Ends on November 12, 2019

The NBCC Foundation (NBCCF) is accepting proposals from individuals interested in presenting at its 2020 Symposium: Bridging the Gap in Mental Health Disparities, to be held May 20–22, 2020, in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The theme for the Symposium is “Family Matters,” with an emphasis on counseling skills, research, and resources that can improve, strengthen, or enrich families that represent minority and other underserved communities.

We welcome applications from presenters who can provide creative and unique presentations that highlight evidence-based and promising practices or relevant research addressing traditional and non-traditional family constructs and lifestyles for various groups; internal dynamics of families; or topics related to advocacy, social justice, and ethical practices for families.

Here are the descriptions for each category:

  • Social Constructs and Cultures for Minority and Underserved Families – Topics that demonstrate an understanding of culturally sensitive counseling for minority/underserved families and their social constructs.
  • Internal Dynamics of Minority/Underserved Families – Topics that demonstrate an understanding of family strengths and challenges, and how family members relate to each other. 
  • Minority Families and Societal Institutions – Topics that demonstrate an understanding of family problems related to other institutions, such as the educational, governmental, religious, health care, and occupational institutions in society. Focus must be on counselor advocacy, social justice, or ethical questions as they relate to minority/underserved clients and professional counseling practice. 

Within each category, examples of acceptable content include, but are not limited to, the following:

Social Constructs and Cultures for Minority and Underserved Families

  • Counseling topics related to structures and functions of families (traditional and non-traditional, kinship definitions, healthy relationship patterns)
  • Counseling topics related to cultural variations (family heritage, social class, geography, ethnicity, race, and religion)
  • How historical issues affect today’s minority families 
  • Lifestyles (understanding of lifestyles of minority families and the lifestyles of families in various cultures in our society) 
  • Counseling topics related to changing gender roles (role expectations and behaviors of courtship partners, marital partners, parents and children, siblings, and extended family)
  • Challenges of maintaining traditional family structures in a non-traditional world
  • Counseling topics addressing family secrets and mental health stigma
  • Trends and research-based findings in family therapy with any minority group
  •  Counseling topics addressing or related to historical substance use in minority families and tools for substance use prevention in family therapy  

Internal Dynamics of Minority/Underserved Families

  • Marital relationships or intimate partner relationships (traditional or non-traditional)
  • Normal family stresses (transition   periods in the family life cycle, three-generation households, caring for the elderly, and dual careers) 
  • Decision-making and goal-setting in families
  • Culturally responsive counseling tools for conflict management in families
  • Family trauma, crises, and stress (including divorce, remarriage, death/grief/loss, financial hardship,   violence, abuse, addictions, and suicide survivors in families)
  • Parenting or parent–child relationships
  • Special needs in families (including adoptive, foster, low-income, military, and blended families as well as those members with chronic illness and/or disabilities)
  • Counseling topics addressing reproductive issues in minority or non-traditional families
  • Counseling topics addressing the intergenerational effects of suicide and tools and treatments for prevention and identifying risk factors 

Minority Families and Societal Institutions

  • Minority families and the law (relating to marriage, divorce, family support, child custody, child protection and rights, and family planning)
  • Policy and minority families (public policy as it affects the family, e.g., tax, civil rights, immigration, social   security, economic support laws)
  • Minority families and social services
  • Ethics of professional practice with minority families
  • Assessing and counseling immigrant family issues; unaccompanied minors
  • Minority families and education/schools
  • Societal relations (reciprocal influence of the major social institutions and families, i.e., governmental, religious, educational, health care, and economic)
  • Trends and research-based findings in family therapy with any minority group
  • Social justice, advocacy, and ethical practices related to minorities in counseling
  •  Assessing risk factors and preventing substance use or suicide in minority adolescents in public school systems  

Proposal and Policy Guidelines

Proposals to present must contain and convey sufficient detail to allow NBCCF’s Symposium Planning Committee to understand how the proposed presentation will contribute to the Symposium objectives. Selection is competitive, so you must submit a compelling and complete proposal.

  • Persons presenting at the Symposium are expected to use material and language that does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, and/or sexual orientation.
  • If your proposal is selected, NBCCF reserves the right, with your consent, to revise presentation titles, and/or edit the program summary for promotional and program materials.
  • NBCCF reserves the right to cancel a presentation based on noncompliance at any point. This includes, but is not limited to, failure to register for the Symposium by the due date, failure to return required documents by the due date (e.g., agreement, presentation materials, bios, photos), or failure to make presenter changes by the due date.

No more than two proposals from one speaker will be considered. Please complete a separate application for each proposal.

Presentation Types:
Presentations should be highly interactive, collaborative, and show the application of the outcomes of a research project or share findings on the implementation of effective, evidence-based practices. There are two presentation lengths: 90 minutes and 30 minutes.

  • Workshop Presentation: The 90-minute presentation will be a standard workshop format consisting of a presentation and brief Q&A session.
  • TED-style Talk: The 30-minute presentation format will follow a “TED Talk” format in that the presenter will share 30 minutes of content supported by high-quality visuals. The presentation is followed by small group discussion.

Presenter Benefits Provided by NBCCF:

  • Presenters (including co-presenters) receive a complimentary Symposium registration, including admission to the pre-Symposium events, concurrent presentations, and networking events. 
  • Presenters will receive a copy of their attendees’ evaluation report summary with presentation ratings and feedback after the Symposium.


NBCCF does not pay an honorarium or expenses for presenting at the Symposium, but we hope that the intangible benefits of being a part of our programming and sharing your expertise with an emerging group of mental health counselors make the effort worthwhile for presenters.

Call for Presenter Proposal Evaluation

Proposals are evaluated objectively with consideration of the following criteria:

  • Degree to which the proposed presentation meets the Symposium/program objectives
  • Presenter’s presentation skills and experience
  • Desirability of the topic
  • Clarity of learning objectives
  • Overall clarity of proposal

Evaluation timeline/schedule:

  • Oct. 1–Nov. 11 - NBCCF will be accepting proposal applications. Final submissions must be received by this date to be considered for evaluation and selection.
  • Nov. 11–Dec. 2 - Proposals reviewed.
  • Dec. 6 - Presenters notified if proposal has been accepted.

Other Speaker Requirements:

  • To acknowledge availability to speak during any timeframe of the event and as such will not request a change to the presentation time frame assigned, if selected.
  • To work closely with event programming department and meet all deadlines.
  • To design and provide high-quality PowerPoint presentations, in electronic format, by the deadline given.
  • To recognize that a presentation is an opportunity to share information and is not a showcase for promotion of business, practice, service, or product.