Congratulations to Dr Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir, Dr Laura McGrath, Dr Evangelos Ntontis and Dr Sandra Obradovic in the School of Psychology & Counselling (The OU), who have successfully secured the Open Psychology Research Centre (OPRC) fund and have been accepted to present at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico in June, 2022.
SPSSI is Division 9 of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a group of over 3000 scientists from psychology and related fields and others who share a common interest in research on the psychological aspects of important social and policy issues. The theme of SPSSI’s 2022 conference in June is ‘Reenergizing ourselves and our communities: Connections beyond borders and barriers’, and the overarching aim is to address how the communities we belong to can be sources of connections, resources, support, and resilience.
Through the OPRC funding, Nihan, Laura, Evangelos, and Sandra are organizing a symposium titled ‘Overcoming distance: complexities in facilitating community connection and support’. The symposium will address the physical and psychological distance that can manifest in various spaces in the social lives of groups and individuals, and how we can overcome it to create conditions for more equitable societies. Sandra Obradovic will examine how voters engage with the perspectives of other people in the context of group-based dialogues. Focussing on experiential distance, Laura McGrath will discuss the role of art and music in facilitating community connection and mutual understanding for those with mental health difficulties. Next, Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir will discuss the dynamics of people’s perceptions and understandings for supporting victims of global emergencies across large geographical distances. Finally, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Evangelos Ntontis will discuss the role of mutual aid groups in the United Kingdom in mobilizing social support for their local communities, and how such groups can be sustained over time.
We anticipate that the symposium will lead to engaging discussions with other participants and hopefully lead to fruitful future collaborations.
For more information about the event, please visit the SPSSI conference page.