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Diversity Challenge - 2007




The Seventh Annual

Diversity Challenge 2007:

Race and Culture Intersections in Scientific Research and Mental Health Service Delivery for Children, Adolescents, and Families

Sponsored by the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture

OCTOBER 19-20, 2007

Boston College

Proposal Submission Deadline Has Passed

We invite you to view Diversity Challenge 2007 Abstracts

The Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College invites you to join us for the Institute's sixth annual national conference in Boston, a city known for its struggles and efforts to address issues of racial and ethnic cultural diversity in U.S. society. The Institute was founded in 2000 at Boston College, under the direction of Dr. Janet E. Helms, to promote the assets and address the societal conflicts associated with race and culture in theory and research, mental health practice, education, business, and society at large. The Institute attempts to solicit, design, and disseminate effective interventions with a proactive, practical focus. Each year the Institute addresses a racial or cultural issue that could benefit from a pragmatic, scholarly, or grassroots focus through its Diversity Challenge conference. The theme of Diversity Challenge 2007 is the examination of research, interventions, and strategies that have addressed the integration of race and ethnic culture in the lives of children, adolescents, and families in the United States.

Areas of Emphasis:
  • Mental Health
  • Treatment
  • Service Delivery
  • Education
  • Policy

According to the National Campaign Analysis of States (2003), which provides population estimates by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin, there are 41,671,778 adolescents between the ages of 10-19 years in the United States. This number accounts for approximately 14% of the U.S. population, and is the most culturally and racially diverse segment of society (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2004). In the absence of national epidemiological studies, the Center for Mental Helath Services estimates taht 20% or 13.7 million of our nation's children have a diagnosable mental disorder and about two-thirds of these children do not receive any mental health care (CMHS, 2005). Some of the major barriers to the effective use of mental health services include: lack of health insurance, limited access to mental health services in some insurance plans, abseence of appropriately trained providers on some insurance panels, lack of care appropriate for children and adolescents, geographic inaccessibility, fear of stigma, and differences in languages and cultural attitudes, and beliefs between service providers and potential recipients. Over the last four decades, the menatl health needs of children and adolescents have become the focus of increased attention among clinical researchers, which has resulted in extensive evidence of the efficacy of psychotherapy for mental health problems and disorders among youths (National Institute of Health, 2001; U.S. Public Helath, 2000). However, a recent methodological analysis of 236 acceptable published randomized trials, conducted from 1962 to 2002, found major gaps in the representation of ethnic minorities in these trials (Weisz, Doss, & Hawley, 2005). Even more important has been the lack of systematic integration of racial and cultural psychological factors into the treatment process and the absence of attention to families and schools as potential resources to promote positive mental health. Therefore, there is a need to discover what researchers and service deliverers know about the role of racial and cultural factors in the treatment of racial/ethnic minority children's mental health concerns.

We envision an interdisciplinary forum in which a variety of perspectives are explored. Proposals are welcome from researchers, practitioners, educators, medical service providers, employee assistance personnel, government agencies, spiritual healers, and providers of community services. Critical perspectives and creative ideas concerning the role of race and culture in the lives of children, adolescents and families are welcome.

Suggestions for Proposals

We invite proposals that reflect some aspect of your experiences in treating, teaching, or intervening to understand how race and culture influence the mental health and racial and ethnic minority children, adolescents, and families. The proposals may focus on any of these groups. Presentations should focus on developments in research, professional practice, education or social justice initiatives as they pertain to promoting the mental health and redressing the mental health disparities for these racial and ethnic minority communities. Topics may include, but are not limited to, applications of theory, as well as current research and practice related to (a) understanding the mental health issues of diverse racial and ethnic cultural age groups in the United States, (b) improving the quality of life for children, adolescents, and families from diverse backgrounds and immigration statuses, and (c) implementing and evaluating innovative and culturally competent mental health interventions in traditional and nontraditional environments. Strongest consideration will be given to proposals that deal directly with the Diversity Challenge theme, Race and Culture Intersections in Scientific Research and Mental Health Service Delievery for Children, Adolescents, and Families.


Presentation Formats

Workshop (90 minutes). An intensive presentation intended to share educational, organizational, or mental health experiences or empirically based knowledge with work or workers as its focus.

Symposium Panel (90 minutes). Three to five participants presenting individual papers on a related racial or cultural work-related theme from different perspectives. Symposium proposals typically have a chair and discussants.

Individual Presentation (20 to 30 minutes). Formal presentation of theoretical issues, experiential activities or research data related to curriculum or program development, mental health issues, and overcoming systemic barriers. Papers may be grouped together around similiar themes by the program reviewers.

Structured Discussion (45 minutes). Conveners present a theme and facilitate group discussion intended to generate new ideas and solve related problems.

Poster (75-minute poster session). Poster presenters will display information with a racial or ethnic cultural focus intended to impart educational, teaching, research, programmatic, or other experiences related to workplace or workers.

The poster session will occur on Saturday of the Diversity Challenge during the lunchtime hour. Box lunches will be available for conference attendees for a small additional fee during that time. We expect the poster session to draw a number of viewers.

posterPoster presenters be provided with 4 foot wide by 3 foot tall section of white corkboard on which to mount their poster slides. Tables on which to place the self-standing corkboards will be provided as well as push pins with which to mount presenters' paper slides. In the past, poster presenters have printed an outline of their presentation (introduction, methods, results, discussion OR introduction to the issue, overview of research and or activism process, and current state of affairs) in a legible font size over several sheets of 8.5X11" paper. Some presenters have added creative touches to their slides by then mounting them on differently colored paper, etc. The section of corkboard presenters have to work with comfortably holds between eight and nine 8.5X11" sheets of paper. Also, it is customary for poster presenters to have copies of the outline or ideally copies of a paper derived from the project on hand for poster session attendees to have if interested. Some poster presenters have also brought copies of their business cards (or contact information) to facilitate networking with interested parties.

Any further questions regarding the poster session or above formats can be sent to

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