Not Yet On Sale

Training Workshop: Impact of Race and Culture Assessments

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Founder's Square

1701 Hollis street, suite 800, Halifax, Nova Scotia

View Map

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

Friends Who Are Going
Event description


Impact of Race and Culture Assessments

(Dates for this event may change. To indicate interest in future attendance at this event please write to the organizers as indicated below)

In the youth case cited as: R. v. “X”, 2014 NSPC 95, it is possible that the first “Cultural Impact Assessment” of an African Canadian was presented and tested as evidence in a sentencing hearing in Canada. Though much had been written about the intersection of race and the criminal justice system, and the experience of North Americans of African descent, until then, there was no structured presentation of this knowledge for the criminal courts to consider. Robert Wright and Lana MacLean, longtime collaborators, have been the only clinicians in North America to conduct such assessments. They both conduct similar assessments in family courts related to child welfare and custody access matters. Together they have been shaping the concept of cultural impact assessments and for the first time are offering training to selected clinicians.

The Workshop


The workshop will be offered as two full days of training on November 9 and November 10, 2017 at 1701 Hollis street, Suite 800. Registration to this workshop will be restricted. Persons must apply for a seat. Please send a copy of your CV and a letter expressing interest care of James at 902-491-4286 or for more information or to apply.


Those in attendance will be offered an overview of cultural impact assessments and their use in the criminal justice and family courts systems. This workshop is intended to expand local capacity to administer these assessments. Not by certifying practitioners as independent experts to conduct them, but rather, this training is intended to build a body of persons who will practice as Clinical Associates of the developing African Nova Scotia Justice Institute. Practitioners will conduct assessments as members of the team of Clinical Associates and will assist in developing the knowledge base and practice in cultural impact assessments.

The topics presented on day 1 will include:

  • Advent of Cultural Assessments

  • Erickson’s Psychosocial Development

  • Bowlby’s Attachment

  • Racial Identity Development

  • Trauma

  • Violence

  • Parental Capacity Assessments

  • Community influences

  • Local history of African Peoples in the diaspora

The topics presented on day 2 will include:

  • Comprehensive review of file material

  • Interviewing clients

  • Contact and interviewing collaterals

  • Formulation

  • Identification of emerging issues, spotting the race issues

  • Consulting and supervision

  • Testifying as an expert witness

  • Claiming the territory as expert on race and African Canadian experiences.

  • Dual relationships, professionalism, and impartiality

On completion of the training, clinicians will possess a general knowledge base about cultural impact assessments to complement existing clinical skills. They will become Clinical Associates of the developing African Nova Scotian Justice Coalition and will be eligible to receive referrals from the coalition and to consult with Robert and Lana as they undertake their first assessments. The use of Cultural Impact Assessments in the legal system is novel. Successfully demonstrating expertise in their use may take ongoing professional development and supervision.



The Trainers

Robert Seymour Wright is a Social Worker and Sociologist whose 28-year career has spanned the fields of education, child welfare, forensic mental health, trauma, sexual violence, and cultural competence. A “clinician/administrator,” he has always integrated his work delivering direct practice clinical service to clients with promoting lasting systemic change through social policy advocacy. Robert holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in social work and has post-graduate training in social work and sociology. He has served in notable roles as the Race Relations Coordinator of the former Dartmouth District School Board, Executive Director of Family & Children’s Services of Cumberland County, and the Executive Director of Nova Scotia’s Child and Youth Strategy.

Robert currently maintains a uniquely located private practice. A "Teaching Practice”; Robert often teaches at local universities and regularly supervises interns. He also coordinates the Halifax Pro-Bono Counselling Clinic; conducts ManTalk, a treatment/support group for male victims of sexual violence; and consults, trains, speaks and comments on a wide range of issues. His pioneering work with colleagues in cultural competence and conducting cultural assessments has received national attention.

Lana MacLean is a registered practicing clinical social worker with over 20 plus years of experience. Lana has worked in the fields of addiction, mental health and acute care working with various client populations. Lana has a spent most of her career working in the ABC communities.

Lana has presented at local and national conferences on the area of cultural competency in mental health and addictions, race and trauma informed care. In 2017 Lana was qualified by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court (Trial Division) as an expert witness in the area of race and cultural issues as they relate to sentencing of African Nova Scotians. As of July 2017, Lana has conducted three CIA on matters related to sentencing, four CIA’s for Family Court matters. Lana has also written multiple clinical cultural opinion letters for the Courts on matters before the YCJ, Provincial and Supreme Courts.

Lana was an instrumental advisory board member who aided in the development of the Nova Scotia Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Strategy- Together We Can. Lana presently is the Chair of the Social Action Committee of the African United Baptist Association. She is a member of the National Organization of Forensic Social Workers (NOFSW), HAAC and ABSW.

For more information contact James Dubé, case manager, via email through this website.

Share with friends

Date and Time


Founder's Square

1701 Hollis street, suite 800, Halifax, Nova Scotia

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

Save This Event

Event Saved