Volume 55, Number 4 Fall 2022

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International Committee

Edited by Douglas Perkins, Vanderbilt University and Olga Oliveira Cunha, NOVA University

Ninth International Conference on Community Psychology: Naples (or Online) September 21-24, 2022 

Written by Douglas D. Perkins, Program in Community Development/Research & Action, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

Most readers of this column already know that the Ninth International Conference on Community Psychology in Naples, Italy (and also globally for live participants online), will be happening this September 21-24—i.e., right around the time this issue is published and distributed. So I hope as many of you as possible have already made plans to attend, in-person or virtually, what promises to be a fascinating and wide-ranging set of workshops, keynotes, presentations, discussions, and social events. See the program at the conference website:, including whether each session is virtual, in-person-only or hybrid (and if not too late when you read this, email for online registration information). 

To highlight just some of the program, the conference begins with many participatory workshop topics, including hybrid ones on “What can community psychologists do to promote just transformations in the face of climate change?” chaired by Donata Francescato and Maria Fernandes-Jesus; “Bridging community psychologies, transnational decolonial discourses and critical liberatory praxes” with Jesica Fernández, Chris Sonn, and Monica Madyaningrum; “Decoloniality, liberation & relational healing: a ciranda activity of human rights” chaired by James Ferreira Moura; “Tribu creativa: el uso del stroytelling como puente entre individuo y comunidad” chaired by Keila Arismendi; “Exploring archetypal emergence and nature connectivity using digital generative art” chaired by Theresa Clearman; “Community psychology and migrant justice” with Brad Olson, Moshood Olanrewaju, Francesca Esposito, and Dora Rebelo; “The contribution of service learning to the theory and practice of community psychology” chaired by Cinzia Albanesi; and “Dismantling whiteness in the community: Designing and delivering community partnerships to tackle mental health” with Hannah Ward.  

In-person workshops include “Community resilience in times of global crises” chaired by Wolfgang Stark with Bill Berkowitz, Caterina Arcidiacono, Brad Olson, and others; “An Equity Perspective on Community-Engaged Research with Black and Brown Families in the U.S.” chaired by Emilie Phillips Smith; “Interactive urban furniture for sparking smiles between strangers” chaired by Fortuna Procentese; “Structured Peer Group Supervision for community working” chaired by Anna Zoli; “Tejiendo rebozos de muchos saberes y haceres (weaving shawls of many knowledges and praxes): Toward pluriversal community psychologies outside the capitalist hydra” chaired by Jesica Fernandez; and “Community resilience building: engage communities and suggest policies” chaired by Moira Chiodini.

There will be a special interactive keynote session focusing on Psychologists and Peace, featuring Serdar Değirmencioğlu, moderated by Brad Olson, with video contribution by Gert Sommer and discussant journalist Raffaella Chiodo and simultaneous English, Italian, and Spanish translation.  Another keynote address will be on “Complexity, environmental needs and effects of technology in the present world” by philosopher, psychoanalyst, and epistemologist Miguel Benasayag, who was born in Argentina, where he studied medicine and participated in the Guevarist guerrilla movement. 

Thursday hybrid symposia include “Migration and community: the role of individual resources and collective dimensions” with Andrew Camilleri, Laura Migliorini, Paola Cardinali, Vittoria Romoli, Joe Ferrari, Serena Verbena, Terri Mannarini and others; “Community re-generation in violent times” with Gina Langhout, Katja Kolcio, Gina Ulysse, and Ronelle Carolissen; “COVID, peers and transformational education: community psychology promotes innovations in mental health” with Chris Keys, Martina Mihelicova, Annie Wegrzyn, José Ornelas, Luis Sá-Fernandes, Bret Kloos and Bruna Zani; and “Multi-Agent Institutional, Political and Media Discourse on (Im)Migrants: Social Representations from the two sides of the Atlantic and of the Mediterranean” chaired by Annamaria Silvana de Rosa.

Virtual sessions on Thursday include “Género y políticas de genero” with presentations from Mexico, Brazil and Chile; “Participación y acción colectiva: comunicación y espacios públicos” featuring speakers from Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil; “Community psychology perspective for gender issues” with presentations from Australia, Chile, South Africa, Japan, and Italy; and “Inclusión social y políticas de salud” with presenters from Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.

In-person-only sessions Thursday include “Participatory processes promoting social inclusion: the Citizen Science approach of the EU-project YouCount” chaired by Fortuna Procentese; “Community Psychology Intervention” with presentations on social exchange and space regeneration by community stakeholders in South Africa, community engagement in urban transformations and promoting commitment to collective action by researchers from Milan, and using photovoice with Black women; “Acción colectiva y participación social” with researchers from Chile and Colombia; “Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals, families, and communities: Lessons from regional and cross-national research” with presentations by Mona Amer, Christian Connell, Anne Brodsky and others; “Ubiquitous social ecosystems: the contribution of social technologies to modern social experiences and interactions” with Flora Gatti and Fortuna Procentese; “Gender-based violence” with presentations by researchers from all over Italy, South Africa, and Spain; “Youth in educational contexts” with presenters from the U.S., Greece, Italy, Brazil, and Peru; “New challenges for community psychology” with researchers from Canada, Greece, Italy, Australia, and the international team of Salvatore Di Martino, Isaac Prilleltensky, Ottar Ness and Michael Scarpa; and “Online teen dating violence: prevention and intervention” by researchers from Naples.

On Friday, hybrid symposia include “Participatory approaches to work with indigenous populations in America (Abya Yala)” with researchers from Peru, Brazil, Chile, and U.S.; “Service-Learning and the Future of Higher Education Institutions” with participants from all over Italy and Lisbon, Portugal; “Comparing academic, professional, and nonprofessional perspectives: A global community knowledge validation study” with Doug Perkins, Mary Wojcicki, Reha Ozgurer, and discussants Susan Wolfe and Fortuna Procentese; “Líderes, investigadores y activistas comunitarios Mayas de la Selva Lacandona de Chiapas y Mazatecos de la Sierra de Oaxaca, México levantan la voz por la justicia epistémica, cultural y ecológica”; “Violence against educators: a global crisis” with presenters from the U.S., Israel, Italy and South Africa; and “Community-led organizations as drivers for local and global justice: international case studies” with scholars from Spain, Italy, Colombia, and U.S.  

Virtual-only sessions Friday include “The role of community in the COVID-19 pandemic” with researchers from U.S., Hungary, South Africa, Israel, and Botswana; “Bridging communities and local services” with participants from South Africa, U.K., Chile, Greece, and Italy; “The role of community psychology in health promotion” with researchers from Brazil, South Africa, U.S., Chile, Hungary, Mexico, Japan, and Canada; and on “Socio-political issues for community psychology” with researchers from Canada, U.S., South Africa, Italy and Israel; and “Sharing interventions of community psychology” with presenters from Spain, Australia, Canada, Argentina, and U.S. 

There are in-person-only sessions on “Intervenciones de psicología de comunidad: espacios públicos y políticas sociale” with presenters from Uruguay, Chile, Spain, and Italy; “Participation and agency despite oppression: A discussion of strengths in migratory populations in Italy, Ireland, and the United States”; “Promoting Social Justice Engagement between powers and privileges” with scholars from Italy, U.K., and Portugal; “Re-envisioning policy and practice for children living without parental care in Egypt”; “Aculturación, agencia y justicia social: Hacia una mirada interseccional desde enfoques epistemológicos, metodológicos y empíricos en migraciones” with scholars from Spain, Chile, and Argentina; “Cultural issues in creating social change for community well-being” with presenters from the American University in Cairo; “Procesos migratorios e inclusión social” in Brazil, Spain, and Chile; and “Addressing the challenge of meeting professional development needs in Egypt.”

On Saturday, the final day, hybrid symposia include “Publishing in community psychology” with editors of most of the major journals; “La Psicología Comunitaria en América Latina: temas crónicos y agenda pendiente para promover la transformación social” with Peruvian and Mexican scholars; “Knowledge Mobilization as a mechanism for community building, resistance, and a reimagining of scholarly modalities” with Natalie Kivell, Chris Sonn, Tiffeny Jimenez and colleagues; “Regeneración comunitaria: encuentros colaborativos y solidarios de formación en América Latina” with participants from Colombia, Yucatán-México, Peru and Chile; “Discussions, tensions and approaches in Community Psychology from Latin America” with presenters from Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia; and “Community Psychology contributions to address Gender-based Violence in Europe: From Research to Transformative Action” with Maria Vargas Moniz, Francesca Esposito, José Ornelas and colleagues. 

The last virtual-only sessions include “Socio-political issue for community psychology” with presenters from Israel, Hong Kong, U.S., Portugal, New Zealand/Aotearoa, Italy, and Puerto Rico; and “Models and theories of community psychology” with presentations on community resilience and community engagement in South Africa, a French Sense of Community Index, community arts, community psychology in Indonesia, and a Spanish-Italian collaboration on a community culturally-adapted concept of wellbeing. 

Final in-person sessions include “Género y políticas de genero” with presentations from Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay; “Participation and collective action” with presentations from Italy, South Africa, and Egypt; “The role of the community in COVID-19 pandemic”; “Strategies to promote resilience during crisis” with a team from Egypt; “Environmental justice, climate change and community psychology: Time for action” with Serdar Değirmencioğlu, Maria Fernandes-Jesus, Nikolay Mihaylov, and Garret Barnwell; “The role of community psychology in health promotion” (two sessions with researchers from Italy, Canada, U.K., Australia, Greece, South Africa, France, and Chile); “Migration processes” with presenters from Italy, Germany, and U.S.; “Social inclusion” with speakers from Italy, Australia, and South Africa; competing sessions on “Socio-political issues for community psychology” with scholars from Chile, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, U.K., Germany, and Italy; and “New challenges for community psychology” with presenters from Italy, Chile, U.S., Germany, U.K. and Canada.

There will also be poster presentations and each day roundtable discussions, including hybrid ones on “Community regeneration across borders with an open education resource” with Judah Viola, Geraldine Palmer, Susan Wolfe, and Amber Kelly; “Becomings and challenges for Community Psychology in Uruguay;” “Who is against equity in public safety policies: Building equity through understanding resistance”; “Critical global education for community psychology: challenges and possibilities within and across the global North and South”; and “Co-Creating Communities: The role of universities for building and empowering communities in local settings”; “A conversation about the process of conducting community-based research under the COVID Pandemic”; and the Closing Session will be hybrid.  There is a virtual planetary roundtable hosted by Donata Francescato with discussant Caterina Arcidiacono, and in-person roundtables on “Decolonial possibilities and futures in community psychology: A North-South engagement” with Donata, Garth Stevens, Chris Sonn, and Nicholas Malherbe; and “Fostering resistance to the oppression of immigrants in community settings” with Sara Buckingham, Moshood Olanrewaju, Gina Langhout, Ashmeet Oberoi, Noé Rubén Chávez, Monica Indart, and Brad Olson; “Creative methods in the field of psychology, next stage?” with Spanish, Italian and Greek facilitators; an interactive session on “A Citizen Science approach to foster social inclusion and innovation: the EU-project YouCount”; “Skills, techniques, and values for community consulting: A global View”; and “Estado de la Psicología Comunitaria en Iberoamérica: Algunas experiencias y reflexiones.”

Finally, I am particularly looking forward to the nightly Neapolitan social events starting with a Welcome Italian Aperitivo on Wednesday night along the beautiful seafront of the Gulf of Naples. On Thursday, one cannot experience Naples without hearing live vocal music, and so a concert by soprano Olga Peretyatko, accompanied by piano, violin, and cello soloists along with the Orchestra of Teatro di San Carlo. The main social event will be on Friday: a dinner and Creative Improvisation on the theme “Quality of life: environment, sea, earth and wellbeing.”  On Saturday morning, attendees can enjoy a cultural heritage walk to discover places, traditions, monuments, and communities participating in a collaboration of the Community Psychology Lab of Uni-Federico II and local partners.

I want to thank everyone on the Program Committee and especially the Host Committee-- led by Università di Napoli Profs. Caterina Arcidiacono, Fortuna Procentese, and others-- for organizing such an exciting and rewarding conference experience and for accommodating virtual attendees, which I’m sure must be a challenge, but so important in these changing times with not only pandemics but the cost and carbon footprint of in-person conferences!

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