South Africa | Durban will be a hub of robust discussions at the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology (ICCP2016) taking place 27 to 30 May 2016. The global conference, making its debut in Africa after its success in Latin America and Europe, will see more than 500 academics, practitioners, students, activists, policy-makers and community leaders convene to share ideas on how best to tackle the complexities underlying critical and compassionate forms of community engagements.
“South Africa’s troubled history, development achievements and challenges make it a natural choice for this prestigious gathering,” says Professor Mohammed Seedat, Unit Director at the SAMRC’s Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit (VIPRU).
The multiple challenges that South Africa faces after 21 years of political democracy has meant that psychology, like other social and public health sciences, is slowly beginning to revisit its curricula offerings in tertiary institutions and its research programmes. As in the 1980s, psychology is once again compelled to re-look at its relevance and appropriateness. Violence, adolescent risky behaviour, xenophobia and racism are among the many issues that community psychology is concerned with. More recently, psychology has sought to contribute to peace and safety promotion and raised questions about how corrosive politics erode a society’s sense of optimism and visions of a better future.
“The current psycho-social tensions in South Africa and around the world call for engagements such as these where psychologists, activists and researchers exchange ideas and strategies on how best to manage emerging societal challenges,” says SAMRC President Professor Glenda Gray. “The SAMRC is proud to have created a safe platform where compound concepts can be unpacked.”
The conference will be hosted by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), University of South Africa (UNISA) as well as the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA). This year’s theme, Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledges, Liberation and Community, aims to engage delegates in discussions that will result in the recognition of the plurality of people and communities and the many geographical, psychological and sociological spaces that they occupy.
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