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Cesar Chavez Conference focuses on behavioral health

March 25, 2008

Hundreds of behavioral health professionals from communities across Arizona will gather on Friday, March 28, at Arizona State University’s West campus for the Fourth Annual Cesar Chavez Behavioral Health Conference. Hosted by ASU’s College of Human Services, the 2008 gathering focuses on “Community-Based Social Justice in Recovery.”

The conference recognizes human rights icon Cesar Chavez while raising awareness about issues affecting minority and disenfranchised populations that receive or are eligible to receive behavioral health services.

Featured speakers include Stanford University Professor Amado Padilla, founder and editor of the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science; scholar and author Anthony Asadullah Samad, known for his fiery analysis of social, political and economic issues that influence American society; and Stella Pope Duarte, the award-winning, Valley-based author of Let Their Spirits Dance and If I Die in Juarez.

“Our goal in hosting this annual conference is to promote greater cultural awareness throughout Arizona’s behavioral health workforce,” says Michael Shafer, director of ASU’s Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, headquartered in the College of Human Services. “We also want to encourage individuals of color to consider pursuing a career in human services fields through one of our college’s many undergraduate and graduate degree programs.”

Dozens of high school students are being invited to participate in the day’s activities, which include workshops and roundtable presentations, a vendor fair, and a gospel choir performance.

The conference sponsor is Phoenix-based TERROS, a non-profit, community-based organization that has addressed behavioral health needs since 1969 and a partner of the ASU center for the past five years.

The March 28 event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. Admission is free and includes lunch; advance registration is required. Parking costs $4 per vehicle. To attend, register online at