- Who We Are
- What We Do
- Contact Us
- Current Events
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 (https://communitywellnessinstitute.co...). 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.
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 http://www.ecpa-online.com/bank-community-ideas/ 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 http://www.ecpa-online.com/bank-community-ideas/.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Download the Lumina reports from the demonstration project below
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Kien will also pose these questions to the group:
Our first conversation was on Friday September 28 with Chris Sadeler, this year’s winner of the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology.
Chris’ work in crime prevention from a community psychology perspective is innovative, successful, and it’s being replicated across Canada.