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The NBCC Foundation (NBCCF) is accepting proposals from individuals interested in presenting at its 2021 Bridging the Gap Symposium: Eliminating Mental Health Disparities, to be held May 26–28, 2021, in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The theme for the Symposium is Making Spaces for Unseen Faces, with an emphasis on counseling skills, research, and resources that can improve, strengthen, or enrich the lives of individuals who 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 ways to serve and bridge the gap for: people of color, Indigenous peoples, women, members of the military and their families, differently abled individuals, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Here are the descriptions for each category: 

  • Application of Therapeutic Principles to Social Issues – Topics that demonstrate an understanding of socially conscious issues and culturally sensitive counseling practices for minority and underserved clients.   
  • The Intersectionality of a Global Crisis and the Implications on Mental Health – Topics that demonstrate an understanding of complexities of managing mental health during a pandemic when serving minority and underserved clients.  
  • Minority Clients and Societal Institutions –  Topics that demonstrate an understanding of problems related to preventing and addressing racism, discrimination, and other social barriers to care in educational, governmental, religious, health care, occupational, and other societal institutions. Focus must be on counselor advocacy, social justice, or ethical questions as they relate to minority and underserved clients or professional counseling practices.   
  • Surviving or Thriving: Counselor Wellness in the Age of Advocacy – Counselors who are serving as advocates and facilitators of their clients’ and communities’ progress toward social justice and equity must also care for themselves and allow themselves space for rejuvenation and respite. Sessions aligned with this category will focus on research, tools, and strategies to help counselors thrive. 
  • Leadership and Advancing Advocacy – Sessions in this category will focus on the importance of counselor leadership and political engagement. Leveraging counselor strengths for positive community impact will be a key focus. 

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. Please note the word/character limit as described below. NBCCF will adjust bios, titles, descriptions, and objectives that do not meet this requirement.  
  • Biography – 250 words 
  • Presentation Title  – 100 characters 
  • Description and Objectives (combined) – 250 words 
  • NBCCF follows the style guide set forth by NBCC and Affiliates, and any edits necessary to conform with these requirements will be made. 
  • 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 three presentation lengths: 90 minutes, 45 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. 
  • Roundtable Session: These sessions are intended to be true roundtable discussions in which 10–12 participants occupy a table in order to discuss and learn more about the topic. The framework is as follows: facilitate quick introductions, set a context for the discussion for approximately 10 minutes, and facilitate a discussion around questions that the participants have. The facilitated session will last for approximately 45 minutes. 
  • TED-Style Talk: The 30-minute presentation format will follow a TED-Style Talk format in that the presenter will share 30 minutes of content supported by high-quality visuals. The presentation is followed by 15 minutes of group discussion or a Q&A session.  

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 as applicable.  
  • 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 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: 

  • Aug. 15–Oct. 31: Application period open.
  • Nov. 1–Dec. 1: Proposals reviewed. 
  • Dec. 15: Presenters notified if proposal has been accepted. 

Other Speaker Requirements: 

  • Acknowledge availability to speak during any time frame of the event and do not request a change to the presentation time frame assigned, if selected. 
  • Work closely with event programming department and meet all deadlines. 
  • Design and provide high-quality PowerPoint, Prezi, or other similar presentations, in electronic format, by the deadline given. 
  • Recognize that a presentation is an opportunity to share information and is not a showcase for promotion of business, practice, service, or product.  
  • Acknowledge that although this event is being planned as an in-person event, circumstances may require the event to be delivered in a virtual format. Please take this into consideration when answering the question(s) related to adapting your presentation to a virtual format. 
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.