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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

21-22 October 2022

The 6th Community Psychology Festival will be jointly hosted by Solent University and the British Psychological Society (BPS).


Communities and the pursuit of liberation: Creativity, culture and connection

The festival is a friendly and accessible educational alternative to an academic conference with public participation at its heart. It is a celebration of the work of psychologists and community organisations and showcases initiatives that fit with our ethos and themes.

The festival will focus on community work and critical community psychology practice that is oriented around human rights, creativity, political activism, social change, community transformation, and radical practices of disruption. We welcome contributions from related disciplines and opportunities to collaborate with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

There are five thematic strands:

  1. Community workshop for the local community.
  2. Wellbeing and liberation.
  3. Creative approaches to distress.
  4. Connecting activist and progressive social movement and ideas.
  5. Living in times of crisis and the role of community psychology in the 21st century.

The festival has an international outlook and has hosted participants from Europe, Israel, the Americas, India, South Africa and New Zealand. It can be attended by anybody with an interest in psychology or community work.

We encourage delegates to come to both days of the conference, however, we realise this might not always be possible so a limited number of one-day tickets will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.The British Psychological Society logo, 'Promoting excellence in psychology'

Contribution submission key dates

Friday 10 June: Call for contributions opens

Tuesday 20 September: Deadline for call for contributions

Friday 7 October: Registration deadline

Register now

Keynote speakers

Professor Rebecca Lawthom

Rebecca Lawthom is a Professor of Community Psychology, a psychology that recognises inequality and takes context seriously. Professor Lawthom works with people collaboratively and recognises that people have answers, skills and expertise.

Professor Lawthom has engaged in research which includes and collaborates with people who may often be considered marginalised. Working with disabled people, migrants or those who are ageing, community psychology allows creative approaches which position people as experts.

View Professor Lawthom's profile

Sally Zlotowitz

Sally Zlotowitz is a Clinical and Community Psychologist who has spent over ten years working in the field of mental health innovation, redesigning services and addressing the social determinants of psychological health through various roles, including at the mental health charity for excluded young people, MAC-UK; as Director of Public Health and Prevention, within the Health Lab of the innovation for social good foundation, Nesta, and currently as CEO of the charity, Art Against Knives. She is Co-founder of Psychologists for Social Change, past Chair of the British Psychological Society's Community Psychology Section, and founding member of the Housing and Mental Health Network. She is Co-Editor of the new book The Palgrave Handbook of Innovative in Community and Clinical Psychologies. Sally is also passionate about nature-based spirituality and loves being around trees (as well as people!).

View Sally's profile

Dr Carl Walker

Carl Walker is a community psychologist from the University of Brighton and leads the psychology team in the school. He is on the British Psychological Society National Community Psychology section committee. Recently he co-founded the national group Psychologists against Austerity, and his recent research involves action research projects on wellbeing drawing on statistical activism. Carl’s main research interests include exploring the relations between debt, inequality and mental health and the use of community initiatives to work toward addressing mental health needs. He has used a range of social science methodologies to engage in collaborative, multi-stakeholder evaluations in the fields of health, mental health and wellbeing, disability, care and debt.

Carl has published widely in the field of mental health and community activism with nine books and over 50 peer reviewed publications. Carl is a Labour councillor and Deputy Leader of Worthing Borough Council where he is exploring a community psychology approach to town governance. As part of the Covid-19 response, he founded a local mutual aid group and foodbank charity, The Worthing Food Foundation, in his town. As part of the British Psychological Society Covid-19 Response, Carl was a member of the working group on Community Action and Resilience (CAR).

View Dr Walker's profile

Contact us

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Dr Daniel Connolly, Chair of the Organising Committee.

Email Daniel

About Solent University

Solent University is a flourishing community of academics, students and professional services staff with a reputation for the quality of our teaching, our engagement with industry, and for the employability of our graduates.

Within the Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences, we are particularly committed to social justice, research and knowledge exchange as it coheres with health and well-being.

Find out more about our courses

Solent University is located in the heart of Southampton's city centre. With excellent rail, air and road links, travelling to Solent is easy.

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