Days until AFTA's Annual Meeting and Virtual Conference:
The Evolution of Voices:
Building Bridges Across Divides
June 24-26, 2021
*Early Bird registration ends May 31, 2021.
There is no overstating the precariousness of today. We’re fatigued, anxious, and paralyzed in the tension between our longing for the normality of times past and fear of returning to a world unchanged. Within the tension of compounding crises, the unique opportunity for change should not be beyond AFTA’s membership. This year’s Annual Meeting will boldly confront the most pressing issues of today while overtly addressing parallel processes between the long unresolved strains at the core of our macrosystemic discord and their manifestations within AFTA’s organizational structure.
During the meeting, we will engage in honest and open dialogues focused on various sensitive and politically-charged topics of today. By challenging ourselves to think beyond the teachings in alignment with our subjective worldviews, discussions will embrace the untapped wisdom discovered upon opening ourselves to the power of viewpoint diversity. Through a collective exploration of diverse approaches to address macrosystemic strains, we will aim to collectively unite around our shared goal of being effective while diffusing the subjective pursuit of being right. Our hope is that this will help prepare each of us, our community, and our organization to take on the important work of building bridges across the many divides that exist in our society today.
We are proud to host AFTA’s first-ever virtual conference and excited to offer plenty of opportunities to connect with old friends, create new connections, hear from new voices in the field, and continue to build our community of systemic researchers and clinicians.
Early Career Member Committee
The goals of this year’s conference are:
(1) To provide space for dialoguing across differences
(2) To give space to new voices in the field
(3) To provide space for our AFTA community to connect
Full Conference Program Brochure
*Click the image below to view the full document:
Bridging Our Present With Our Histories
Friday, June 25, 2021 8:00 am - 9:30 am PST/11:00 a - 12:30 pm EST
Facilitators: AFTA's Early Career Membership Committee
COVID-19 has ironically slowed down and sped up the number of issues and movements that demand our attention and action. In the earliest moments of this ongoing pandemic, on April 30th of 2020, a group of ECMs met to revitalize the committee’s overall activity and process our experience of ongoing happenings within The Academy and the world at large. That meeting marked the beginning of five early career members representing a diverse spread of identities and backgrounds that would spend the next 12 months meeting weekly to discuss all things AFTA, family therapy, and our experiences navigating the strains of establishing a voice in a profession we all care about deeply. Before we knew it, we became the planning committee for this year’s Annual Meeting.
In coming together, we started to use the language of family therapy theories that is common to all of us to understand what was happening in AFTA. We realized that the answers to many of the questions AFTA was facing could be found in what we already know as systemic researchers, educators, and clinicians. The conversation shifted from generating new solutions for old problems to rediscovering and innovating the teachings at the very foundation of systemic thinking. We started to view AFTA as a microcosm of the world at large. The many conversations we’ve engaged over the months informed our vision for this year’s conference, and this opening panel reflects upon this ongoing experience, all that we learned from one another along the way, and what we hope it will mean for AFTA’s future.
In this opening panel, we will share what we have learned from the relationships we’ve forged in this workgroup and the conversations we’ve had around the dilemma that AFTA is facing to inform how to bridge the gaps between. We hope this conversation will model one of many approaches to discourse we hope to discover and co-create in this meeting’s focus on dialoguing across differences.
Tea Time with Presenters
Friday, June 25, 2021 9:45 am - 11:15am PST/ 12:45 pm - 2:15 pm EST
Saturday, June 26, 2021 9:45 am - -11:15 am PST/ 12:45 pm - - 2:15 pm EST
Tea Time with Presenters is a two-part session. The first part is the discussion of pre-recorded presentations. The conference attendees will be provided with a link to all of the pre-recorded video presentations a week in advance. Please watch as many as you please at your leisure, and engage with the wealth and breadth of voices present in AFTA.
At the conference, attendees are welcome to attend one session of Tea Time with presenters at each of the scheduled times. Each Zoom room will have presenters from at least two of the pre-recorded presentations. Bring your coffee or your tea, and be ready to meet and interact with the authors about their presentations.
Friday, June 25, 2021 1:45 pm - 3:15pm PST/4:45 pm - 7:15 pm EST
Saturday, June 26, 2021 8:00 am - 9:30 am PST/11:00 am - 12:30 pm EST
The live brief presentations, although synchronous, will follow a familiar format. These sessions will include two presentations within each session, with time for discussion and attendee participation. Each presentation will be approximately 25-30 minutes long, with time for questions and answers.
Dear AFTA friends,
We would like to invite you to join us for a Friday evening Shabbat (Sabbath) service, which will take place on zoom on Friday, June 25, 6:15-7:15 PM east coast time. Everyone at AFTA is welcome: This service offers opportunities to join in or listen to some beautiful prayers, music and poetry; share some of our hopes, sorrows, losses, and gratitude; and surround ourselves with caring conference participants in an open-hearted, inclusive community.
Attached is the service that we will be using. We are also attaching a prayer from the Jewish Multicultural Network entitled “Kaddish for Black Lives” which will be read by Hinda Winawer. If you are joining us, please make a copy of the service since we are trying to avoid screen sharing—we would like to spend the time seeing each other’s faces.
If you attend and decide that you would like to light candles or have a glass of wine/grape juice/other beverage for the kiddush prayer, please have the candles and wine/juice available before we begin.
Looking forward to being with you at AFTA,
Marsha Mirkin and Mona Fishbane
Continuing Education Credits
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Support the 2021 Conference
The annual AFTA Conference facilitates robust dialogue for therapists committed to advancing the integration of social justice, systems theory, and family therapy practices. It brings together professionals committed to advancing family therapy research, theory, and practice that aligns with principles of justice, liberation, and equality. These professionals include students, early career therapists, and leading practitioners, researchers, and scholars in the family therapy profession.
Each year this innovative and enriching conference is made possible by generous donor support from people like you.