The Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) offers a full range of opportunities for scholarship and social engagement at the American Counseling Association (ACA) conventions. As a division of ACA, AMCD provides complimentary events for ACA conference attendees who wish to advance their cultural competence and mingle with multicultural counseling scholars, colleagues, and counselor-trainees. The annual division sponsored sessions frame the pedagogical focus for any given year. Usually, the 90-minute session is presented by a major researcher and highlights the vision of the AMCD community for future scholarly endeavors. The two 60-minute sessions often are topical in nature and reflect the work of one or more of the Ethnic Concerns groups. Finally, the 30-minute poster sessions are designed to support the work of junior scholars and graduate students to highlight emergent scholars. Solicitations and decisions regarding these sessions are usually concluded by July of any given year.
For new multicultural counseling professionals and students as well as seasoned professionals, the AMCD luncheon and Past-presidents Reception are often viewed as required activities. The AMCD Luncheon is an opportunity for members to reconnect and commune over a meal to celebrate the events that have occurred over the past year. The AMCD luncheon is where the association announces the recipients of the division awards. The call for nominations is usually posted in the fall of any given year for research, community service, leadership, and lifetime achievements. Additionally, the AMCD luncheon often features local performance art talent from k-12 schools in the host city. The AMCD Past-presidents Reception is a formal affair in which one can experience the richness of the AMCD history. Many of the past presidents of the division, despite their busy schedules during the conference, take time to participate in this event.
Acknowledgements of the rich history of the organization are a central part of the reception, including a slide show presentation by the AMCD Mentees for that year. Because participants are encouraged to wear clothes reflecting their native cultures, the reception is both a fulfilling as well as dazzling event.
Other events include the AMCD Booth in the exhibit hall where information is shared about advocacy initiatives (such as the AMCD/ACES South Africa Outreach activities), directions are given, advice can be sought, or it can just be a place to catch your breath and relax with like-minded individuals. Additionally, AMCD signature items are often sold, such as pens, mugs, shirts, and card holders. Probably the most widely known event is the AMCD Mixer. We like to refer to this as the conscious party where AMCD members demonstrate that they not only work hard but also play hard.
The AMCD Mixer is a time to relax and take off your shoes and dance to the music. A good time is usually had by all. A new event that was instituted in 2008 in Hawaii is the AMCD Sunrise Service. Each day, AMCD celebrates the day with a sunrise service that reflects the spiritual beliefs of a cultural/ethnic group. This is an excellent way to begin each day and remain focused on the need for increased cultural competence in our field.
Information on the AMCD events at each ACA convention is available in the ACA conference booklet. Additionally, information is typically distributed at the AMCD Booth in the exhibit hall. For more information, contact the AMCD president or the conference co-chairs for the current year.