. This includes:

  1. The development of the Community Psychology Practices Competencies with books, and journals addressing their use.
  2. Increased focus on systems and policy change in CP Practice -including extensive writing on institutional and structural racism (see Gina Langhout on anti-racism, anti-sexism approaches and the need for self examination); inclusion of policy work in CP graduate training (See Ken Maton’s work) and most recently the focus on decolonialization from Pacifica (Nuria Ciofalo and others)
  3. New areas of community research that enhance and inform practice. If we are to rely on evidence based – what are we calling evidence? Are the lessons learned by practitioners considered evidence?
  4. Community engagement and community power in our CP Practice work with communities – see collaborating for equity and justice (below)
    1. Explicitly address issues of social and economic injustice and structural racism.
    2. Employ a community development approach in which residents have equal power in determining the coalition or collaborative’s agenda and resource allocation.
    3. Employ community organizing as an intentional strategy and as part of the process. Work to build resident leadership and power.
    4. Focus on policy, systems, and structural change.
    5. Build on the extensive community-engaged scholarship and research that show what works, that acknowledge the complexities, and that evaluate appropriately. From Wolff, Minkler, Wolfe, Berkowitz, Bowen, Butterfoss, Christens, Francisco and Lee (2017) Six principles for collaborating for equity and justice (NPQ 2016):

View this video on our YouTube channel here.

Conversations That Raise Your Practice Game - W/ Nuria Ciofalo

Nuria Ciofalo, a community psychologist who has been devoted to co-constructing Indigenous Psychologies in collaboration with various communities from Mexico, will present her collaborative community project in the Mayan Lacandon Rainforest in the state of Chiapas that resulted in a book entitled, “Indigenous Psychologies in an Era of Decolonization” published by Springer Nature. Mayan Lacandon youths and adults co-authored this book sharing their knowledge on environmental management, ecotourism, education, mythologies, legends, poems, and photography. Nuria is Professor in the Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychologies Specialization at Pacifica Graduate Institute. 

View this video on our YouTube channel here.

Evaluating Health Equity Means Deep Analysis of Structural Racism, a Commitment to Social Justice, Strong Evaluation Skills with Kien Lee

Kien Lee is Principal Associate and Vice President at Community Science. She has expertise in designing and implementing capacity building and evaluation strategies that support progress toward equity. She has consulted with foundations, federal and local governments, and nonprofit organizations. She believes that doing this important work as a research, evaluator, and strategic advisor requires a deep analysis of structural racism, systems, and community, as well as the commitment to go beyond the call of duty.

During this call, Kien will:

  • Provide an overview of the knowledge, skills, and perspectives she has had to acquire to be effective to help advance health equity including a deep analysis of structural racism, community, as well as the commitment to go beyond the call of duty.
  • Share general reflections and lessons learned about the trials and tribulations of being a change agent in health equity research and evaluation.

Kien will also pose these questions to the group:

  • How and where do you think you can be most effective as a change agent for health equity?
  • How have or can you bridge research with practice in support of health equity?

View this video on our YouTube channel here.

Research as Community-based Action for Black and Indigenous Lives

Special Guest: Ciann Wilson, Associate Professor in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Co-Director of the Centre for Community Research, Learning, and Action.

 Preview Ciann’s fascinating and moving work through her videos:    - Go to Digital Stories

Ciann L. Wilson is an Associate Professor in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Co-Director of the Centre for Community Research, Learning, and Action.  Ciann is of Afro, Indo, and Euro- Jamaican ancestry. She has over a decade of experience working within African, Caribbean and Black communities across the greater Toronto area first as a youth programmer and now as a health researcher. Her areas of interest build off her community-engaged work to include critical race theory, anti-/de-colonial theory, African diasporic and Indigenous community health, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive wellbeing, and community-based research. Her body of work aims to utilize research as an avenue for sharing the stories and realities of African diasporic, Indigenous and racialized peoples and improving the health and wellbeing of these communities. Ciann is the Principal Investigator for the Proclaiming Our Roots project, which utilizes community mapping and digital storytelling to convey the lived experience and histories of mixed Indigenous-Black communities in Canada.

Ciann L. Wilson BSc., MES, PhD Associate Professor and 
Co-Program Coordinator, Community Psychology Program. Wilfrid Laurier University 
Co-Director, the Centre for Community Research, Learning and Action
Board Chair, The AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, and Area 
Board Member, The Canadian Association for HIV/AIDS Research
Member, The CIHR HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections Advisory Committee

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"Can I have the best of both worlds?": Navigating Practice and Academia as an Early Career Community Psychologist with Kyrah Brown

Kyrah K. Brown currently works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology's public health program at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has expertise in community-based research and evaluation as well as practice experience (e.g., collaboration, capacity building, consulting) in the nonprofit and public health sector. She previously held positions with a County Health Department in Kansas and with a Consulting firm in Texas. She is committed to collaborating with communities to identify and address the social and systems-level factors that shape  health (and their subsequent birth outcomes) among women of color across the life course. She believes that in order to do this important work as a researcher one has to know how to roll up their sleeves and engage with the community.
During this call, Kyrah will: 
  • Provide an overview of her career trajectory in practice and academic settings
  • Share general reflections and lessons learned from her efforts to make practice and academic work more of a continuum rather than dichotomy in her career
During this call, Kyrah will also pose these questions to the group: 
  • What stage are you in your career and what have been the challenges or supports that you have encountered while trying to balance practice and academic work?
  • What does a practice-academic continuum 'look like' for others?

View this video on our YouTube channel here.