6th International Conference on Community Psychology

Conference Theme
Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledges, Liberation and Community

The conference is envisaged as a safe space to critique the assumptions and far-reaching influences underlying the dominant knowledge economy in community psychology, considered to be largely shaped by imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, globalisation, ethnocentricism and racism. The conference theme calls for the conscious decolonisation of knowledge creation, methodologies and processes that are largely fixed in colonial discourses, and the recognition of the plurality of people and the many geographical, psychological and sociological locations that they occupy.

The conference is to be a space to reflect on how mainstream epistemologies, ideologies and worldviews tend to perpetuate exclusionary forms of scholarship, research and practice through the dislocation and silencing of critical forms of knowledge. As such, the conference will aim to stimulate global dialogues that seek to disrupt hegemonic influences; call into question that which is construed as critical knowledges; and reflect on the meanings of liberation and community. The conference will be a space to have deep conversations about the complexities underlying emancipatory, critical and compassionate forms of community engagements.

The conference will invite presentations that exemplify subversive community engagement illustrations; illustrations that challenge colonial and other dominant epistemologies and asymmetrical power relations, promote the inclusion of marginalised voices, and accord primacy to community involvement in praxis oriented work.

Consistent with the core values and democratic ideals of community psychology, the conference theme seeks to accord representation, voice and space to theories and enactments of community psychology that contribute to robust debate and conversations about the identity and representational forms of community psychology, the critical roles of community psychologists, and the epistemological and ontological diversity present in global enactments of community psychology.

The 6th ICCP will therefore invite submissions that contribute to the larger global project that seeks to dislodge the ideological, intellectual and material arrangements of the hegemonic knowledge economy and enable liberatory praxis.

The conference programme will consist of keynote addresses; oral and poster presentations; symposia; thematic panels; roundtable discussions; innovative presentations; social events; cultural activities; and the opportunity to engage with exhibitors. Overall, the scientific programme will provide a balance of presentations, dialogue, networking opportunities, and interest-based working groups based on clusters of participant interests or sub-themes.

Message from the Conference Chair
Professor Mohamed Seedat

ICCP2016The College of Graduate Studies and its Institute for Social and Health Sciences (ISHS), University of South Africa, the Medical Research Council Violence-University of South Africa Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit (MRC-UNISA VIPRU), and the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) are pleased to host the 2016 International Conference on Community Psychology (ICCP2016), the sixth meeting in this successful series.South Africa’s troubled history and development achievements and challenges; geo-political location on the African continent; globally contested identity; distinctiveness as a place of complexity, contradictions and many success stories; and contributions to community psychology, as well as its natural beauty that attracts visitors from all over the world, present the country as a natural choice for this prestigious conference.

Preparations for ICCP2016 are rapidly gaining momentum. We are particularly encouraged by the rate of abstract submissions, and the expressed interest and commitment to engage seriously with the chosen overall and track themes. There is an emerging and organic dynamism unfolding around discussions about the shape and intentions of ICCP2016.

So we invite the global community of psychologists, activists, researchers and students to make their abstract submissions soonest and contribute to enacting the conference as a re-shaping and re-defining moment. Affirming and troubling global and localised events all point to the significance of understanding the knowledge creation-community-liberation nexus. We look to submissions that will support the enactment of ICCP2016 as a liberatory dialogic space.

We look forward to hosting you in South Africa in 2016.

Message from the Vice-Principal of Research and Innovation at the University of South Africa
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

ICCP2016We, as the University of South Africa (UNISA), an African institution shaping futures in the service of humanity, feel very honored to host this prestigious event. The ICCP2016 comes at a time when humanity’s search for well-being and felicity seems to be threatened and undermined by, among other issues, ongoing patterns of social inequality, inadequate global governance, climate change and the energy crisis. The mass migration of people fleeing war-torn regions, famine and prosecution, and the growing polarisation within and across societies are perhaps indicative of the big questions that an esteemed gathering of the kind planned for 2016 may need to grapple with. The theme of the conference places the spotlight on producing knowledge systems that ask the correct questions and enable deep dialogues, conversations and answers about global and regional critical and priority matters.

We at UNISA encourage prospective delegates to take up the call for abstracts and submit work that influences and, in turn, is influenced by the big questions humanity faces everywhere. We look forward to welcoming delegates on the Eastern shores of our majestic country.

Message from the Director of School of Transdisciplinary Research Institutes, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa
Professor Lesiba Teffo

Even though ICCP2016 is primarily intended as a community psychology space, the theme, Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledges, Liberation and Community, resonates with multi, inter- and trans-disciplinary (MIT) traditions. As such, the ICCP2016 theme and tracks appeal to those located in all of the social and human sciences and, in particular, disciplines such as anthropology, African studies, gender studies, development studies, cultural studies and history to make contributions to what promises to be a memorable and intellectually and ideologically ground-breaking moment. As someone who has been schooled in the traditions of African studies and African philosophy, I make a special call to my colleagues on the African continent and the global community of MIT scholars and activists to create deliberate efforts to participate in the conference in May 2016.

On behalf of the School for Transdisciplinary Institutes at the University of South Africa, we call for contributions that break traditional disciplinary boundaries that enact knowledge-making as praxis and connects research, teaching and scholarship to liberation of all of humanity.

Message from the President of the South African Medical Research Council
Professor Glenda Gray

The South African Medical Research Council, committed to conducting research towards improving the health and well-being of all South Africans, is well-placed to serve as a co-host of this respected international conference event.Health promotion research and community well-being are inextricably linked, and so I encourage the conference to engage with the intersection between community, collective well-being and prevention approaches that speak to diseases related to poverty as well as HIV/AIDS, violence and injuries and communicable diseases.

I encourage delegates to go beyond the orthodox behavioural approaches to disease prevention and health promotion, and submit abstracts for colloquia and innovative presentations that offer deep and creative thinking about the relationships between poverty, power, inequality and health promotion at communal levels. I welcome you to a vibrant and engaged space.

Message From The President of The Psychological Society of South Africa
Professor Anthony Pillay

South Africa has a proud association with community psychology, since its local emergence and growth coincided with the country’s liberation struggle. However, while that political struggle has been largely overcome, communities still face serious challenges in poverty, inequality and unemployment which also affect communities globally. The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) is, therefore, pleased to partner with the University of South Africa’s Institute for Social and Health Sciences (ISHS) and its Medical Research Council-University of South Africa Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit in hosting the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology.

The event presents an opportune context to deliberate the critical issues affecting the world’s under-resourced and marginalised societies. We look forward to welcoming you to our shores to participate in this important event and to contribute to the development and upliftment of communities globally.

Message From The Past President of The Psychological Society of South Africa
Professor Juan A Nel

The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) considers it a great privilege to co-host the 2016 International Conference on Community Psychology (ICCP). PsySSA represents the majority of psychology professionals in our country and has collaborative relationships with a range of other international and national bodies. The Society is committed to the transformation and development of the science and practice of Psychology in South Africa to promote human well-being and to serve the needs and interests of all. Indeed, a Psychology in service of humanity is what we are striving for, as is evidenced by the role we played in the establishment of the Pan-African Psychology Union in 2014 and the highly successful hosting of the International Congress of Psychology (ICP) in Cape Town, South Africa in 2012.

I can think of no better way for PsySSA to build on its global record of uniting in the face of health, social and humanitarian challenges in efforts to broaden the horizons for Psychology, as a discipline and especially the communities being served, than to be associated with ICCP2016. We look forward to welcoming delegates to the sunny city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal in May 2016.

Message from the President of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) & Pan- African Psychology Union (PAPU)
Professor Saths Cooper

ICCP2016 comes at a time when humanity is under severe strain. Despite all the technological and industrial advances in the world, war, poverty, socio-political turmoil, economic exclusion, hunger, racism, sexism and discrimination continue to characterise the lives of the majority the world over. These challenges, when coupled with violence-induced mass migrations and post-colonial complicity, calls on community psychology to re-think its theoretical and methodological orientations and applications. Just as large parts of community psychology owe their genesis and significance to citizen action for transformation in many parts of the world, contemporary global socio-political and economic demands urge community psychologists and the larger community of social and human scientists to re-commit actively to liberatory praxis. Our complacency, and comfort in sterile forms of research, training and practice require a robust challenge and critical transformative interrogation. On behalf of IUPsyS and PAPU, I commend ICCP2016 for its bold and explicit thematic focus that plans to encourage debate and conversations about matters affecting humanity everywhere.

I invite members of the IUPsyS and PAPU, global social, human and public health communities, as well as NGOs and civil society formations to participate in ICCP2016 to help re-shape the direction, meanings and enactments of community psychology.

Message from the Co-chair of the Scientific Committee
Dr Shahnaaz Suffla

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to join us in South Africa for the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology. ICCP2016 caters for various presentation formats and styles. More importantly, both the location and theme of the conference calls on prospective participants to break from spatial and disciplinary borders, and to reflect on the influences of power, location and positionality, as well as gender, class and ‘race’ on knowledge, community and liberation. ICCP2016 may come to hold many meanings for its participants. It is a space to tease out and deliberate on the drivers of the often unspoken contestations and hegemonic tendencies in the discipline; it is a platform to call into question that which is enacted as community psychology; it is a moment to recall and reconsider the founding and perhaps diverse principles of community psychology; it is a place to challenge questionable training programmes; and it is a time to initiate and build on collaborations towards co-constructing training traditions and approaches along with students and social activists.

ICCP2016 represents a global opportunity crafted in an African city to re-commit energies towards accompanying those seeking a better life, free from marginalisation, dispossession, oppression, occupation and distortion. We look forward to receiving your abstracts, and hosting you in the beautiful city of Durban in May 2016.

Message from the Co-chair of the Scientific Committee
Professor Mark Burton

This conference follows five previous ones in Latin America (Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil) and Southern Europe (Spain and Portugal). These places are often considered to be on the periphery of the global world-system and the conferences have enabled inter-communication between these regions and those “core” regions from where dominant psychological theory and practice has come, along with the systems of domination in which it has been rooted. With this sixth conference in South Africa, the dialogue will continue. The conference this time is centred on the theme of “Critical Knowledges, Liberation and Community”, and in this it seeks to challenge community psychology, itself already something of a “counter-discipline”, to really consider the extent to which it can free itself from forms of human domination (especially imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, globalisation, ethnocentricism and racism) while supporting a diversity of communities to free themselves from exploitation and exclusion.

This conference will strive, within the constraints of place and time, to include marginalised voices, experiences, knowledges and practices, and while it will encourage contributions to be rigorous in their knowledge claims, it will also prioritise ways of sharing and expressing knowledge that may sit uneasily in the traditional scientific conference. In this way, it aims to support the production of knowledge that challenges the centres of domination while challenging community psychology to be relevant to the great challenges, ecological, economic, social and political, that while facing us all, disproportionately affect those in poorer regions and poorer communities. Yet, challenge can be unsettling, so the conference aims to be a setting in which participants can feel safe and free to explore, to question and to doubt, while being and feeling a part of a mutually respectful community.

I am therefore delighted to be part of the conference team.

Message from the Chair of the 5th International Conference on Community Psychology, Brazil, 2014
Professor Verônica Ximenes

A escolha da África do Sul para sediar a 6ª Conferência Internacional de Psicologia Comunitária em 2016 foi celebrado com grande alegria pelos os organizadores da 5ª Conferência Internacional de Psicologia Comunitária, principalmente por fazer com que possamos conhecer a Psicologia Comunitária do continente africano. O tema dessa conferencia é “Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledges, Liberation and Community” que apresenta um compromisso social com uma psicologia crítica que visa os processos de libertação das situações de opressão em que vivem milhares de pessoas.Convidamos a todos e a todas, que se interessam por temas sobre conhecimento crítico, libertação e comunidade presentes nas discussões de Psicologia Comunitária, que possam construir de forma coletiva e participativa esses espaços de diálogos na 6th ICCP.

A cada conferência, vem sendo construídos caminhos que apontam para um posicionamento político e ético da Psicologia Comunitária que buscam romper com os processos de neutralidade e apontam para análises críticas de problemas sociais enfrentados no mundo, como: a pobreza, a fome, a desigualdade social, os preconceitos, a destruição da natureza, as guerras, dentre outros. Então os nossos desafios são a construção de teorias, metodologias e práticas que apontem possibilidades de respostas a esses problemas. Participe e venha conhecer a diversidade e a potência da Psicologia Comunitária.

The choice of South Africa to host the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology in 2016 is particularly pleasing to the organisers of 5th International Conference on Community Psychology since this provides the opportunity to become better acquainted with community psychology on the African continent. The theme, “Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledges, Liberation and Community”, demonstrates social commitment to critical psychology, which aims to contribute to the liberation of the millions of people who live under conditions of oppression.

In the spirit of collective participation, we invite colleagues from the psychology community to create places of dialogue in ICCP2016. Each of the previous conferences encouraged and supported political and ethical positions that seek to challenge neutrality and support critical analyses of global social problems, such as poverty, hunger, social inequality, prejudices, the destruction of nature and wars. ICCP2016 invites us to create theories, methodologies and practices which address the pressing social problems we face as humanity. Join us and get to know the diversity and potential of community psychology as they are to be showcased at ICCP2016 in Durban, South Africa.

Message from Member of the Organising Committee, 1st International Conference on Community Psychology, Puerto Rico, 2006
Professor Irma Serrano-García

Las conferencias internacionales de psicología comunitaria se iniciaron en San Juan, Puerto Rico por iniciativa de un grupo internacional de psicólogas y psicólogos comunitarios sin afiliación organizacional alguna. El equipo puertorriqueño se dio a la tarea de incorporar el mayor número de países posible en esta labor pionera resultando en la participación de 360 personas de 34 países. En su trayectoria por el mundo – Portugal, México, España, Brasil – las conferencias han crecido mostrando así la vitalidad de nuestra disciplina a través del mundo.

Todas las conferencias se han visto imbuídas por los valores de cambio y justicia social. Todas han contribuido al desarrollo de conocimientos, métodos de investigación, intervenciones, estrategias de enseñanza y redes de trabajo innovadores y participativos. Se han caracterizado por la participación personas de la academia, trabajadoras y trabajadores comunitarios y estudiantes. Movernos a África significa un acercamiento a un área geográfica que hasta ahora no habíamos podido alcanzar y por eso promete proveernos experiencias diversas y diferentes a las anteriores, tanto en nuestra disciplina como sobre el contexto socio-cultural que la enmarca. Les invitamos a participar de lo que promete, sin duda, ser un evento único y trascendental.

International Community Psychology conferences were initiated in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2006 at the behest of an international group of community psychologist, without an organizational sponsor. The Puerto Rican team worked to incorporate the greatest number of countries possible and their pioneering work led to the participation of 360 persons from 34 countries. In their trajectory around the world – Portugal, Mexico, Spain, Brazil – conferences have grown, demonstrating the vitality of community psychology around the globe.All conferences have been imbued with the values of social change and justice. All have contributed innovative and participatory knowledge, methods, interventions, teaching strategies and networks.

They have been characterized by the participation of academics, community workers and students. Moving to Africa allows us to reach a geographical area that has been inaccessible until now and thus promises to provide participants with diverse and different experiences not only regarding community psychology but social and cultural contexts. We invite you to participate in what promises to be – without a doubt – a unique and transcendental event.

Message from the Co-chair of the 1st International Conference on Community Psychology, Puerto Rico, 2006
Professor Maribel Figueroa Rodríguez

Bienvenidos a las 6ta. Conferencia de psicología comunitaria: Diálogos globales sobre conocimiento crítico, liberación y comunidad. Nos alegramos de que podamos celebrar ya una sexta conferencia internacional sobre psicología comunitaria. En esta ocasión se celebra en el continente africano, donde se libran muchas luchas ante la desigualdad e injusticia, contexto que nos convocará y provocará serias reflexiones sobre nuestro quehacer teórico, metodológico y de acciones comunitarias.Auguramos que esta conferencia nos ofrecerá un espacio rico para la discusión sobre temas globales.

Aprovechemos para deconstruir y cuestionar las bases ideológicas y opresivas, pero también aceptemos el reto de aportar nuevo conocimiento, nuevas formas de acercarnos a los problemas y de hacer intervenciones comunitarias basadas en la igualdad y la justicia.La variedad de formatos nos augura discusiones estimulantes y retantes sobre una diversidad de temas entre ellos: conocimiento crítico, práctica de la psicología en los diferentes contextos, críticas a métodos de investigación, intervenciones comunitarias, y enseñanza y aprendizaje.

Todo esto se nutrirá de la cosmovisión de las personas participantes procedentes de los dos hemisferios, con sus visiones y posturas desde una mirada globalizante y comprometida con los sectores marginados.Sea una ocasión para aunar nuestras voces, apoyarnos y hacer planteamientos conjuntos que nos conduzcan a fortalecer no solo la psicología comunitaria, sino a beneficiar a las personas invisibles de nuestros países.

Welcome. We are pleased that we can now present the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology: Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledge, Liberation and Community. This time it is held in Africa, where there are many struggles against inequality and injustice. This context brings us together and will provoke stimulating and serious reflection on our theoretical and methodological work, as well as on our community interventions.We expect that this conference will provide us with a rich space for discussion of global issues.

Not only should we endeavor to deconstruct and challenge oppressive ideological bases, but we should also accept the challenge of contributing new knowledge, new ways of approaching problems and doing community work based on equality and justice.The variety of the formats promises stimulating and challenging discussions on a variety of topics including: critical knowledge, the practice of psychology in different contexts, criticism of research methods, community interventions, and teaching and learning. All this will be nurtured by the perspectives of participants from the two hemispheres. It is an opportunity to unite our voices, support our struggles, and produce joint approaches that lead to not only strengthening community psychology but also aid the invisible peoples of our countries.

Message from the Chair of the Department of Psychology, University of South Africa
Dr Mapula Mojapelo-Batka

I note with great pride that my institution, the University of South Africa (Unisa), is co-host to this important international conference in Community Psychology. The ICCP2016 conference theme is most appealing, it suggests that delegates will have an opportunity to critically engage in conversations informed by universal themes, but with direct bearing to local communities here and elsewhere. The Unisa Department of Psychology is the largest teaching department in Psychology in South Africa and, indeed, on the African continent. This department furthermore has a long history of offering Community Psychology as a sub-discipline with much relevance in understanding and responding to the many psychosocial issues here and elsewhere in the world that are brought about by inequality, marginalisation and oppression.

With Unisa, as well as two other very credible bodies as co-hosts, namely the South African Medical Research Council and the Psychological Society of South Africa, I dare predict that this is an event not to be missed. I thus encourage colleagues and students in Psychology and related disciplines to register and submit abstracts as soon as possible.

Message from South African Post-graduate Students
Josephine Cornell, Nicholas Malherbe, Nicole Scullard, Mapula Mochudi, Neziswa Titi & Refiloe Makama

At a time when students all over the world are challenging hegemony in academia, having a strong student presence at the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology is vital for centralising students’ voices in spaces where they are so often marginalised. As emerging scholars, it’s critical to add our perspectives, so that we may both contribute to and disrupt existing dialogues. This conference is a great opportunity for individual and professional growth, through exposure to critical debates by leading academics in various disciplines. It also offers a platform to network, through global reciprocal learning. We encourage fellow students from Psychology, and other Social Science disciplines, to submit abstracts and to attend the ICCP2016. See you there!

Welcome Message from Community-based Activists
Anna-Marie James, Autshumoa De Lange, Haseena Forbes, Eric James, Hazel Swanepoel, Marcellino Jonas and Ricardo Van Reenen

Far too often, researchers and academics assume positions of privilege and authority in their engagements with community-based actors and activists. So we are very encouraged by the main theme of the conference and its overall intention to raise discussions and challenge the workings of dominance in research and community work. We call on activists everywhere to take up ICCP2016 as an opportune platform to resist disempowering forms of community engagement and support partnerships that work towards assuring meaningful participation in democratic decision-making. We make a special appeal to student movements, labour formations, gender and anti-racism activists, and other groups and individuals focusing on pressing issues of our time to seize ICCP2016 as a space to advance the ideals of social justice and liberation as expounded by such humanitarians and activists as Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela.

Your participation will contribute immensely to the success of the ICCP2016. Once again, a hearty and warm welcome and safe travels to South Africa.

Click Here to Download Portuguese Announcement

Click Here to Download Spanish 2nd Announcement

Click Here to Download English 2nd Announcement