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Conference to stress community psychology

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The University of La Verne psychology department will host the Biennial Conference for the Society of Community Research and Action in 2007.

The Biennial Conference is hosted every two years and it is an opportunity for different organizations to showcase community psychology.

“This really is a major event,” said Raymond Scott, professor of psychology. “The past conference was held outside of Chicago and attracted about 600 people”

Different organizations present what they have been doing to help the community and how it has been effective with the hope that other organizations will implement it in their communities.

The proposal to host the conference was originally submitted with the help of Mary Prieto-Bayard, who died last year. When the University was granted the request to host the conference, Scott was asked to be chair of the committee.

In the proposal ULV had to show that it was capable of handling an event of this magnitude.

“For me to be asked to come in was really fantastic,” he said.

The theme for the 2007 conference is “Building Bridges, Building Communities” and has several goals.

First the conference is expected to showcase what different organizations are doing to implement community psychology. A second goal is to increase the number of presentations from past years, and finally to address how community psychology used in the criminal justice system, public health and public policy.

This conference is trying to address the needs of different communities by helping people access services, or bringing the specific services to them.

“We hope to help people build collaborations in different communities to address their needs,” Scott said.

The hope is that people showcase how they are doing collaborations with the community to address their needs and how effective they are.

“We want to understand what its like to work with different cultures,” Scott said.

The conference also includes activists who work toward changing policies.

“We are bringing international attention to ULV,” Scott said.

The conference hopes to address issues in community psychology like teenage pregnancy and AIDS awareness.

“It wont be a conference that just focuses on us, but we will have an opportunity to showcase our work,” said Barry F. Perlumutter, professor of psychology.

Many people at ULV have already shown interest in becoming a part of the conference.

“One of my main interests is to make sure there is a good representation on different educational backgrounds,” said Maria Grandone-Llorete, executive director of the mosaic cultural institute.

Scott is currently working on putting a committee together; he hopes to get help not only from the psychology department but from other departments as well.

Laura Bucio can be reached at

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