The Seventh Annual
Culture Counts Conference

Friday, May 17, 2019
8:30a.m. – 3:30p.m.

The Conference Center at Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07043

The Seventh Annual Culture Counts Conference will explore the many intersections that occur between social justice, cultural identities, mental health and substance use needs, and the provision of service. Current events in the United States and across the globe indicate the need for increased awareness of and sensitivity towards individual identities and the influence of these identities on help-seeking behaviors. A choice of one morning and one afternoon workshop will provide participants with knowledge and skills imperative to recognizing and appreciating the many ways in which their clients cultural identities and needs intersect with the society around them and the provision and reception of services.

 Conference Learning Objectives

  • Describe the significance of the intersections between an individual’s cultural identities and mental health and substance use needs as related to culturally competent  services, organizations, and systems.
  • Gain perceptual, interpretative, and evaluative skills essential for providing socially just, inclusive, appropriate, and effective services.

Conference Agenda:

Registration and Continental Breakfast, 8:30 – 9:00a.m.
Keynote Address, Anthony NicoteraJD, DSW, LSW 9:00 – 10:00a.m.

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Deepening Our Commitment to Social Justice Practice
This one-hour keynote presentation will highlight the powerful, pivotal, and prophetic role all mental health professionals can and must play at this critical moment in history. We will briefly discuss social work’s commitment to social justice as a core value and central ethical principle. The presentation will include excerpts from Anthony Nicotera’s Circle of Insight Teaching Note, published in the Journal of Social Work Education, and incorporate lessons from his social justice, spirituality, and multi-faith leadership courses as well as experiences and insights from his domestic and international community-based work. Participants will gain tools and resources to use in their daily practice to help then move toward deeper, more transformative and liberating social justice practice.

Learning Objectives

  • Define the importance of social justice in service provision in the U.S.’s current social and political climate
  • Describe the relevance of the Circle of Insight tool to providing social just services
  • List tools and resources for developing socially just practices

CE: 1 Cultural Competence 

Morning Workshops (participants will attend one), 10:15a.m. – 12:15p.m. Please click the title of each workshop for a full course description.

  1. The Circle of Insight: Promoting Social Justice
  2. Looking at Mental Health Through the Lens of Stigma and Race: Implications for Assessment, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Service Delivery
  3. Genograms & You: A Tool for Understanding Ourselves, Our Families, and Our Clients
  4. The Culture of Substance Use Disorder and Its Impact on Families

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Afternoon Workshops (participants will attend one), 1:15 – 3:15 p.m. Please click the title of each workshop for a full course description.

  1. Neurodiversity and the Family System
  2. Addressing “‘Isms” and Fostering Cultural Competence in Caring for Diverse Populations
  3. If Gay Means Happy, Why am I Always Getting High?
  4. Faith, Spirituality, and Mental Health

FAMILYConnections, Provider #1252, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. FAMILYConnections maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB ACE Approval Period: 01/10/2017 – 01/10/2020. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive 5 continuing education clock hours, type of credit dependent upon workshop assignment.
NJ Social workers: This conference has been submitted to the ASWB for approval for continuing education credits.
FAMILYConnections, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6604. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Counselors will receive 5 CE hours.

FAMILYConnections is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

In accordance with ASWB and NBCC guidelines, all participants must sign-in and sign-out of each session they attend and complete a course evaluation  for that session and an overall conference evaluation in order to receive CEs. Partial credit will not be given to those arriving late or leaving early.

Target Audience:
Social workers, counselors, and other mental health and substance use professionals

Registration is open to staff of DMHAS-contracted mental health and substance abuse agencies and self-help centers. Attendance is free of charge. 

Registration deadline: Friday, May 3, 2019
Cancellation deadline: Friday, May 10, 2019

Directions, Parking, and Facilities:
Please visit:
Detailed directions will be sent to participants in a confirmation email.

Parking vouchers will be provided for all participants.

If you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Niki Stromko, Manager of CultureConnections, at 973-323-3454.

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