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John Kalafat's life work integrated the principles and research of community psychology with their practical applications. John died suddenly in 2008, and he left a rich legacy in the published literature and in the many communities he helped strengthen. John was the Coordinator of the Community Psychology Concentration at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology of Rutgers University. His gifts at bringing diverse people together led to the creation of a consensual definition of the field, and it is his vision of community psychology that is the context for these awards:
“By integrating research with action, Community Psychology seeks to understand and enhance the quality of life of individuals, communities, and societies. Community Psychology approaches are characterized by collaboration with stakeholders, interventions that focus on problem prevention and/or wellness promotion, ecological and systems levels of analysis and action, an outreach versus waiting orientation, and a commitment to the empowerment of underserved communities.”
To continue his vision, two annual awards have been created in his honor, sponsored by the Society for Community Research and Action of the American Psychological Association.
The first award will honor programs or initiatives that demonstrate a positive impact on groups or communities as validated by program evaluation; build foundational bridges between theory, research, and improving the world, and/or demonstrate excellence in integrating training and program development in crisis intervention.
The second award will be a monetary stipend to an individual who exemplifies John's unique characteristics as mentor, teacher, and advocate, and especially his passion in making the benefits of community psychology accessible to all.
2017 The School Culture and Climate Initiative
2013 The Community Toolbox
2015 Vincent Francisco
2013 Gregory Meissen
2010 Tom Wolff
2020 Isaac Prillenltensky
2009 Bill Berkowitz