Day-long Conference Focuses on Immigrant Experiences, Mental Health and Well-Being
by Leah Schmerl


Coming to America in the 21st Century is the First Major Event Organized by SFC's New Forum on Migration

Leading academics, mental-health clinicians and advocates will take part in Coming to America in the 21st Century, a day-long conference on March 29th that will shed light on often-overlooked daily challenges immigrants face, and reveal treatments and programs that improve their mental health and well-being.

The conference is the first of two flagship events to kick off the college's new Forum on Migration, an education center that promotes immigration research, and provides tools and resources for the growing numbers of immigrants, migrants and refugees in the St. Francis community and beyond.

Philip Kasinitz, Ph.D., will deliver the event's keynote address, entitled The War on Immigrants Meets the War on Crime. The Presidential Professor of sociology at CUNY graduate center, Dr. Kasinitz is one of the nation's top experts on immigration and race relations.

Judith Kuriansky, Ph.D., a widely-cited clinical psychologist who is an adjunct professor at Columbia University Teachers College, will close the conference with an address about psychological support for refugees and migrants.

Among the day's other 20 presenters and student participants include:

Uwe P. Gielen, Ph.D., the Professor Emeritus of St. Francis' psychology department and a pioneer in the field of cross-cultural psychology, who will present research on Chinese immigrant experiences.

Roy Aranda, Psy.D., J.D., 2016 NYSPA President and President of the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals, who will speak to challenges among the Latin immigrant population.

Jean Lau Chin, Ed.D., a Professor at Adelphi University and Candidate for APA President-Elect, who will discuss immigration trends in New York City's Chinatown.

Elaine Congress DSW, LCSW, associate dean and professor at Fordham University's Graduate School of Social Service, who will present on United Nation's efforts to combat xenophobia.

"We hope this event contributes the Forum on Migration's three key goals," said Daniel Kaplin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Forum on Migration at St. Francis College "Those are to develop and showcase immigration-related scholarship, to improve the mental-health practice as it relates to immigrants' needs, and to assemble and deploy resources that advocate for immigrants' well-being."

Coming to America in the 21st Century is co-sponsored by St. Francis College, New York State Psychological Association, several division and regional psychological associations, and several individual benefactors.

On April 25th, the SFC Forum on Migration will host a second conference, organized by Halyna Lemekh Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Francis and the Forum's other co-director.