Day 1 | Wednesday, October 20th  


Keynote Speaker | It's not the People: It's the place! Reimagining Human Services | 1:30 pm- 2:20 pm EST
Presented by: Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Jr - Postponed until Thursday, October 21st from 12:50 - 1:40 pm EST

This presentation explores the question: Can you significantly improve the lives of low-income populations and enable them to realize physical, mental, and social well-being without changing the places where they live, play, and raise a family? The presentation examines this question by analyzing the experiences of low-income groups. It discusses the contradiction between the abundant neighborhood effects literature and the projects, programs, and activities that target people, including mobility strategies to get low-income groups out of underdeveloped communities, rather than transforming these places into great neighborhoods. It concludes by asking: If we cannot eliminate poverty,  can we radically change what it means to be poor?

Learning Objectives:
1. TBD
2. TBD
3. TBD
4. TBD
5. TBD

Get to know the presenter:

Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. is a historian, urban planner, and social activist. He is a full professor in the University at Buffalo Department of Urban and Regional Studies, coordinator of the department's neighborhood planning and community development specialization, the Center for Urban Studies' founding director, and an associate director of the Community Health Equity Research Institute. A historian and urban planner, Taylor's work explore the relationship between the city-building, race and underdeveloped neighborhoods in the United States and Cuba. He has written numerous articles, technical reports and has authored or edited five books. He is currently completing a book, From Harlem to Havana: the Nehanda Isoke Abiodun Story (in-progress), SUNY Press. Taylor’s current research activities focus on land valuation, racial residential segregation, and health and underdeveloped neighborhoods.

Taylor has received numerous awards, including the 2018 Marilyn J. Gittell Activist-Scholar Award by the Urban Affairs Association, the nation's largest urban affairs organization. Taylor has been cited in numerous publications, including Time Magazine, New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and many others. He has also spoken at many of the nation's leading universities, including Brown, University of Pennsylvania, the University of North Carolina, and the Universidad de la Habana in Cuba.

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Unlocking the Lockdown: Repairing Harm, Restoring Relationships and Building Strong Communities | 2:30 pm- 3:20 pm EST
Presented by: Julie Hilt and Dr. Saki Cabrera, Ph.D

This interactive workshop will present two programs designed to address the racial and ethnic disparity in the juvenile justice system by interrupting entry points into the system. The Juvenile Community Accountability Program (JCAP), is a community-based alternative to formal court filing for a young person charged with a low level of offending. The Noah Project is a mentoring program that matches marginalized youth with a trained mentor from their community. Both programs encourage their mentee to make positive choices, stay in school, and engage in pro-social behavior.

Participants will explore the ways restorative practices can be used to build community connections between our young people and the members of their community, deepen their capacity for empathy, and prevent recidivism.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to contrast the current model of juvenile justice with the benefits and application of restorative practices.
2. Participants will be able to develop a restorative program within their own communities.
3. Participants will interpret how a diversion program is used to reduce the rate of recidivism.

Get to know the presenter:

Julie Hilt is the founder of Alternative Restorative Communities (ARC), LLC, where she collaborates with community partners to create programs that work to address the racial and ethnic disparity in the juvenile justice system. Julie came to California from London, England. Her work is greatly influenced by research and methods that have been pioneered in the UK, bringing a more global perspective to juvenile justice.

Dr. Saki Cabrera, a first generation bi-cultural and bi-lingual Puerto Rican native of Bronx, New York, serves as faculty in the departments of Psychology and Human Services at Solano College, where she also coordinates the Human Services program and served as the Accreditation Coordinator. A NIH and Kellogg scholar, Saki’s overall interests include evaluation research, program development (blending theory with practice), quality assurance, grant writing, and training. She is committed to strengthening wellness in communities locally and abroad and founded an organization with that interest in mind: Stronger Communities.   Saki has successfully led various federal, state, and local funded research & community-based projects and has developed, implemented and evaluated programs focused on diverse aspects related to behavioral health, substance use, pregnancy prevention and is currently working on a collaborative to support justice involved youth. Familia means everything to her!

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Self-Care for Helping Professional- Taking Care of YOU While Taking Care of Everyone Else | 2:30 pm- 3:20 pm EST
Presented by: Jessica Brubaker, LPC

Self-care is not a new concept. It is, however, one that is glossed over by many helping professionals as it relates to our own lives. We can provide care for others, but when the time comes to direct our time and energy to taking care of ourselves, we deem it to be less important (sometimes subconsciously) and simply don’t do it. Self-Care is more than a pedicure once a month. It lives in our intentions, our routines and our decision to ensure that we are nurturing the relationship we have with ourselves while taking care of others.

Learning Objectives:
1. Be able to identify and define Self-Care as it relates to relationship with self
2. Be able to recognize the areas of our life where we are lacking in self-care
3. Be able to create and implement plans for ensuring that self-care is occurring in our lives
4. Be able to reflect and revise the plans we have made in order to continue to engage in the practice of self-care.

PowerPoint Slides are now Available!

Get to know the presenter:

Jessica Brubaker is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holds a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences education and master’s degree in professional counseling from Grand Canyon University. She has 12 years of experience in education, both as a classroom teacher in Child and Human Development and Career Exploration, and a School Counselor in a large public school. Jessica has worked as an adolescent therapist in an intensive outpatient therapy program for the past 5 years and is currently serving as the Clinical Director for Transitions Counseling in the Phoenix area.  When she is not working in a clinical capacity, Jessica is passionate about spreading the word about self-care through her blog and podcast, Brutiful Journey.  

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Fostering Wellness, Personal, and Professional Growth: The Human Services Internship at Guttman Community College | 2:30 pm- 3:20 pm EST
Presented by: Nicole Kras, Ph.D., HS-BCP and Anya Spector, Ph.D., LMSW

Completing a 250-hour unpaid human services internship is a challenge for community college students, who must balance coursework, and in many cases, paid work and caregiving responsibilities. These challenges were exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic, which in addition to moving coursework and internships online, disproportionately impacted our students who come from the communities hardest hit by morbidity, mortality, and economic hardship. To help support our students through this difficult transition, we developed a student-centered, inclusive, binary remote internship model aimed at fostering wellness, increasing access to professional skill development, personal growth and self-care, and advancing emerging professional identity. Our binary model leverages two types of internships, coupled with structured and sustained ancillary support from a team of trained senior undergraduate and masters level peer supervisors, called field associates.

PowerPoint is Now Available!

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the components of our remote binary internship model
2. Explain the role of field associates in our remote binary internship model 
3. Identify best practices in human services fieldwork program design 
4. Discuss support structures for human services students completing their fieldwork requirements

Get to know the presenters:

Dr. Kras is Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Human Services at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College (A City University of New York). She currently serves as a Council for Standards in Human Services self-study reader and on the NEOHS Executive Board.

Dr. Spector is an Assistant Professor of Human Services at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. Her research focuses on the emergence of professional identity in community college human services students, and the practices of psychosocial health providers working at the intersection of substance use, and HIV.

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Case Management 101: Responding to Diverse Needs | 2:30 pm- 3:20 pm EST
Presented by: Dr. Saki Cabrera, Ph.D

Ever felt that you were competent in your training but not sure how you would effectively serve someone that was different from your lived experience?  I know I do often!  Providing culturally responsive services will enable a service provider to link consumers to services relevant to their assessed needs and monitor their progress in a manner that respects and includes the consumer and their beliefs and practices. The provision of such culturally responsive services may positively influence the consumer to implement plans collaboratively designed to promote wellness in various domains of their life.  So, if the goal is to be inclusive and for consumers to sustain wellness, I look forward to us scratching the surface together to review the major processes of case management, consider the ethical and legalities of providing services to diverse consumers, review the characteristics and practices of a culturally responsive case manager and practice linking clients to services relevant to their assessed needs in a culturally responsive way.  We all need to start somewhere!

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the major processes of case management
2. Consider the ethical and legalities of providing services to diverse consumers
3. Review the characteristics and practices of a culturally responsive case manager
4. Practice linking clients to services relevant to their assessed needs in a culturally responsive way

Get to know the presenter:

Dr. Saki Cabrera, a first generation bi-cultural and bi-lingual Puerto Rican native of Bronx, New York, serves as faculty in the departments of Psychology and Human Services at Solano College, where she also coordinates the Human Services program and served as the Accreditation Coordinator. A NIH and Kellogg scholar, Saki’s overall interests include evaluation research, program development (blending theory with practice), quality assurance, grant writing, and training. She is committed to strengthening wellness in communities locally and abroad and founded an organization with that interest in mind: Stronger Communities.   Saki has successfully led various federal, state, and local funded research & community-based projects and has developed, implemented and evaluated programs focused on diverse aspects related to behavioral health, substance use, pregnancy prevention and is currently working on a collaborative to support justice involved youth. Familia means everything to her!

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Healing Generational Trauma Through Affirmative Anti-Oppressive Practices | 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm EST
Presented by: Valeria Walker, LCSW, ACSW and Ruben Gerena, MS

This session invites participants to revisit the history, values, and engagement practices of our profession through a trauma and justice lens. Whether we journey alongside individuals in recovery, collaborate with colleagues in education and practice settings, reach and inspire students or lead in organizations, we have an opportunity to validate and affirm the lived experiences of community members who are impacted by compounded trauma and oppression.

As essential workers this past year, human services professionals have innovated, collaborated and regenerated to meet the growing service and advocacy needs of individuals and communities that have been deeply impacted by multiple pandemics. In diverse and inter-disciplinary practice settings, we have witnessed greater inequities in social determinants of well-being in minoritized and marginalized communities. We have responded to complex needs and trauma of those we journey alongside on their healing and recovery journeys.

We know the roots of our profession are incredible and imperfect. We know our values hold us accountable for social, racial, economic and environmental justice, and for realizing and dismantling the impact of oppressive systems. Our present responsibility to advance equity and increase our capacity to leverage anti-oppressive practices seems to be new ground! The personal has become political, and the political personal for many of our Black Indigenous and Persons of Color clients, colleagues and communities, as well as white allies. As we see the unseeable images of persons and groups targeted by racialized violence amidst health care disparities and bias in service delivery, what does our profession call us to do?

This interactive, personal, truth-telling session is an invitation to travel with us to bear witness to community experiences, BIPOC practitioner and colleague experiences. All of us, BIPOC and white colleagues alike, are navigating roles, spaces and systemic structures that present unfamiliar challenges and opportunities. The session will bridge anti-racist practices and healing-centered engagement, as an accountable response to the calling of our human services values. We will address the need for reframing language and reclaiming lived experiences so that we lift up our core values and culturally grounded practice models. And most importantly, we will move forward to create healing and brave spaces to do the work of healing and justice, together.
(NOHS can use the first and last paragraph if the description is too long.)

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify historical roots of systemic racism within the context of human services practice and its impact on intersectional cultural identities
2. Increase understanding of culturally inclusive language, values and ethics applications.
3. Recognize tenets of trauma informed practice through a racial justice perspective
4. Identify ways in which healing-centered engagement strategies can contribute to anti-oppressive practices on individual, organizational and community systems levels.
5. Increase competence in culturally grounded practice strategies and models

Get to know the presenters:

Valerie Walker, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, serves as Director of Social Work at National Louis University. Valerie pursued her education at University of Iowa and Jane Addams College of Social Work in Psychology and Social Work, and continued training on Servant Leadership, Facilitation, immersive learning and transnational field study. Valerie brings decades of experience in direct practice, advocacy, community organizing, clinical supervision, non-profit leadership and academia to her present role. Valerie is recognized for clinical, consultation and training skills across diverse community sectors, university settings, practitioners and organizations. Her field work and professional development embraces international human services, intimate violence, social justice immersion curricula, culturally grounded practice and organizational development. Dedicated to her community, she offers her skills, experience and leadership as a diversity dialogues facilitator, Heart of Anti-racism group facilitator, “safe church” consultant, community-based special needs soccer program director, Board Officer for Mundelein (IL) STAND UP, and Advisory member for Camp Kupugani multicultural summer camp. Her most important work is parenting four spirited youth and adult children.

Rubén is currently serving as an Assistant Professor and Interim Chair, Human Services in the Undergraduate College at National Louis University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from Phoenix University and his master’s degree in nonprofit management from Spertus College. Before arriving to National Louis University, Rubén spent over 20 years working with youth in the city of Chicago. Rubén has mentored youth in the Alternative School System and has been a part of managing and creating a large array of youth focused programs across the city of Chicago that are still impacting communities. Ruben has also worked with Cook County Juvenile Probation to provide cultural programming with a focus on Restorative Justice. Rubén loves to teach and is no stranger to the classroom. Rubén has also been an Adjunct Instructor at NLU and an Instructor with Alternative Schools Systems. Ruben loves working with students. In addition, Rubén is a Master Drum Maker and has taught hundreds of youth and adults to make their own drums as a method of helping people reaffirm their own cultural identity.

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Standard 35: The Ethics and Importance of Self-Care as a Human Service Professional| 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm EST
Presented by Shelly Houser, BS

By examining ethical Standard 35, this presentation will explore the meaning of competence and self-care, apply ethical standards to relevant cases, review and discuss case studies in small groups, self-identify stressors, and create our sustainable self-care plans. Shelly will analyze ethical expectations, and various decision-making models will be introduced. As a parent, partner, student, employee, and volunteer, Shelly knows a call for unity is not a "feel good" rally cry but rather a call to action to develop ways to sustain wellness, hope, and community. It is vital both personally and professionally to Be Present, Be Grateful, and Be Helpful in everything we do.

PowerPoint is now Available!

Learning Objections:
1. By the end of the presentation, professionals will be able to identify what and who their stressors are in their personal and professional life.
2. Professionals will be able to describe the difference between competence and self-care and how they are related.
3. Based on their personal assessments, the audience will create a self-care plan that is easy to implement into their daily routine to create a sustainable work-life balance.
4. After reviewing relative case studies and decision making models, professional will be able to identify how to use them in their work and personal life.
5. After the review of the case studies professionals will understand how to utilize ethics and standards in their work.

Get to know the presenter:

Shelly Houser brings a lifetime of experiences and knowledge from being a congenital hemipelvectomy (no hip/leg) amputee who has gone on to have three healthy children. Working as a Disability Resource Manager in a Center for Independent Living, Shelly collaborates with local universities and businesses to educate them on best practices in diversity, inclusion, disability rights, and awareness. When she is not writing speeches and creating presentations, Shelly is busy producing, hosting, and editing the DisAbiltiy Talks company podcast.

Finishing her Master's degree in human services this year, Shelly has begun to brand her upcoming business, Inclusive Consulting, to expand her relationships and further her passions. Certified in medical simulations, Shelly is in her seventh year co-teaching as an amputee at Villanova University's Nursing Department. She co-wrote the first Postpartum Amputee simulation in the US. In 2019, Shelly received the Region III Advocacy Award from NCIL- National Council on Independent Living.

In her personal life, Shelly enjoys three-track skiing and hiking with her husband of 25 years, hosting foreign exchange students, volunteering in the community, and baking.

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Peer Mentoring to Foster Professional Skills and Build Communities in Human Service Programs | 4:30 pm - 5:20 pm EST
Presented by Sara Kotzin, LCSW, DSW, Khushmand Rajendran, Teisha Prince, Sarah-Jane Mahotiere, and Atasha Ramsundarsingh

This presentation will highlight the lessons learned by Human Service students who served as Peer Mentors in the fully remote intro level courses to meet the program requirements for an internship in Human Services. The adaptation necessitated by the global pandemic, provided senior Human Service students with professional experiences as mentors to incoming students and an active role in developing the platform. This program offers clues on how community colleges could create similar programs to enable students to support each other through uncertain times while developing professional skills for their future careers. The creative format, activities, strategies and virtual exercises created by students will be presented.

Learning Objectives:
1. To explore the lessons learned by faculty and students in using peer mentoring as a bridge between students' classroom learning and real-world situations in building a variety of professional human service roles.
2.  To share students' experiences in the use of technology to create learning communities to support their peers.
3. To present activities (e.g. self-care, study skills, group quizzes etc.) initiated by student mentors to enhance the learning environment and build community.
4. After reviewing relative case studies and decision making models, professional will be able to identify how to use them in their work and personal life.
5. After the review of the case studies professionals will understand how to utilize ethics and standards in their work.

Get to know the presenter:

Sara Kotzin, LCSW, DSW, is a trauma social worker in private practice and teaches Human Services and Social Work as an adjunct professor at BMCC and Lehman College. She received her doctorate in social work from University of Pennsylvania, where she developed and studied the effectiveness of a play-based, trauma-sensitive classroom intervention. She is currently developing, researching and writing about interventions that build connection and resilience using a trauma-informed, anti-racist lens.

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No Matter Where You Go, There You Are: The Importance of Self Care | 4:30 pm - 5:20 pm EST
Presented by Linda Chamberlain, PsyD, HS-BCP

This presentation focuses on how Human Services professionals learn to take care of themselves as we are working to care for others. Sustaining wellness and hope in our own lives is critical for our effectiveness and longevity in the profession. We'll explore how we keep our balance, preserve our mental and physical health, and build supportive connections. This is the hardest work anyone can do and we can only do it if we care about ourselves as well as others.

Learning Objectives:
1. Create an awareness of the importance of self care for Human Services professionals
2.  Invite a dialogue to share ideas about maintaining wellness and hope
3. Review some effective methods of caring for ourselves
4. Invite attendees to create a wellness plan for themselves
5. Encourage the creation of on-going practices to care for ourselves

PowerPoint is now Available!

Get to know the presenter:

Dr. Linda Chamberlain is a licensed Psychologist and Professor with the Social and Human Services program at Pasco-Hernando State College in New Port Richey, Florida. She has worked as both an educator and clinician in the field of Human Services and Psychology for over 40 years. Dr. Chamberlain has authored or edited several books including Practicing Psychotherapy: Lessons on Helping Patients and Growing as a Professional published in 2021 by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. She has been an invited speaker at local, national, and international conferences.


 The Interrelationship or Interconnection between Cultural Humility and Human Services| 4:30 pm - 5:20 pm EST
Presented by Dr. Cecilia Willis

This session will explore the basic concepts of cultural humility and their relationship to the effective delivery of human services. The focus of the discussion will be a brief history of the evolution of cultural humility, the implementation of human services and related expectations and outcomes. Strategies for effective communication and actions will be presented

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the interconnectedness of theory, practice and the development and delivery of human services from a cross cultural perspective.
2.  Analyze ways the Human Services Profession has addressed cross cultural competence.
3. Construct a framework for understanding culture, race, identity and related factors that impact theory and practive in human services.

Get to know the presenter:

Dr Cecilia Douthy Willis is a tenured Professor in the Department of Human Services at Springfield College in Springfield, MA. She has worked in the field of Human Services for more than 40 years. Dr Willis has worked on the federal, state, and local levels to design, implement and evaluate effective human services programs. Her fields of interest have been Early Childhood Education; Family Systems; Organizational Efficiency; Addictions; and the Adult Learner. Although she has worked at the Executive level of programs, she says her passion has always been in the preparation of human services professionals to meet the needs of those they serve. She often says “Serving others, as you would want someone to serve your own, will most often result in a positive outcome.

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