Hugo Kamya

  • School of Social Work
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(617) 521-3948

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  • PhD, Boston University
  • MSW, Boston College
  • MDiv, Harvard University
  • Dip. Phil., St. Thomas Aquinas, Nairobi, Kenya


  • Licensed Psychologist
  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
  • Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP)
  • Certified Oral Proficiency Tester, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

What I Teach

  • Evaluation in Social Work Practice
    Simmons World Challenge (Brutality: Violence at Local, National and International levels; Non-violence as Option for Change; Language, Power and Violence)
  • Teaching and Learning (Doctoral Program)
  • Social Work with Groups
  • Spirituality and Social Work
  • Social Action and Advocacy: Human Services in Developing Countries
  • Narrative Approaches to Social Work Practice (on ground)
  • Narrative Approaches to Social Work Practice (Online)
  • Critical Analysis of Clinical Practice (Doctoral Program)
  • Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Social Work Practice
  • The Relational and Multi-contextual Treatment of Trauma
  • Family Therapy Approaches

Community Engagement

  • 2005-Present: Board/Founding Member, Makula Fund for Children
  • 2005-Present: Board Member, Girma Haddis Foundation
  • 1995-Present: Founding Member, Boston Institute for Culturally Affirming Practices
  • 2004-Present: Advisory Board Member, The Guidance Center, Inc.
  • 1992-Present: Board Member, De Novo: Center for Justice and Healing (formally Community Legal Services and Counseling Center)
  • 1997-2008: Board Member, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Clinical Pastoral Education Program
  • 1996-Present: Board Member, The Danielsen Institute, Boston University
  • 1995-Present: Consultant, Center for Multi-Cultural Training in Psychology, Boston Medical Center
  • 1997-1999: Consultant, International Institute of Boston
  • 1992-1996: Member, Diversity Task Force for Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy
  • 1990-1996: Board Member, Temporary Care Services - Respite Care for Mentally Handicapped Children

Research/Special Projects

Scholarly and Practice Interests

Caring across communities; Community Capacity Building; Community Based Participatory Research; Implementation Science; intersection of violence, transactional sex and mental health, and the implementation of evidence-based interventions in low-resource settings; enhancing social, cultural, and human capital in immigrant and refugee populations; suicide prevention education; the psychological impact of war, political persecution, trauma on children and families; HIV/AIDS; family therapy; international practice and human rights; spirituality; health disparities; youth and social economic development in sub-Saharan Africa; qualitative methods and designing international studies.

Faculty Mentorship

NIMH T32 Global Psychiatry Fellowship
Boston University Medical Campus — Massachusetts General Hospital
Global Psychiatry Clinical Research Training Program


Selected Publications

Kamya, H. (2019). Children, war, HIV/AIDS and the human rights imperative: Bio-psychosocial outcomes. In Marinilda Rivera Diaz (Ed.) HIV/AIDS, Migrations and Human Rights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. (pp. 173-189). Miami: Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO)

Kamya, H. & Mirkin, M. (2019). Working with immigrant and refugee families. In Monica McGoldrick and Kenneth Hardy (Eds.). Revisioning Family Therapy: Race, culture and gender in clinical practice. 3nd edition. (pp. 403-418). New York: Guilford Press.

Kamya, H. (2018). Harnessing spirituality within traditional healing systems: A personal journey. In D. Trimble (Ed.), Engaging with spirituality in family therapy: Meeting in sacred space (67-81). Cham, Switzerland: AFTA Springer Briefs in Family Therapy.

Bacigalupe, G., Ham, M., Kamya, H., King, J., Kliman, J., Llerena-Quinn, R., Pinderhughes, E., Romney, P., & Trimble, D., (BICAP). (2017). Deconstructing power to build connection: The importance of dialogue. In Pinderhughes, E., Jackson, V., & Romney, P. Understanding power: An imperative for human services. (pp. 195-218). Washington, D.D.: NASW Press.

Kamya, H. (2014). Developing Effective International Partnerships in Social Work: HIV/AIDS and the Case of Uganda. In Libal, K., Healy, L., Thomas, R., & Berthold, M. Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education, (pp. 299-316) Alexandria, VA: CSWE.

Roberts, J., Abu-Baker, K., Diez Fernández, C., Chong Garcia, N., Fredman, G., Kamya, H., Martín Higarza, Y., Fortes de Leff, J., Messent, P., Nakamura, S., Reid, F., Sim, T., Subrahmanian, C., & Vega, R. (2014). Up Close: Family Therapy Challenges and Innovations Around the World, Family Process, 53, 3, 544-576. DOI: 10.1111/famp.12094

Healy, L. & Kamya, H. (2014). Ethics and international discourse in social work: The case of Uganda's anti-homosexuality legislation. Ethics and Social Welfare, 8, 2, 151-169.

Kamya, H. (2013). Engaging spirituality in family conflict: Witnessing to hope and dialogue. Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 26, 4, 901-916.

Kamya, H. (Spring, 2012). Motivational interviewing: A key ingredient of supervision. Field Educator, 1(2).

Kamya, H. (2012). The cultural universality of narrative techniques in the creation of meaning. In B. MacKin, Newman, E., Fogler, J., & Keane, T. (Eds.) Trauma therapy in context: The science and craft of evidence based practice. (pp.231-246). Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association.

Kamya, H. (2012). HIV/AIDS: The Global Pandemic. HIV/AIDS. In Healy, M. & Link, R. (Eds.). Handbook of International Social Work. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kamya, H. (2011). The impact of war on children: The psychology of displacement and exile. In Kelle, B. (Ed.). Interpreting Exile: Interdisciplinary studies of displacement and deportation in Biblical and modern contexts. (pp.235-249). Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature Press.

Kamya, H. & White, E. (2011). Expanding cross-cultural understanding of suicide among immigrants: The case of the Somali. Families in Society, 92(4), 419-425.

Selected Presentations

Assessing Immigrant High School Student Needs: Youth Led Focus Groups Using a CBPR Approach. 25th Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), (Virtual). January 21, 2021.

Engaging Taboo Conversations in Couples Work: Relational Identity Questioning. Therapy Training of Boston, January 6, 2021

Engaging a racial justice framework in clinical trauma work: Critical Anti-Racism Narrative Practices, New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation. November 20, 2020

Grant Writing: Grant Management and Administrative Structure. Boston Medical Center. November 20,2020

Sexuality, Masculinity and the Economics of Transactional Sex in Kampala, Uganda. CSWE 65th Annual Program Meeting, (Virtual). November 16-20, 2020

Peer to Peer Support for Immigrant High School Students: Enhancing Social Work Services in School Settings. CSWE 65th Annual Program Meeting, (Virtual) November 16-20, 2020.

Assessing Peer-to-peer Support for Immigrant High School Students. CSWE 65th Annual Program Meeting, (Virtual). November 16-20, 2020

Pathways to Leadership Among Foreign Born and Native Born Human Service Workers: Equity and Inclusion. CSWE 65th Annual Program Meeting, (Virtual) November 16-20, 2020

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Trainings, BeaverbrookStep, Inc., (October 2020-March, 2021)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Trainings, Lynn Mental Health Center, October 2020-January 2021)

Youth Transactional Sex and HIV Risk in Uganda: Assessing Determinants and Responses. Presentation to Partner Organizations in Uganda (Virtual), April 23, 2020

Understanding the Perspectives, Challenges, and Needs of Foreign-Born/Immigrant Parents: Using CBPR to Identify Culture-Informed Strategies to Promote High School Student Success. 24th Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), Washington, DC. January 15-19, 2020.

Peer-to-Peer Support for Immigrant High School Students: Enhancing School Social Work Services. CSWE 64th Annual Program Meeting, Denver, CO. November 24-27, 2019

Working with Immigrants and Refugees: Implications for Cross-Cultural Treatment. Wayside Youth and Family Support. May 8, 2019

Engaging Spirituality in Family Therapy. IFTA World Therapy Congress. Aberdeen, Scotland. March 28-30, 2019

Understanding the needs of Immigrant High School Students: Importance of Multiple Perspectives through a Social Justice Lens. 23rd Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), San Francisco, CA. January 15-19, 2019.

Understanding the needs of Immigrant High School Students: Importance of Multiple Perspectives. CSWE 64th Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, FL. November 8-11, 2018

Cross-cultural treatment issues with Refugees: The case of the Somali. Global & Local Center for Mental Health Disparities Global Dinner Series, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. May 21, 2018

Developing Effective Partnerships. Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. April 18, 2018

Working with Immigrants and Refugees: Cross-cultural treatment issues. Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. April 11, 2018

Narrative Practices with Trauma and Loss: Cross-cultural treatment. Salem State University, Salem, MA March 24, 2018

It Takes a Community: Collaboration Among Adolescents, Parents, School Personnel to “Raise” an Immigrant High School Student: An Ecological Perspective. CSWE 63rd Annual Program Meeting, Atlanta, GA. October 19-22, 2017

Working with immigrants and refugees. Greater Lynn Senior Services. Boston, MA. April 2017 and May 2017

Spirituality and Mental health. Institute of Living, Hartford, CT. March 30, 2017

Violence against children and families: The inter-sectionalities of intervention approaches. 25th IFTA Family Therapy Congress. Malaga, Spain. March 15-18, 2017

Trauma, Attachment Disruption and Narrative Practices: Health Crisis and Cross-cultural Trauma Treatment. Dana Cancer Institute. Boston, MA February 3, 2017

Responsible Citizenship: HIV/AIDS and South Africa. 27th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS. Minneapolis, MN, May 26-29, 2016.

Working with African Immigrant Children and Parents: Challenges and Training Needs from Middle and High School Teachers’ Perspectives. 20th Annual Conference for Society for Social Work and Research, Washington, DC, January 13-17, 2016

Developing an Innovative Field Placement: Building Capacity at an African Immigrant-led Organization. CSWE 611st Annual Program Meeting, Denver, CO. October 15-October, 18, 2015.

Recognizing the Universality of Loss: Lived Experiences of Attachment Disruption. Trauma of Displacement and Disrupted Attachment. 16th Annual conference. Worcester Institute on Loss and Trauma, Worcester, MA September 16, 2015

Uganda’s ABC to South Africa: Challenges and Opportunities. 19th International Symposium of the International Consortium for Social Development. SIM University, Singapore, July 7-10, 2015.

Challenges in Addressing HIV/AIDS Among Immigrant Populations: A Case Study. 27th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS. Minneapolis, MN, May 26-29, 2016.

Child-headed Households in the African Context: What does the future promise? 26th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS. Denver, May 22-25, 2014

Peace psychology: From monologue to dialogue - Engaging trauma and disparities. Bay Cove Human Services, Boston. May 7, 2014

Transforming Life Narratives: Weaving Stories of Healing. 23rd Annual Anniversary Culture Conference, The Multicultural Family Institute. April 11-12, 2014

A Cross cultural understanding of trauma in families, and Community organizing and social development. PROSOWO Conference, International Social Work Conference, Kampala Uganda. March 17-18, 2014

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW)
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA)
  • Boston Institute for Culturally Affirming Practices (BICAP)
  • Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy
  • American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Commission on Global Education in Social Work (CSWE)
  • International Society for Traumatic and Stress Studies (ISTSS)
  • International Consortium of Social Development (ICSD)
  • International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)


  • 2018-202: Social Work Alumni Fund Endowed Chair
  • 2018: Center for Global Education Leadership Award, Simmons University, Boston, MA
  • 2016: Mentor Recognition, Society for Social Work Research Conference, Washington, DC.
  • 2014: Fulbright Specialist Roster. U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)
  • 2014:Greatest Contribution to Social Work Education. NASW Mass Chapter Symposium 2014. NASW Mass Chapter Symposium, Framingham, MA.
  • 2003: Cultural and Economic Diversity (Social Justice) Award by the American Family Therapy Academy, Miami, FL.
  • 1999: Paradigm Shift Award. Distinguished Service Award in Pastoral Psychotherapy, Andover-Newton, MA
  • 1999: Paul Johnson Award. Nomination for Teaching Assistantship, Boston University, Boston, MA.