Featured Speakers

Click on session name to see speaker’s photo and bio:

Opening Plenary Presidential Plenary Aaron Rosen Lecture Annual Social Policy Forum Invited Symposia
Brief and Brilliant Doctoral Student Session and Luncheon RCDC Roots and Wings Roundtables “Meet the Scientist” Luncheon Journal Editors’ Workshops

Note: this page will be updated as the conference is being developed. 

Opening Plenary, Thursday – January 16, 2020, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Keynote speaker: Feminista Jones, Intersectionality Expert, Author & Award-Winning Blogger

Feminista Jones

Feminista Jones is a Philadelphia-based feminist writer, public speaker, retired social worker, and community activist. She is an award-winning blogger and the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed 2019 release, Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World From the Tweets to the Streets. Her writing and activism centers Black American culture, feminism, critical race theory, intersectionality, mental health, poverty, and women’s health and well-being. Feminista sits on the boards of the Wayfinder Foundation, a grant-making organization that invests in women making a difference in their underserved communities, and The Hope Center for Community College & Justice, a non-profit research organization that advocates for the needs of disenfranchised college students.

Feminista’s passions are for writing and supporting marginalized people. Her thought-provoking, conversation-starting writing has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Essence, Complex, Vox, Salon, and EBONY. Feminista began her career as a social worker in 2002 and dedicated seventeen years of her career to advocating for and supporting people experiencing poverty, hunger, homelessness, substance addiction, and psychiatric disabilities until 2018. In 2017, Feminista was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Philadelphia by Philadelphia magazine and in 2018, she was featured in Philadelphia Style magazine for her community and activism work.

Since 2013, Feminista has presented and lectured at various colleges and universities, including Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Boston University, UC Berkeley, and The University of Pennsylvania. She is a highly sought-after presenter for major conferences and has presented at several, including Women @ Pinterest, SXSW, Netroots Nation, BlogHer, Woodhull Freedom Summit, Stanford University’s Online Feminism Conference, Drexel’s Racism in Medicine Conference, and more. In 2018, she was honored to give the Baccalaureate speech during Vassar College’s Commencement weekend.

In 2015, she co-founded and served as General Director of the Women’s Freedom Conference, the first all-digital conference completely organized by and featuring only women of color. For her work, she was named one of SheKnows 2015 “Voices of the Year”. In 2014, she launched a global anti-street harassment campaign (#YouOKSis) and a National Moment of Silence protesting police brutality (#NMOS14), both of which received international media attention. That same year, she was named one of the Top 100 Black Social Influencers by The Root.

Feminista is also a mom, a mentor to young girls and women, and an outspoken advocate for the homeless, people living in poverty, and those living with psychiatric disabilities.

Moderator: Quenette Walton

Quenette Walton

Dr. Walton joined the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work in July 2017 as an assistant professor.

Dr. Walton received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work, where her research focused on depression experiences and wellness among middle class African American women. She holds a master of arts degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan.

In June 2017, Dr. Walton completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Health Services and Society in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a post-doctoral fellow, she conducted research on a PCORI-funded project to develop and test a stakeholder-designed intervention to improve MHC access for children and families of color in Los Angeles County. Through an academic-community partnership and its engaged stakeholders, she examined changes in parent experiences and empowerment and provider-clinician communication, coordination, and collaboration during the referral, post-referral, treatment, and transfer processes related to mental health clinic referrals at a multi-site federally qualified health center, Northeast Valley Health Clinic (NEVHC).

Dr. Walton is also a licensed clinical social worker and has over 10 years of practice experience in school social work, child welfare, and with community based organizations providing in-home individual and family therapy and parent coaching services to children and families involved with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). In her role as a therapist with DCFS, she was challenged to think critically about the ways in which race, class, gender, and discrimination impact mental health for African American women across diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and with various mental health conditions such as depression. Working with the children and families involved with DCFS has informed her research by pushing her to think about identifying alternative treatment approaches, translating the best scientific evidence into the best clinical practice, and supporting African American women’s access to culturally appropriate mental health services. Her practice and research are grounded in the tenants of social justice in which she places a premium on understanding the intersection of race, class, gender, context and environment on mental health.

Building on her practice experience, dissertation and post-doctoral fellowship training, Dr. Walton’s research focuses on four areas: 1) Mental health and mental health disparities among African American women across the life course; 2) socioeconomic status (SES) as a social determinant of mental health; 3) The African American middle-class; and 4) mental well-being and wellness for African American women. The aim of her research is to develop an innovative culturally sensitive intervention designed to improve the mental health of African American women from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and across the life course.

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Presidential Plenary, Friday – January 17, 2020, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Keynote Speaker: David R. Williams, PhD, Harvard University

David R. Williams, PhD

David R. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University. Previously, he served 6 years on the faculty of Yale University and 14 at the University of Michigan. He holds an MPH from Loma Linda University and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Williams is an internationally recognized social scientist focused on social influences on health. He has been invited to keynote scientific conferences in Europe, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, South America and across the United States. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, racism, health behavior and religious involvement can affect health. He is the author of more than 400 scientific papers and he has served on the editorial board of 12 scientific journals and as a reviewer for over 60 others. The Everyday Discrimination Scale that he developed is one of the most widely used measures of discrimination in health studies.

He has received numerous honors and awards. In 2001, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) and in 2007 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the first non-white scholar to receive the Leo G. Reeder Award from the American Sociological Association. He has also received the Stephen Smith Award for Distinguished Contributions in Public Health from the New York Academy of Medicine and an inaugural Decade of Behavior Research Award. He was ranked as one of the top 10 Most Cited Social Scientists in the world in 2005 and as the Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences in 2008. In 2014, Thomson Reuters ranked him as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.

With funding from the National Institutes of Health and the sponsorship of the World Health Organization, Dr. Williams directed the South African Stress and Health Study, the first nationally representative study of the prevalence and correlates of mental disorders in sub-Sahara Africa. This study assessed the effects of HIV/AIDS, exposure to racial discrimination and torture during apartheid, on the health of the South African population. He was also a key member of the team that conducted the National Study of American Life, the largest study of mental health disorders in the African American population in the U.S. and the first health study to include a large national sample of Blacks of Caribbean ancestry.

Dr. Williams has been involved in the development of health policy at the national level in the U.S. He has served on the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and on eight committees for the National Academy of Medicine, including the committee that prepared the Unequal Treatment report. He also served as a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health. Dr. Williams has played a visible, national leadership role in raising awareness levels of the problem of health inequalities and identifying interventions to address them. He served as the staff director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America. This national, independent and nonpartisan health commission was focused on identifying evidence-based non-medical strategies that can improve the health of all Americans and reduce racial and socioeconomic gaps in health. He has also worked on ethnic inequities with the Toronto Public Health Department, the National Health Service in the U.K. and the Pan American Health Organization.

He or his research has been featured by some of the nation’s top print and television news organizations and his TEDMED talk was released in April 2017. He was also a key scientific advisor to the award-winning PBS film series, Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?

SSWR and Washington University in St. Louis George Warren Brown School of Social Work Aaron Rosen Lecture, Saturday – January 18, 2020, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Keynote speaker: Karina Walters, PhD, University of Washington

Karina Walters, PhD

Karina L. Walters, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is the Associate Dean for Research, the Katherine Hall Chambers Scholar, and the Director and Principal Investigator of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI; NIMHD P60MD006909) at the University of Washington. IWRI is one of 16 National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities Comprehensive Centers of Excellence and one of two devoted to American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) research in the country. Dr. Walters has over 20 years of experience in social epidemiological research on the historical, social, and cultural determinants of health among AIAN populations as well as chronic disease prevention research (e.g., HIV, AOD, obesity). Dr. Walters has presented at over 320+ national and international conferences; was an invited speaker for Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) at the NIH; and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Dr. Walters has served as Principal Investigator or Co-I on over 37 National Institute of Health (NIH) grants (13 as PI) from diverse NIH institutes; has mentored over 90 scholars from historically underrepresented populations including 35 AIAN scholars; and has participated in 14 national research training programs for underrepresented ethnic minority scholars. Dr. Walters received her B.A. (sociology) in 1987, her M.S.W. (clinical) in 1990, and her Ph.D. in 1995 all from the University of California, Los Angeles. After serving on faculty as an Assistant and Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work (1995‐2001), she joined the University of Washington faculty in 2001 and became Full Professor in 2011. She has served as Director of the Doctoral Program (2003‐05) and as Associate Dean for Research (since 2012). Prior to her career in academia, Dr. Walters was a community-based psychotherapist and served as Commissioner for the Los Angeles County American Indian Commission.

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Annual Social Policy Forum, Saturday – January 18, 2020, 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Keynote speaker: Stacey Abrams, JD, MPA

Stacey Abrams, JD, MPA

Stacey Abrams is an author, serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO and political leader. After serving for eleven years (2007 to 2017) in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven (2011 to 2017) as Minority Leader, in 2018, Abrams became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, when she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. Abrams was the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States. In February 2019, she became the first African-American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address.

After witnessing the gross mismanagement of the 2018 election by the Secretary of State’s office, Abrams launched Fair Fight (https://fairfight.com/fair-fight-2020/)  to ensure every Georgian has a voice in our election system.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED, where her talk has racked up over a million views and counting, to college campuses, to the Commonwealth Club, Abrams is a powerful and passionate speaker heralded for her candid insights on politics, leadership, entrepreneurship, social justice, and being a true force for change. As TIME wrote of her, “People tend to remember the first time they heard Stacey Abrams speak, and it’s easy to see why.” Abrams’  New York Times bestselling book Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change, is a personal and empowering blueprint for outsiders who seek to become the ones in charge. From her experiences launching a company, to starting a day care center for homeless teen moms, to running a successful political campaign, Abrams illuminates that finding what you want to fight for is as critical as knowing how to turn thought into action.

Dedicated to civic engagement, Abrams has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. A recipient of Harvard’s Institute of Politics’ John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, Abrams has also been named a “Public Official of the Year” by Governing Magazine. 

She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the 2012 recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, and a current member of the Board of Directors for the Center for American Progress. In addition to Lead from the Outside, Abrams has also written eight romantic suspense novels under the pen name Salena Montgomery.

Abrams received degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School. She and her five siblings grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi and were raised in Georgia.

Moderator: Tiffany Cross

Tiffany Cross

Tiffany D. Cross is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of The Beat DC, a platform intersecting national politics, policy, business, media, and people of color. With a readership comprising influencers across the country, Tiffany makes the fast moving current affairs in today’s climate digestible for the political connoisseur or novice. She is a sought after effervescent voice in the progressive discourse.

Under Tiffany’s leadership, The Beat DC has quickly expanded its circulation, building a base of daily readers that includes Members of Congress and Capitol Hill staffers, current and previous administration officials, government relations professionals as well as influencers across the country from activists, state and local elected officials to CEOs and C-Suite executives. Founded in 2016, the platform represents the nexus of Tiffany’s unique ability to connect directly with audiences offering a thoughtful critique of policy and politics and unique insight on a myriad of issues through the lens of diversity and inclusion. Tiffany can be seen frequently on MSNBC offering critical analysis as well as occasionally appearing on CNN.

Tiffany’s broad experience across media and policy includes nearly two decades of navigating the nation’s capital. She previously served as the DC Bureau Chief of BET News and the Liaison to the Obama Administration, for BET Networks. Prior to that she served as Director of Communications at brilliant corners Research and Strategies, where she worked closely with the company’s president, Cornell Belcher. She cut her teeth in media at CNN where she worked as an Associate Producer covering Capitol Hill. She also spent five years as a Senior Adviser to the National Education Association. Tiffany has lent her expertise to numerous local, state, and federal candidates as well as issue campaigns.

Tiffany is a proud member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she left at a young age and moved to Atlanta Georgia where she attended Clark Atlanta University where she studied Mass Communications with an emphasis on radio, TV, and film.

Introductions: Darcey Merritt, PhD, New York University

Darcey Merritt

Darcey Merritt is an Associate Professor at NYU Silver School of Social Work and a Faculty Fellow at the School’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. She is also an Associate Editor for Children and Youth Services Review (CYSR), a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), and Vice-Chair of the NYU Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Senate.

Dr. Merritt has extensive experience as a practitioner in the private and public child welfare systems, and as a researcher with interests including child maltreatment prevention; maltreatment type definitional issues; neighborhood structural impact on maltreatment; and experiences of those served by public child welfare systems.  More specifically, her research focuses on parenting in socio-economic context, considering the impact of working memory on parental decision-making.  Overall, her scholarship is dedicated to providing empirical and meaningful knowledge useful to bolster the well being of children and families, specifically through contributing their voices in the discussion of prevention methods.  Her most innovative scope of research, An Elicitation Analysis of Parental Perspectives Regarding Child Neglect has recently been funded for an R21 mechanism by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD, NIH, $435, 875, 2019-2021).

Dr. Merritt’s research has been widely published in journals including Journal of Child and Family Studies, Journal of Public Child Welfare, Child Abuse and Neglect, Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Substance Use and Misuse, and Journal of Social Services Research, as well as CYSR. She recently presented keynote addresses at the UNICEF, Social Work Conference on Child Protection in Beijing, China and the East China University of Science and Technology, Child, Family, and Society: the 2nd International Conference on Social Work and Social Policy for Children.  In addition, she regularly presents her research at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), American Public Health Association (APHA) and the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN).  She also serves on the Child Maltreatment Prevention Committee of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and was lead author of the chapter on “Effective Program Models for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment” in the APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment, Fourth Edition.  Additionally, she has been invited to contribute a paper/chapter on “How Do Families Experience and Interact with CPS?”

to the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, a special issue entitled, “Toward a Better Approach to Preventing, Identifying, and Addressing Child Maltreatment.”  She has certifications in adoptive parent training and domestic violence training.  Her current work advances our understanding of parenting in traumatic environments, systems oversight and the correlations between the chronic trauma of child neglect and family well being outcomes.  Dr. Merritt earned her MSW and PhD in social welfare from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College.

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Invited Symposium I: Social Work’s Response To Anti-Semitism in the United States, Friday – January 17, 2020, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm   

Presenters: Laura Abrams, UCLA; Cherie Brown, National Coalition Building Institute; Tina Sacks, UC Berkeley; Rafael Engel, University of Pittsburgh

Antisemitism is an historical and current form of oppression that is often left out of discussions of “isms” in social work scholarship and education. Since the election of Donald J. Trump in 2016, the Anti-Defamation League reports an increase in antisemitism incidents of 60%, and destrucive incidents of direct violence, deadly shootings, and defacement at Jewish places of worship have taken place. This symposium will examine various aspects of social work’s response to antisemitism from intersectional perspectives.

Laura S. Abrams

Laura S. Abrams, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

Laura Abrams is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is the author of several books and numerous articles on juvenile and criminal justice and also publishes on critical race theory and social work education. She is a former member of the board of directors of SSWR and is active in the progressive Jewish community in Los Angeles.


Cherie Brown

Cherie Brown, National Coalition Building Institute, Washington DC

Cherie Brown has had a lifetime commitment to doing social justice work. She founded The National Coalition Building Institute in 1984, with a goal of training activists and leaders all over the world in the coalition building skills necessary to end the divisions that separate people. Ms. Brown has an M. Ed in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and over the last thirty-four years, in partnership with many NCBI Leaders, has built NCBI into one of the leading diversity training and grassroots leadership organizations with chapters or Affiliate teams in over 40 communities worldwide. For the past 40 years, Cherie has led workshops all over the world on anti- Semitism and the intersection of anti- Semitism and Racism. She is an adjunct faculty at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the author of a pamphlet: Anti- Semitism: Why is It Everyone’s Concern

Tina Sacks

Tina Sacks, UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare

Tina Sacks is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. Her fields of interest include racial inequities in health, social determinants of health, and poverty and inequality. Professor Sacks focuses on the how macro-structural forces, including structural discrimination and immigration, affect women’s health. Her current work investigates the persistence of racial and gender discrimination in health care settings among racial/ethnic minorities who are not poor. She published a book on this subject entitled Invisible Visits: Black Middle Class Women in the American Healthcare System (Oxford, 2019) Her next major project explores the implications of the infamous U.S. Public Health Service Tuskegee Syphilis Study on the Study’s direct descendants.

Rafael (Ray) Engel

Rafael (Ray) Engel, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work

Rafael Engel is a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Engel coordinates the School of Social Work’s Gerontology Certificate Program including the SSW’s John Hartford Practicum Partnership Program in Aging Education. His published work includes poverty in later life, income inequality, depressive symptomatology, and substance abuse. He is currently the PI on From barely making it to … ? Effects of raising wages among low-wage workers, funded by The Heinz Endowments. He is a member of the ritual committee of Congregation Dor Hadash a lay-led Reconstructionist Congregation.


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Invited Symposium II: The Road to Abolition: Slavery, Mass Incarceration, and Social Work in 2020, Saturday – January 18, 2020, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Presenters: Kirk James, NYU Silver School of Social Work; Cameron Rasmussen, Columbia University; Tanisha “Wakumi” Douglas

The rhetoric of ending “mass criminalization,” “mass incarceration,” and advancing “racial justice” are relatively new concepts in the historical struggle for equity and shared humanity in the United States –– yet what do these concepts really mean, and how do we achieve them? In her groundbreaking book, “The New Jim Crow,” Michelle Alexander (2010) illustrates that not only are more Black men incarcerated today than were enslaved in 1850, but that Black men, women, and children are significantly overrepresented in every facet of the “justice” system. Alexander further points out that this overrepresentation is not accidental, or related to inherent “criminal” tendencies or actual crime rates, but is the result of an intentional strategy designed post-chattel slavery to continue the legalized control, exploitation, and oppression of Black bodies in America. Alexander’s assertion is further substantiated by decades of quantitative and qualitative data from impacted people and academics –– which then begs the question: What is the responsibility of the social work profession in addressing this human rights crisis?

Dr. Kirk “Jae” James 

Kirk “Jae” James

Kirk “Jae” James is a Clinical Professor and Human Rights activist at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. He completed his doctorate from the School of Social Policy and Practice at The University of Pennsylvania on May 2013. His dissertation, “The Invisible Epidemic in Social Work Academia,” examined the complex phenomena of mass incarceration through a historical and contemporary lens. He concluded by developing curricula for Master’s level students to increase awareness, activism, and holistic practice in the milieu. Courses developed from his dissertation have been implemented at Columbia University, Temple University, City College, and the University of Pennsylvania amongst others. Dr. James’s primary research and publications focus on deconstructing issues related to mass incarceration –– specifically as it pertains to trauma, cognitive development, culpability, and the examination of systems that foster and perpetuate racial injustice.

Cameron Rasmussen 

Cameron Rasmussen

Cameron is a social worker, educator and facilitator, and the Program Director at the Center for Justice at Columbia University where he supports a variety of programmatic efforts to advance individual, institutional, and societal transformation for a more just and safe world. He is committed to reimagining our responses to human behavior and pathways to social justice and to contributing towards the larger movement of anti-oppressive social work practice. At the Center for Justice, his work is focused on ending the punishment paradigm and advancing approaches to justice rooted in prevention, healing, and accountability. Cameron is currently a Ph.D. student in the CUNY Graduate Center’s Social Welfare program. He is an adjunct lecturer at Columbia School of Social Work and received his Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University.

Tanisha “Wakumi” Douglas

Tanisha “Wakumi” Douglas

As the daughter of an undocumented immigrant serving 30-to-life in a New Jersey prison, Tanisha “Wakumi” Douglas has dedicated her life to building leadership among youth most impacted by mass incarceration and other oppressive systems.  She is currently serves a Co-founder and Executive Director of S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective and is based on Miami, FL.

Wakumi has worked as restorative justice circle keeper, social worker, community organizer, trainer and/or popular educator for community organizations & foundations including the New York Women’s Foundation, NoVo Foundation, United We Dream, Dream Defenders, Harlem Children’s Zone and Children’s Defense Fund. Wakumi holds a Bachelors from Georgetown University and a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University, where she founded and organized the first “Columbia University Beyond the Bars” conference in 2010 as a student organizer, which now hosts in excess of 1,600 people annually, having reached approximately 15,000 people in totality. She is a 2017 Move to End VIolence fellow.

Wakumi’s work has been featured in Dr. Monique Morris’ 2019 documentary PUSHOUT: Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools. Her work has also been featured in Huffington Post, NPR and Miami New Times and books including Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues (Morris) and Making Change (Kruse). She has spoken on stages at Google, Obama’s White House and the National Educators Association.  Highlights include moderating a plenary featuring Dr. Angela Davis and Ericka Huggins on healing in our movements at the 2017 NACRJ Conference and sharing stage with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley at 2019 Congressional Black Caucus Conference.

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Invited Symposium III: Racism: The 13th Grand Challenge for Social Work, Saturday – January 18, 2020, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Presenters: Martell Teasley, University of Utah; Michael Spencer, University of Washington; Melissa Wood Bartholomew, Boston College

At the root of most of the social problems social workers address are a host of structural and systemic issues that put disenfranchised communities at risk.  Racism is certainly at the forefront of these issues.  Although many of the scholarly papers that make up the Grand Challenges underscore the need to include race and discrimination as variables, the distinctiveness of racism as an overarching and causal factor is not captured within this collective body of work. This session will highlight the profound impact of racism on society, its importance to social work research, and will demonstrate why it is necessary for race and racism to not only be prominently integrated into every Grand Challenge, but also to emerge as the 13th Grand Challenge for the Social Work profession. The first speaker will provide an overview of the far reaching parameters of racism in society, and how it relates to existing Grand Challenges, and social work at large.  The second speaker will provide a specific example of how racism impacts health disparities and attempts to close the health gap. The third speaker will discuss the importance of integrating racism into existing Grand Challenges and designating racism as the 13th Grand Challenge for the Social Work profession.

Martell Teasley, PhD

Martell Teasley

MARTELL L. TEASLEY is Professor and Dean of the College of Social Work at the University of Utah.  He was elected President of the National Association of Deans and Directors, Social Work in 2017 for a three-year term. He is the former Professor and Chair of the Department of Social Work in the College of Public Policy at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His primary research interests include African American adolescent development, cultural diversity, social welfare policy and Black Studies. He has written widely in the area of school-based practice with Black youth, diversity in social work education, and the impact of education policy on Black youth. From 2013 until 2019, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the NASW Press journal Children & Schools. Dr. Teasley is lead author of the Grand Challenges paper Increasing Success for African American Children & Youth, and co-author of the award winning book Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama’s Post-Racial America. He was awarded the 2011 Gary Lee Shaffer Award for Academic Contributions to the Field of School Social Work from the School Social Work Association of America. 

Michael S. Spencer, Ph.D., MSSW

Michael S. Spencer

Mike Spencer is the Presidential Term Professor of Social Work at the University of Washington School of Social Work and Director of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Oceanic Affairs at the University of Washington Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI).  Prior to his arrival at UW, Mike served as the Fedele F. Fauri Collegiate Professor of Social Work and Associate Dean for Educational Programs at the University of Michigan. He is of Native Hawaiian descent.  His research examines health and wellness among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and is focused on interventions that promote health among Native Hawaiians through indigenous practices and values.  He has published extensively on the implications of race and discrimination on the physical and mental health of populations of color, including his recent edited book on Microaggression and Social Work Research, Education, and Practice.  He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW)  and the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), and the co-lead of the Close the Health Gap Grand Challenge.

Melissa Wood Bartholomew, JD, MDiv, MSW

Melissa Wood Bartholomew

Melissa Wood Bartholomew is a racial justice and healing practitioner whose multidisciplinary approach to healing justice is rooted in the African philosophy of Ubuntu, restorative justice, and love. Melissa is a doctoral candidate in the School of Social Work at Boston College. Her research interests include the impact of racism, incarceration, and other systems of oppression on the mental health of Black people, and the role of spirituality in their resilience. She is committed to the work of eradicating racism and healing from its effects through multidisciplinary, spiritually engaged strategies emerging from her experiences as a public interest lawyer, minister, and social worker. Melissa is a Racial Justice Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and is an instructor in ministry at HDS. She also serves as part-time faculty at Boston College where she teaches a course in diversity in the School of Social Work and restorative justice in the School of Law.

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Brief and Brilliant Session, Friday – January 17, 2020, 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Moderator: Kimberly Bender, University of Denver
Speakers: Ramona Beltran, University of Denver; Judy Krysik, Arizona State University; Mark Rank, Washington University of St. Louis; Tina Sacks, University of California, Berkeley; Anna Ortega-Williams, Hunter College; William Frey, Columbia University

In this year’s Brief and Brilliant session, leading social work scholars will engage the audience through TedX-style talks using images, story-telling and media. Each speaker will complete the statement “I dream a world…” to share the most important ideas facing social work research and practice.

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Doctoral Student Session and Luncheon, Building a Social Justice Research Agenda Across a Research Career, Saturday – January 18, 2020, 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Speakers: Tova Walsh, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Tina Saks, University of California, Berkeley; Bonnie Duran, University of Washington; Tricia Bent-Goodley, Howard University

Join us for the annual doctoral student luncheon! In addition to  a space for networking with fellow doctoral, this year’s luncheon will focus on building a research agenda in support of social justice. We will hear from faculty members across the career stage about how they’ve used a social justice lens to inform their work.  All students are welcome. Lunch will be provided for doctoral students.

Tova Walsh

Tova Walsh

Tova Walsh’s research focuses on understanding and improving health and wellbeing in multi-stressed families, with an emphasis on pregnancy and early parenting in contexts of risk. She examines the parenting support needs of underserved groups including new fathers and military-connected parents, and collaborates to develop and test parenting interventions to meet their needs. In her intervention work, she seeks to capitalize on existing technology or create new technology to more effectively reach the target population and address their specific needs.

In her current research, Dr. Walsh aims to identify effective strategies to support emerging competencies in early parenthood and promote nurturing parent-child relationships among parents who face barriers to initiating or maintaining positive involvement with their children. In one line of current research, Dr. Walsh is examining men’s health behavior and relationships across the transition to fatherhood, with the aim of informing efforts to promote healthy pregnancies and positive partnering and parenting. In another line of research, she aims to better understand the special challenges of parenting across the deployment cycle for service members who are mothers of young children, with the goal of informing the provision of support to military service members, veterans and their families.

Dr. Walsh’s research draws on her experience working in low-income communities as a home visitor to families with children ages 0-3. This work inspires her continuing interest in efforts to prevent domestic violence and child maltreatment, and build protective factors that help buffer children and families from adverse experiences. Dr. Walsh’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Doris Duke Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Institutes of Health.

Research interests:
child & family wellbeing; relationship disruptions and repair; parenting interventions in early childhood; military families; fathers and fathering

Tina Sacks

Tina Sacks

Tina Sacks is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. Her fields of interest include racial inequities in health,social determinants of health, and poverty and inequality. Professor Sacks focuses on the how macro-structural forces, including structural discrimination and immigration, affect women’s health. Her current work investigates the persistence of racial and gender discrimination in health care settings among racial/ethnic minorities who are not poor. She published a book on this subject entitled Invisible Visits: Black Middle Class Women in the American Healthcare System(Oxford, 2019) Her next major project explores the implications of the infamous U.S. Public Health Service Tuskegee Syphilis Study on the Study’s direct descendants.Dr. Sacks is also the principal investigator of two projects on immigration and health including a bi-national study of migration, labor, and health among indigenous Mexican women in California and Oaxaca, Mexico. She also leads a study of gender dynamics and food stamp participation among Latina immigrants in California in collaboration with the Berkeley Food Institute and the UC Berkeley Nutrition Policy Institute.Dr. Sacks’ work has been published in Race and Social Problems,Qualitative Social Work,Family and Community Health,Health Affairs, the New Yorker, and MSNBC News. In addition to her scholarship, Dr. Sacks collaborates with Carlos Javier Ortiz, a photographer and documentary filmmaker, on issues affecting Black and Latino communities. Their films,We All We Got (2015) and A Thousand Midnights (2016),appeared at the AFI, Tribeca, LA, and St. Louis International Film Festivals among others.Prior to joining Berkeley Social Welfare,Dr. Sacks spent nearly a decade working for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she worked on public health policy with special emphasis in environmental and women’s health programs.Her experience includes serving as the special assistant to the director of the CDC, legislative director of the Baltimore City Health Department, and executive director of a non-profit healthcare organization.

Bonnie Duran Dr.PH
Bonnie Duran

Bonnie Duran Dr.PH (mixed race Opelousas/Coushatta descendent) is a Professor in the Schools of Social Work and Public Health at the University of Washington, in Seattle and is on the leadership team at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (http://health.iwri.org). She received herDr.PHfrom UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 1997. Bonnie teaches graduate courses in Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), and Mindfulness. She has worked in public health research, evaluation and education among Tribes, Native Organizations and other communities of color for over 35 years.

The overall aims of Dr. Duran’s research are to work in partnership with communities to design health access and prevention efforts that are empowering, culture-centered, accessible, sustainable and that have maximum public health impact. She has many publications including articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and books. Dr. Duran is an Editor of the 2018 Community-Based Participatory Research for Health: Advancing Social and Health Equity, 3rd Edition. Wiley.

Dr. Duran is currently the Principal Investigator of2 NIH funded research projects in “Indian Country”. Working with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, 22 Tribal Colleges, and UW collaborators, she is conducting 2 studies; (a) a psychiatric epidemiology prevalence and correlates study (N=3,202, and (b) a TCU-cultural adaptation of Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS). Dr. Duran is also Co-PI of an NIMH funded R25 HIV and Mental Health research training program, and a Co-Investigator on an NINR CBPR methods andmeasures study: Engage for Equity.Bonnie’s past work includes partnering with the Navajo Nation, Indian Health Service, the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center, and other Tribes and Indigenous Community Based Organizations on projects aimed at health equity, improving health services, and developing culture-centered health promotion.

Bonnie Duran is also a Buddhist mindfulness practitioner and teacher. She teaches long and short mindfulness retreats and advanced programs at the Insight Meditation Society (IMSdharma.org) in Massachusetts and at Spirit Rock Meditation Center (SRMCSpiritrock.org) in California, and is on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council.

Tricia Bent-Goodley

Tricia Bent-Goodley

Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley is a social work educator and licensed clinical social worker withover 25 years of experience in clinical, administrative, and educational roles. Her clinicalcareer has focused on providing care to children, youth and families with specialization inaddressing trauma and violence.Dr. Bent-Goodley serves as Professor of Social Work at Howard University. She has developed academic and student support programs in her tenure at Howard working to support the intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development of undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Dr. Bent-Goodley has served in numerous capacities in the School and University to include Director of the Doctoral Program, Chair of the Macro Sequence, Chair of Self Study and Curriculum Committees, and was a Chair of Women As Change Agents for the University. She is the Founding Director of the Howard UniversityInterpersonal Violence Prevention Program, Office of the Provost –the office dedicated toproviding sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking prevention education,advocacy, intervention, policy development, coordination and bystander education. Dr.Bent-Goodley is also a researcher with sustained funding in areas of sexual and domesticviolence prevention, healthy relationship education, engaging men and boys, andconducting community-driven and faith-based research.Her current funding is in the areaof Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention.She has many scholarly publicationsincludingbooks in areas of marriage, social policy, domestic violence, and social workentrepreneurship. Dr. Bent-Goodley is the Immediate Past Editor-in-Chief ofSocial Work,the flagship journal of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Sheis the second African American woman to serve in this role in the journal’s nearly 60-year history. She currently serves as Associate Editor for theJournal of Interpersonal Violence.Believing in the importance of service, Dr. Bent-Goodley volunteers and leads in multiple national and local roles and board memberships such as Chair of the Prince Georges County Domestic ViolenceFatality Review Team, Chair of the Research and Evaluation Work Group for Ujima: TheNational Resource Center on Domestic Violence in the Black Community and most recentBoard Member for the Council on Social Work Education. She has also served as Chair anda Member of the National Committee on Women’s Issues and a Member of the CSWECommittee on the Role and Status of Women.She has received numerous county, state,and national awards for her scholarly achievement, mentoring of students, and commitmentto service including CSWE Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Educationand NABSW Distinguished Service in Social Work Education. Dr. Bent-Goodley received her B.A. from Queens College of the City University of New York, Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Social Policy, Planning and Analysis with aspecialization in public health. She is proudest of being a wife and mother.

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RCDC Roots & Wings Roundtable I: Holistic Mentoring Practices for Today’s Research Careers – Perceptions from Students and Faculty, Friday – January 17, 2020, 9:45 am – 11:15 am

Speakers: Mo Yee Lee, The Ohio State University; Charlotte Bright, PhD, University of Maryland; Ray Eads, MSW, LISW, The Ohio State University; Nancy Franke, MSW, University of Maryland

Mentoring is a significant part of learning for doctoral students and is becoming even more important because of the increased complexity of the educational environment, competitiveness of the job market, and increased expectations on doctoral students to perform. Strategic mentoring includes navigating multiple demands and being confidently prepared as emerging scholars.  In the very full lives of early adulthood, this includes “nonacademic” stressors and challenges as well as academic and professional issues. These might include developmental milestones such as parenthood, unique mental health challenges, or just normal stress in going through an intense doctoral educational process.  Also, in an increasingly diverse and complex social environment, mentoring pertaining to diversity and inclusion is an important issue needing further exploration.

Mo Yee Lee

Mo Yee Lee

Mo Yee Lee, Ph.D., is Professor and PhD Program Director at the College of Social Work, The Ohio State University. Her scholarship focuses on intervention research using a solution-focused, strengths-based, and systems perspective as well as utilizing integrative body-mind-spirit approaches in mental health treatment. Dr. Lee is President of the GADE Board of Directors and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work.  Dr. Lee has published “Integrative Families and Systems Treatment (I-FAST): A strengths-based common factors approach,” “Culturally Competent Research: Using Ethnography as a Meta-Framework,” “Solution-Oriented Social Work: A Practice Approach to Working with Client Strengths,” “Integrative Body-Mind-Spirit Social Work: An empirically based approach to assessment and treatment,” and “Solution-focused treatment with domestic violence offenders: Accountability for change.” The Oxford University Press published these books in 2014, 2013, 2011, 2018 and 2003 respectively.

Charlotte Lyn Bright

Charlotte Lyn Bright

Charlotte Lyn Bright, Ph.D., is an associate professor and serves as Associate Dean for Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Education at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Her research focuses on populations and services within the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and on development of substance use and offending behaviors among adolescents. She has specific interests in gender, trauma, and implementation of best practices. She is currently the editor-in-chief of the journal Social Work Research. Dr. Bright teaches courses on data analysis and integrating theory with research methods. Her social work practice and administration experience is with youth and families involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Ray Eads

Ray Eads

Ray Eads, MSW, LISW, is a second-year PhD student at The Ohio State University College of Social Work. Ray has more than six years of post-MSW experience in clinical social work and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker in Ohio and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and board-approved clinical supervisor in Texas. After receiving his MSSW from The University of Texas at Austin in 2011, Ray served in the state hospital system in Texas working with adolescents and adults with mental health and substance use issues. Ray is currently pursuing research interests in clinical interventions for mental health and trauma, and is particularly interested in solution-focused and integrative body-mind-spirit approaches. Ray has been awarded the 2019 Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association Research Award to conduct a pilot evaluation of solution-focused and body-mind-spirit group therapy for mental health and trauma symptoms among Asian-American immigrant and refugee youth.

Nancy Franke

Nancy Franke

Nancy Franke, MSW is a second-year PhD student at the University of Maryland.  Prior to going to Maryland, Nancy was the Director of the Goldring Reentry Initiative (GRI), a program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice.  The GRI provides therapeutic case management services to people pre and post release from the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, while training MSW students to work in the criminal justice field.  In addition to her 6 years with the GRI, Nancy acted as an advisor for Eastern State Penitentiary’s Returning Citizens Tour Guide Program, the Pennsylvania Prison Society’s Mentor Program, and Penn’s Criminal Justice Bloc.  Before working in Philadelphia, she was a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, and worked in and unionized a residential treatment center in Portland, Oregon.

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RCDC Roots & Wings Roundtable II: The Intersection between Racial and Economic Inequality and Its Impact on Navigating the Academy, Saturday – January 18, 2020, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Speakers: Henrika McCoy, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago; Camille R. Quinn, PhD, The Ohio State University; Y. Joon Choi, University of Georgia; Jacquelynn Duron, Rutgers University; Jenny Jones, Clark Atlanta University; Von Nebbitt, Washington University in St. Louis; Bernadine Waller, Adelphi University

Success in the academy requires that scholars be socialized and provided the skills and knowledge they will need as educators and researchers. Notably, how an individual understands their role as a faculty member begins not with the first faculty position but actually during or prior to their graduate school experience. Without the socialization process, and mentorship, doctoral students are likely to struggle and commit avoidable mistakes. For many, such as scholars of color, success in the academy does not allow room for error, and undoubtedly those errors can cause individuals to suffer lasting consequences. Those mistakes are often the result of limited access to information, as well as a lack of the social capital that is required for a successful academic career. Furthermore, for scholars of color, the intersection of race and class/SES, which can be even more complicated by gender and ethnic identity, is deeply imbedded in our historical sociopolitical systems. That history, and one’s intersecting identities, can be a catalyst for individuals entering into the academy. Unfortunately, they can also serve as the foundation upon which significant race and gender disparities experienced by  social work doctoral students, tenured and tenure-track faculty, and administrators are promulgated. The participants of this roundtable will share challenges they have experienced, due to the intersections of race and class/SES, while managing life in academia.

Henrika McCoy, M.S.W., M.J., Ph.D., L.C.S.W.

Henrika McCoy

Henrika McCoy M.S.W., M.J., Ph.D., L.C.S.W. is an Associate Professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. McCoy’s research has focused on strengthening the screening of mental health needs for justice-involved youth; examining the intersection of mental health and juvenile delinquency, particularly for African American males;  identifying solutions to better align the housing needs of LGBTQ youth experiencing housing instability with transitional living programs; and the impact of violence on young Black men ages 18 to 24. She recently served as the principal investigator of, Suburban Urban Rural Violence: Investigating Victim Experiences (SURVIVE), a $1.5 million nationwide study funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The study focused on creating an instrument that can be used with young Black males ages 18 to 24 to identify their violent victimization experiences, related coping strategies, resulting needs, and supports employed. Her research, influenced by her experience as a clinician working with children, youth and their families who were experiencing a myriad of challenges, has been funded by diverse sources, including: the Fahs Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Administration for Children and Families, and the National Institute of Justice.

Dr. McCoy currently serves as a Director-at-Large for the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), as a member of its Research Development and Capacity Committee, and as cluster co-chair for the Adolescent and Youth Cluster. She is also currently on the Editorial Board for the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal and was selected for 2019-2020 to be a Public Voices Fellow for the OpEd Project. She is a former member of the Council on Social Work Education’s Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity.

Camille R. Quinn, PhD, AM, LCSW

Camille Quinn

Camille R. Quinn, PhD, AM, LCSW is an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Social Work. Dr. Quinn has over 20 years of professional and administrative social work and research experience in social and health community-based services, and research. Her primary research investigates the mechanisms that underlie individual and structural barriers associated with recidivism and comorbid mental health disparities of youth and young adults. Her mixed methods research is guided by race-based, criminological, and social determinants of health theories to inform and culturally tailor interventions for youth of color to reduce their recidivism and mental health burden. In 2018, Dr. Quinn was appointed to the Ohio Governors’ Council on Juvenile Justice and the Advisory Committee on the Children & Family’s Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice for the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Children & Families Section. Currently, Dr. Quinn is a Co-Investigator on a NIMH-funded R01 “Identifying periods of high risk and predictors of suicide for youth in public child serving systems” to develop an algorithm to assess suicide risk of youth involved in public-serving systems. She is also partnering with the Ohio Department of Youth Services to investigate and racial differences in aggression, criminal offense, and comorbid mental health problems (trauma, substance use and suicidal thoughts and behaviors) while in corrections, as well as structural barriers associated with recidivism and mental health problems when they re-enter society. In addition, she is launching a multi-city mixed methods pilot study with young adults and providers to explore the effect of structural and systemic barriers on youth desistence from crime, complex associations between the involvement of systems and intersectional structural factors among African American youth. This work is informed by specialized training in mixed methods (Harvard University) and the prevention and intervention of suicide and violence research (University of Rochester). Dr. Quinn is also Affiliated Faculty in the Center for Health Equity Research in the School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Y. Joon Choi

Y. Joon Choi

Dr. Y. Joon Choi is the Director for the Ph.D. Program and Associate Professor at the University of Georgia School of Social Work. She serves on the CSWE Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education, as well as serving on the board of several community organizations, including Georgia Commission on Family Violence. Her social work practice and scholarship have been in the area of women’s health, with emphases on intimate partner violence, substance abuse, and cancer among immigrant and minority women. In particular, she explores how intersectionality of women such as race, immigration status, religion, culture and disability status affects their experiences of intimate partner violence, substance abuse, and cancer, as well as develop and test the efficacy of the interventions in promoting women’s health. Her current National Institute of Justice-funded research focuses on developing and evaluating a domestic violence online case simulation training for religious leaders, with the goal of promoting victim safety in immigrant communities.

Jacquelynn Duron

Jacquelynn Duron

Jacquelynn Duron, PhD, MSW is an Assistant Professor in the Rutgers School of Social Work. She conducts research to improve the well-being of children and adolescents with an emphasis on the intersection of family and justice systems. Her scholarship in child welfare primarily examines issues related to investigation, services, and judicial representation while her work in juvenile justice examines issues related to trauma, delinquency, and rehabilitation. She is especially interested in work that seeks to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse through multi-system approaches. As a clinician, she has over 13 years of experience providing therapeutic services to youth and their families in settings including health clinics, a psychiatric hospital, children’s advocacy center, and juvenile justice facilities.

Her research has been supported by the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-being and the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. She is currently a member of the Protection Committee for the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and a governor-appointed member of the New Jersey Child Advocacy Center Multidisciplinary Team Advisory Board.

Jenny Jones, Ph.D., M.S.W., A.C.S.W.

Jenny Jones

Jenny Jones, Ph.D., M.S.W., A.C.S.W., Dean and Professor of Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University, and Graduate Faculty Affiliate at Florida State University. Dr. Jones has over 22 years of professional social work administrative experience in higher education, public Child Welfare service systems, HIV/AIDS community based multi-service organizations, and applied research. Her primary research examines administrative practice (to include supervision and organizational culture) and its impact on service delivery and child well-being.  In addition, her interests have expanded to include financial capability and asset building, which takes into account the integration of financial and economic principles and interventions in direct practice with low-income families. Dr. Jones’ research productivity includes extensive involvement as principal investigator or co-investigator on 8 externally funded projects totaling $7.5 million in grants and contracts over the past 22 years.   Dr. Jones has sustained a well-respected research and community service career grounded in culturally responsive practices. She has authored or edited more than 45 scholarly publications, reports and monographs. Dr. Jones is nationally and internationally known for her work in Child Welfare and HIV/AIDS. Fall 2017 she received the Career Lifetime Achievement Award in Child Welfare from the CSWE Child Welfare Track. Currently, she serves member of CSWE Board of Directors, Member of the CSWE Diversity Center Advisory Board; and past Director of the CSWE-Minority Fellowship Program.

Von E. Nebbitt, MSW, PhD

Von Nebbitt

Von E. Nebbitt, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. Dr. Nebbitt’s practice experiences include: group work with children in residential care, service coordination with juvenile justice involved youth; developing and supervising youth development programs within public housing developments; and an administrator with the St. Louis Housing Authority. Dr. Nebbitt’s research focuses on the general health and well-being of youth living in urban public housing developments. His research contributes to knowledge on how, or whether, community protective factors improves the health and well-being of youth living in urban public housing. His work also attempts to increase our understanding of how community factors promote resilience in this vulnerable population of youth. Dr. Nebbitt’s research on youth in public housing has been supported by public and private sources: National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparity, and the Silberman and the MacArthur foundations. His research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, such as The Journal of Urban Health, Addictive Behavior, The Journal of Social Issues, The Journal of Black Psychology and Social Work Research, just to name a few. Dr. Nebbitt is also the author of the book, Adolescents in Public Housing: Addressing Psychological and Behavioral Health, published by Columbia University Press in 2015. The ultimate goals of Dr. Nebbitt’s scholarship are to establish an institute on child health in public housing and to influence the direction of future public housing policies, making public housing policy more resident focused.

Bernadine Waller

Bernadine Waller

Bernadine Waller is a doctoral candidate and Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University School of Social Work. She was recently awarded an R36 from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to complete her dissertation research designed to develop a theory that explains how African American survivors navigate their psychosocial barriers during help seeking. Ms. Waller has partnered with the government in Barbados to conduct an evaluation of their UN Women-developed batterer intervention program, Partnership for Peace. She also a TEDx presenter as well as a New York State-licensed therapist who provides culturally-congruent interventions to trauma survivors, specializing in gender-based violence in the African American and Latinx populations.


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“Meet the Scientist” Luncheon, Thursday – January 16, 2020, 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm

Welcome and Introductions: Elizabeth Aparicio, University of Maryland, Emma Carpenter, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Senior Scholars: Tricia Bent-Goodley, Howard University; Larry Davis, University of Pittsburgh; Tonya Edmond, Washington University in St. Louis; Amy Hillier, University of Pennsylvania; Nancy Hooyman, University of Washington; James Jaccard, New York University; Brenda Jones Harden, University of Maryland; Kristen Slack, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Fred Ssewamala, Washington University in St. Louis; Richard Tolman, University of Michigan; James Herbert Williams, Arizona State University

The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) will be holding the “Meet the Scientist” Luncheon to be held at the SSWR 24th Annual Conference in Washington, DC. This special session provides a forum for early career scholars and doctoral students to talk and interact with established senior scholars who are leaders in social work research and the Society. Early career scholars and doctoral students will have the opportunity to ask questions about career development, challenges in the field, research initiatives, and where the field might be heading. Each senior scholar will be seated at a table with up to 6 early career scholars and doctoral students.

Tricia Bent-Goodley

Tricia Bent-Goodley

Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley is a social work educator and licensed clinical social worker with over 25 years of experience in clinical, administrative, and educational roles. Her clinical career has focused on providing care to children, youth and families with specialization in addressing trauma and violence. Dr. Bent-Goodley serves as Professor of Social Work at Howard University. She has developed academic and student support programs in her tenure at Howard working to support the intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development of undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Dr. Bent-Goodley has served in numerous capacities in the School and University to include Director of the Doctoral Program, Chair of the Macro Sequence, Chair of Self Study and Curriculum Committees, and was a Chair of Women As Change Agents for the University. She is the Founding Director of the Howard University Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program, Office of the Provost – the office dedicated to providing sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking prevention education, advocacy, intervention, policy development, coordination and bystander education. Dr. Bent- Goodley is also a researcher with sustained funding in areas of sexual and domestic violence prevention, healthy relationship education, engaging men and boys, and conducting community-driven and faith-based research.  Her current funding is in the area of Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention. She has many scholarly publications including books in areas of marriage, social policy, domestic violence, and social work entrepreneurship. Dr. Bent-Goodley is the Immediate Past Editor-in-Chief of Social Work, the flagship journal of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She is the second African American woman to serve in this role in the journal’s nearly 60-year history. She currently serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Believing in the importance of service, Dr. Bent- Goodley volunteers and leads in multiple national and local roles and board memberships such as Chair of the Prince Georges County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, Chair of the Research and Evaluation Work Group for Ujima: The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence in the Black Community and most recent Board Member for the Council on Social Work Education. She has also served as Chair and a Member of the National Committee on Women’s Issues and a Member of the CSWE Committee on the Role and Status of Women.  She has received numerous county, state, and national awards for her scholarly achievement, mentoring of students, and commitment to service including CSWE Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education and NABSW Distinguished Service in Social Work Education. Dr. Bent-Goodley received her B.A. from Queens College of the City University of New York, Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Social Policy, Planning and Analysis with a specialization in public health. She is proudest of being a wife and mother.

Larry Davis

Larry Davis

Larry E. Davis has spent his life and career dedicated to issues of race, civil rights, and social justice. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Michigan State University and a Masters in social work and a Masters in psychology from the University of Michigan. He then decided to work in the trenches, joining VISTA and spending three years in one of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods. He returned to academia and attended the dual-degree program in social work and psychology at the University of Michigan. He pursued both degrees because he believed that the methodology of psychology combined with the tools of social work would enable him to bridge the gap between analysis and application. Over the years, Dr. Davis’ work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation. He came to Pitt from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a Professor of Social Work and Psychology and the holder of the E. Desmond Lee Chair in Ethnic and Racial Diversity. In 2001, Dr. Davis was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as Dean of the School of Social Work until 2017.  He holds the Donald M. Henderson Chair.  At Pitt, he also became the founding Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems which conducts applied social science research on race, ethnicity, and color, the first such center to be created in any American school of Social Work. Dr. Davis has long been recognized as a leading scholar of the narrative about race in America and its role in social justice.   His academic life has been dedicated to the creation of solution-based dialogues that promote a more racially equitable society. Some of his publications have appeared in: Social Work Research, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology and Social Work. In addition, he is the founder and Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Race and Social Problems journal, Springer Publications. He has written, edited, or co-authored seven books: Race, Gender and Class: Guidelines for Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups (co-authored with Enola Proctor), Ethnic Issues in Adolescent Mental Health (Co-edited with Arlene Stiffman), Working with African American Males: A Guide to Practice (2000), Black and Single: Finding and Choosing a Partner who is Right for You (3rd edition 2004), and Measuring Race and Ethnicity, co-authored with Rafael Engel (2011), and Race and Social Problems, Restructuring Inequality, co-authored with Ralph Bangs (2014); Dr. Davis is also the co-editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of Social Work, 20th Edition. His latest book Why Are They Angry With Us: Essays on Race is his most personal book—touching on themes of racial identity, internalized racism, and the legacy of slavery. It is published by Oxford University Press. In addition, Dr. Davis is the founder and leader of REAP-a consortium of Race, Ethnicity, and Poverty centers from across the United States. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, Council on Social Work Education, Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) and the Inter-University Consortium for International Social Development (IUCISD). In 2015, he was inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. He is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Michigan School of Social Work. He is also the first person to receive both the 2016 Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award by the Council on Social Work Education, and the 2018 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Distinguished Career Achievement Award.

Tonya Edmond

Tonya Edmond

Tonya Edmond serves as the Brown School’s associate dean for social work, and she is a faculty fellow in the Office of the Provost working on women faculty leadership development and other diversity and inclusion initiatives. A faculty affiliate with the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention and the Center for Mental Health Services Research, Edmond focuses her research on testing the effectiveness of interventions for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and intimate partner violence. She is committed to strengthening services for survivors through research and teaching to advance the development of trauma-informed systems of care and the implementation of evidence-based trauma treatments. She is currently the principle investigator of a Department of Justice-funded study testing the effectiveness of a learning collaborative as an implementation strategy to enhance the uptake of Cognitive Processing Therapy in rape crisis centers. She also teaches “Intervention Appraoches with Women” and “Core Concepts in Trauma Treatment with Children and Adolescents.” Prior to coming into academia, she practiced for 15 years in clinical and administrative roles in domestic violence and rape crisis centers.

Amy Hillier

Amy Hilli

Amy Hillier is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Policy & Practice and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of City & Regional Planning in the Weitzman School of Design. She teaches courses in geographic information systems (GIS) in social work, urban studies, and city planning and chairs the social work course sequence on racism and social change. Her dissertation and post-doctoral research focused on historical mortgage redlining and spatial analysis methods. For more than a decade, her research then focused on built and social environment impacts on public health including access to parks and supermarkets and exposure to outdoor advertising. Her most recent research and advocacy focus on LGBTQ youth, particularly trans youth. Current research includes a critical participatory action research (CPAR) project with young adults about the experiences of trans youth in Philadelphia public schools, a survey of parents of transgender children about their experience with a support group, a survey and focus groups about teacher responses to implementation of a policy supporting the rights of transgender students in the Philadelphia public schools, and in-depth interviews with transgender young adults about their experience of sharing their gender identity with their families. 

Nancy Hooyman

Nancy Hooyman

Nancy Hooyman is recipient of the Hooyman Professorship of Gerontology and Dean Emeritus at the University of Washington School of Social Work, and recently served as Director of the Doctoral Program in Social Welfare. She is author of 13 books and over 130 articles and chapters. Her books include a widely used text, Social Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective (10th Edition); Aging Matters: An Introduction to Social Gerontology; Feminist Perspectives on Family care: Policies toward Gender Justice; Taking Care of Older Relatives, one of the first widely used books on family caregiving, and Living with Loss: Interventions across the Lifespan.  She is a frequent presenter on multigenerational policy and practice, gender inequities in family caregiving, feminist gerontology, loss and grief, end-of-life care, and gerontological curricular change. She was co-Principal Investigator of the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) National Center for Gerontological Social Work Education 2002-2015.  She is the recipient of the 2009 CSWE Significant Lifetime Achievement Award in Social Work Education and the 1998 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work Education, and was inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare in 2011, where she currently serves  as Vice-President. She is a Fellow and past-chair of the Social Research Policy and Practice (SRPP) Section of GSA; Past-President of SSWR; and Past-President of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work, and served on the Advisory Boards for all the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiatives.

James Jaccard

James Jaccard

Dr. James Jaccard is a Professor of Social Work at NYU Silver School of Social Work. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1976. Dr. Jaccard was initially trained as a psychologist with specialties in attitude change and decision making, but later expanded his research program to embrace social work and public health. His research focuses on adolescent and young adult problem behaviors, particularly those related to unintended pregnancy and substance use, broadly defined. He has developed parent-based interventions to teach parents how to more effectively communicate and parent their adolescent children so as to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies and problems due to substance use. He also has developed protocols for contraceptive counseling of young adults in health clinics. He was involved in the seminal work on the influential Theory of Reasoned Action. Dr. Jaccard was one of the designers of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which interviewed over 20,000 adolescents and their mothers in a multi-wave wave panel design. Add Health is one of the largest and most influential secondary databases on adolescent health in the United States. Dr. Jaccard also has an extensive background in psychometrics and statistical methods. He has written numerous books and articles on the analysis of interaction effects in a wide range of statistical models, and teaches advanced graduate courses on structural equation modeling. He has written several influential articles on the issue of arbitrary metrics in social science research. Dr. Jaccard also has written about theory construction and how to build conceptual models. He recently completed a book with Professor Jacob Jacoby that gives social scientists practical, hands-on approaches for generating ideas, thinking about solutions to problems, and translating these ideas into coherent, scientific theories.

Brenda Jones Harden

Brenda Jones Harden

Brenda Jones Harden is the Alison Richman Professor for Children & Families, at the University of Maryland Baltimore. She directs the Prevention and Early Adversity Research Laboratory, where she and her research team examine the developmental and mental health needs of young children at environmental risk, particularly those who have been maltreated. A particular focus is preventing maladaptive outcomes in these populations through early childhood programs. She has conducted numerous evaluations of such programs, including early care and education, home visiting services, parenting interventions, and infant mental health programs. Dr. Jones Harden is a scientist-practitioner who uses research to improve the quality and effectiveness of child and family services and to inform child and family policy.

Kristen Slack

Kristen Slack

Kristen Slack is a professor of social work and a faculty affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty.  She joined the faculty in 2000, and has served as both Associate Director and Director of the School of Social Work.  She is currently the Director of the PhD Program in Social Welfare.  Kristen’s research focuses on the prevention of child maltreatment, the U.S. economic safety net, and the effects of social welfare policy reforms on low-income households.  Her work is primarily funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state government agencies, and private foundations. She was also the recipient of a Vilas Associate Award in 2012. Kristen has served in several leadership positions for university-government partnerships, including five years as Principal Investigator for Wisconsin’s Child Welfare Professional Development System, the entity charged with training all public child welfare workers in the state, and for 15 years as Co-Principal Investigator for the School’s Public Child Welfare Training Program for BSW and MSW students.  Kristen writes frequently about issues pertaining to higher education, such as teaching, the higher education workforce, and various trends and systemic issues that affect access to, and affordability and quality of, post-secondary education.

Fred Ssewamala

Fred Ssewamala

Dr. Fred Ssewamala is the William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor at the Brown School and Professor of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. His innovative, interdisciplinary research informs, develops and tests economic empowerment and social protection interventions aimed at improving life chances and long-term developmental impacts for children and adolescent youth impacted by poverty and health disparities in low resource communities. Prior to joining the Brown School, Ssewamala was a tenured professor at Columbia University, where he established the International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD). ICHAD contributes to the reduction of poverty and improvement of health outcomes for youth. Currently, Dr. Ssewamala is conducting three large-scale, NIH-funded longitudinal randomized studies across sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, he is a Co-Principal Investigator on a Training R25 grant to build research capacity for junior investigators in child behavioral health and an R21 grant which explores the short-term preliminary outcomes of an existing evidence-based Economic Empowerment Intervention on access to pediatric cancer diagnosis, care, and treatment adherence in children living with HIV with suspected cancers. Dr. Ssewamala also is the director of the Brown School’s SMART Africa Center (Strengthening Mental health And Research Training), an African regional transdisciplinary collaborative center funded by NIMH and aimed at reducing gaps in child and adolescent mental health services and research in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda through a population approach to child mental health. His research in Africa engages collaboratively with local and national institutions to ensure scale-up and sustainability. He has over 80 published articles in well-respected journals including in the Lancet, American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Adolescent Health, Social Service Review and; Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Professor Ssewamala serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Adolescent Health and is co-editor of the Global Social Welfare journal. He is a member of the Society for Social Work and Research, American Public Health Association, Siteman Cancer Center and Council on Social Work Education, as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Richard Tolman

Richard Tolman

Richard M. Tolman is the Sheldon D. Rose Collegiate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan  and an American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare Fellow. Dr. Tolman’s work focuses on prevention and intervention to end gender-based violence (GBV). As a practitioner, he worked with perpetrators in the very earliest days of specialized services, and subsequently helped to develop programs and tools for evaluation of those efforts. His contributions to this literature include the development of a widely used measure of psychological maltreatment, examining the accuracy of survivors’ predictions of future abuse, and adolescent intimate partner violence. Dr. Tolman founded and co-leads a research team that has conducted a series of studies on men’s involvement in prevention of GBV. His current projects include research on the prevention of abuse during pregnancy, and relatedly, on understanding men’s transition to fatherhood.  His work in this area includes qualitative studies of men attending ultrasound, a quantitative longitudinal study of couples expecting their first child, and a nationally representative survey of men. In related work, he helped to create a paradigm for examining men’s responses to infant cries and how they may be implicated in subsequent aggression. He is leading a statewide effort in Michigan to promote policy changes that can increase men’s positive involvement with their children. Dr. Tolman collaborated on a longitudinal study following welfare recipients, examining IPV and mental health disorder as barriers to employment. He was P.I. for an NIMH funded study to study psychiatric disorders among low-income single mothers in the three-county Detroit area. His work on IPV and welfare contributed to policy impact, including willingness of states to grant waivers from employment requirements so that women experiencing domestic violence would not be put at risk of losing cash assistance.  To increase awareness and utilization of research to influence policy, he organized three national conferences (Trapped by Poverty/Trapped by Abuse) that brought together policy makers, researchers and advocates to share research and shape the research agenda. Interventions in groups have been an ongoing focus in his scholarly and practice work. He recently published a book about group work research methods. Dr. Tolman has an abiding interest in how the arts can be used to promote interpersonal and social change.

James Herbert Williams

James Herbert Williams

James Herbert Williams, PhD., is the Arizona Centennial Professor of Social Welfare Services and Director of the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. He holds his MSW from Smith College, MPA from the University of Colorado and PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington. Dr. Williams is Interim Director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center at Arizona State University, Distinguished Professor in the School of Sociology, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, China and Visiting Professor at SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland. Dr. Williams’ research and publications focus on human security and economic sustainability, health promotion and disease prevention, behavioral health disparities and health equity, global practice and sustainable development, one health paradigm, adolescent violence and substance use, intimate partner violence, academic achievement, social services for African American children in urban schools, and community strategies for positive youth development. His scholarship and research are available in several prominent journals, books, and book chapters. Dr. Williams has 30 plus years of experience as a scholar/educator and social work practitioner. He is a member of the Steering Committee for the Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative. He is a Fellow in the American Academy for Social Work & Social Welfare, Society for Social Work and Research and chair the National Advisory Committee for the Fahs Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation. Dr. Williams is an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Adolescent Health and former Editor-in- Chief of Social Work Research.

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Invited Journal Editors Workshop I: Publishing Research in Peer-Reviewed Journals: Talk with the Editors, Thursday – January 16, 2020, 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

Speakers: Jeffrey M. Jenson, PhD, University of Denver, Mark E. Courtney, PhD, University of Chicago, Bruce A. Thyer, PhD, Florida State University, and Charlotte Lyn Bright, PhD, University of Maryland

This symposium brings together a panel of editors from four generalist research journals in social work: Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, Research on Social Work Practice, Social Service Review, and Social Work Research. The editors will describe their respective journals, offer guidance on submissions, explain the editorial decision-making process, and advise on the process of creating publishable articles. Time will be provided for questions, comments, and suggestions from the audience and responses from the editors.

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Invited Journal Editors Workshop II: Forum on Publishing Qualitative Research, Friday – January 17, 2020, 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Presenters: Sondra Fogel (Families in Society), Karen Staller (Qualitative Social Work), Susan Robbins (Journal of Social Work Education), Rupaleem Bhuyan, Yoosun Park, & Stephanie Wahab (Affilia). Chair: Jane Gilgun, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

This workshop is for conference participants seeking to publish qualitative research and scholarly work in social work journals. The workshop brings together a distinguished panel of editors, former editors, and researchers from four journals: Qualitative Social Work, Affillia, Journal of Social Work Education, and Families in Society. These journals are highly regarded in the profession and share commitments to excellence in social work research and publication.

In this session, the editors describe the aim of their respective journals and the editorial decision-making process. Most important, they will create a discussion with participants about what constitutes a publishable qualitative study that influences practice and policy. Before the session starts, participants will write their questions and comments on 3×5 cards. The chair will collect the cards and  and use them to facilitate discussion. In this workshop, the editors contribute to the scholarly development of the participants by building skills related to successful publications.

The editors will discuss several issues, including how to match topics to specific journals, review processes, features of articles they’ve accepted for publication, how to respond to reviewer comments, and how to address the implications of their research for practice and policy.

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