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GSAPP Cultural Conference November 8th, 2013

This year's 10th Anniversary Cultural Conference was a great success. Many attendees commented that this was the best cultural conference yet. Two hundred professionals and students came together from varying disciplines, (psychologists, social workers, counselors and educators), to increase their cultural competence through a series of presentations, lectures, role plays and performances. The Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology and its long time co-sponsors, the School of Social Work-Institute for Families and the Graduate School of Education, were joined this year by 10 endorsing agencies: Answer, American Family Therapy Academy, Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi)/NJ Chapter, The Center for Family, Community, and Social Justice, GLSEN Central New Jersey, Latino/a Psychological Association of New Jersey, M&S Psychotherapy and Counseling, Multicultural Family Institute, Los Ninos Services/Young Child Expo & Conference, and The Tyler Clementi Center.

The morning keynote address “The Meaning of Home, A Life-Cycle Journey” was presented by two nationally known clinicians, Monica McGoldrick, LCSW and Nydia Garcia-Preto, LCSW. Monica McGoldrick, is the Director of the Multicultural Family Institute. She is a teacher, author and family therapist. Nydia Garcia-Preto is the Associate Director of the Multicultural Family Institute. She is a teacher, presenter, and family therapist. These two renowned presenters introduced the audience to the varying conceptualizations of home and how these ideas may come up in therapy. The presentation include a summary of the thinking on the significance of home for a multicultural systems perspective, a description on the person meaning for each of the presenters, and partnered discussions about different aspects of home. The partnered discussions were unique in that it required individuals to interact with new people and reflect on person perspective, as well and clinically relevant content.

After the morning keynote presentation, participants broke out into the morning session breakouts.
Read about the morning workshops.

The afternoon keynote address presented by Mykee Fowlin, PsyD was a moving performance piece titled “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me.” Dr. Fowlin, better known as Mykee, is a GSAPP alumni. His programs combine both his professional acting talents and his psychological training. His mission is to create an atmosphere of worldwide inclusion, not just tolerance, towards all people. He has worked extensively with all age groups in the United States and in other countries. His work has included peer mediation, diversity trainings, gender equity workshops, and violence prevention seminars. He hopes that all audience members will leave his performance with that wonderful, awakening feeling of beauty: the beauty within one’s self and the beauty within others; the celebration of our differences, and the acceptance of our shared experiences.

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At the conference he performed a piece that brought to light the ills of perception and judgment before true understanding of individual circumstance. Mykee uses acting to portray psychological concepts to a wide and diverse audience. In this presentation, he portrayed several characters, each with a complex story hidden beneath some superficial presentation. This comedic, heart pulling, dramatic presentation inspired much thought and reflection on the issue of looking beyond initial presentation as well as the use of artistic modalities to broaden the understanding of psychological concepts with hard-to-reach populations.

Following the afternoon keynote attendees dispersed to four workshops.
Read about the afternoon workshops.