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— August 2022 —
Grand Challenges: News & Updates

 Research | Education | Policy | Practice

Events | Books & Publications

Please submit content for the newsletter by the 10th of each month.

Check Out the GCSW Student Orientation!

The start of the academic school year is near! If you're a student or work with students, please check out the Grand Challenges for Social Work's student orientation page and additional resources for students on our website.

New Book from NASW: Economic Well-Being

It is essential that social work practitioners, faculty, and other human services professionals understand how economic well-being—or the lack thereof—shapes people’s lives. In their book, Economic Well-Being, Deborah M. Figart, PhD, and Ellen Mutari, PhD, at Stockton University, introduces contemporary problems, such as unemployment and underemployment, inflation, recessions, income and wealth inequality, poverty, and discrimination. The book explores why economists and policymakers disagree about regulations, social welfare programs, government spending, and other policies, including those advocated as part of the Grand Challenges initiative. Check it out.

New Article on Research-Policy-Practice Partnerships Addressing Climate-Related Health Equity in the Pacific

In a recent article, co-author Mike S. Spencer, PhD, MSW (University of Washington, GCSW Premier Sponsor), member of the GCSW Executive Committee, and co-lead for Close the Health Gap and Eliminate Racism networks, talks about regional partnerships between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers addressing climate-related health disparities in the Pacific. The paper identifies three sets of needs that must be addressed: (1) limited healthcare facilities and qualified medical and mental health providers; (2) addressing the social impacts related to the cooccurrence of natural hazards, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies; and (3) building the response capacity and resilience to climate-related extreme weather events and natural hazards. Read it here

Social Science Review: The Afterlife of Mass Incarceration

In line with the Grand Challenge to Promote Smart Decarceration, the most recent edition of Social Science Review features a collection of articles dedicated to understanding the "afterlife of mass incarceration," as termed by Reuben Jonathan Miller, PhD (University of Chicago, GCSW Sustaining Sponsor), who wrote the edition's introduction. Read it here

Assessing Racial Trauma with a New Clinical Tool

Co-authored by Monnica Williams, PhD (University of Ottawa), a recent study assesses the validity of a new clinical tool—the Racial Trauma Scale—measuring trauma-related symptoms arising from race-based maltreatment of people of color. The tool is a product of several years of research, has been validated in a national sample, and was developed with the ultimate goal to identify racial trauma to improve the mental health of marginalized racial/ethnic groups in clinical and research settings. Learn more here

Social Media as a Site of Digital White Racial Socialization 

A new paper, co-written by Courtney D. Cogburn, PhD, William Frey, MSW (Columbia University, GCSW Sustaining Sponsor), L. Monique Ward, PhD (University of Michigan, GCSW Sustaining Sponsor), and Amanda Weiss (Yale University), examines the role of the internet and social media as a place for adolescents to experience, interpret, understand, and internalize understandings of race and whiteness. 

Funding Opportunity: Policy Research to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Through a new call for proposals, Policies for Action—a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation research program administered by Urban Institute—will fund research that investigates how policies can reduce racial inequality in wealth and improve the financial well-being and economic security of communities disproportionally affected by structural racism. Learn more and submit your letter of intent by September 7, 2022 at 3 PM ET

The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Grant

Applications for grants from The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy are due December 1, 2022. Research grants are open to researchers in all social science disciplines. Only doctoral students whose dissertation proposals have been approved by their committees are eligible to apply. Learn more.

WSU School of Social Work Launches Committee on Antiracism, Diversity, and Social Justice

The Wayne State University School of Social Work (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor) is sharpening its mission to advance social justice and create an equitable and open community by establishing the Committee on Antiracism, Diversity, and Social Justice (CADS). Charged with transforming the school into a brave space of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), CADS is developing programming, reviewing policies, and disseminating information that promotes equity. CADS recently launched a new website to serve as a central hub of information of all things DEI at the school and provide resources to faculty, staff, and students, in line with advancing the Grand Challenge to Eliminate Racism. 

Audience of Over 2.65 Million for Financial Social Work Forum in China


More than 2.65 million viewers tuned in to hear Jin Huang, PhD, Saint Louis University School of Social Work and Brown School at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor), and Minchao Jin, PhD, Silver School of Social Work at New York University (GCSW Premier Sponsor), deliver keynotes at the 2022 China Financial Literacy Education Forum. Faculty directors of the Financial Capability and Asset Building initiative of the Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University, Jin and Huang are expanding the horizons of the profession on the mainland by training social workers for financial capability practice with vulnerable clients. Huang co-leads the network to build financial capability and assets for all. Read more.

Prof2Prof Offers Teaching Resources to Help You Start the 2022-23 Academic Year Right

Fall semester is right around the corner. If you are a faculty member, and are either beginning to think about teaching, deep into your course prep, or in the midst of teaching right now, you'll want to keep checking for new resource additions on Prof2Prof and consider adding some resources yourself.
Prof2Prof offers a centralized platform for academic resource sharing. Some of the best tools and strategies for teaching at the college level are created by our own GCSW colleagues--those right down the hall as well as those around the globe. Join, update your profile, and access these tools at Prof2Prof.

ICYMI: New York Community Trust awards $100,000 to the Grand Challenges for Social Work!

We are excited to announce that the New York Community Trust awarded a $100,000 grant to the Grand Challenges for Social Work to expand the corps of social workers with doctoral degrees and build their commitment to careers tackling some of society’s biggest challenges.

The funds enable the GCSW to provide fellowships and mentoring to up to 26 doctoral students with approved dissertation or capstone topics. During the next two years, the fellowships will enable these graduate students to turn their research findings into proposals for policy and practice changes addressing one or more of society’s 13 biggest challenges. Further information will be shared in upcoming newsletters, so stay tuned!

Input Needed: Developing a New Interstate Compact for Licensed Social Workers

With support from the National Association of Social Workers and Clinical Social Work Association, the Council of State Governments is partnering with the Department of Defense and the Association of Social Work Boards to support the mobility of licensed social workers through the development of a new interstate compact. This additional licensing pathway will facilitate multistate practice among member states and reduce the barriers to license portability. For more information, see the Council of State Governments Social Work Compact website. To participate in the next steps of the compact’s development, you can: read the draft social work compact; submit your feedback; and register for a free online review session.

Child Development Accounts for 3.4 Million Children

On August 10, California Governor Gavin Newsom launched CalKIDS—the nation’s largest Child Development Accounts (CDA) policy—with a first enrollment cohort of 3.4 million children. Before the launch, an estimated 1.2 million US children had a CDA, with about 90% using a transformed 529 policy modeled in the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment. Families of eligible low-income children in California public schools can register, review their accounts online, and receive up to $1,500 over time. Families of infants born on or after July 1 will be able to do the same and receive up to $100. CalKIDS represents a step toward the universal Child Development Account policy recommended by two Grand Challenge networks. Read more

Financial Well-Being for Adults with Complex Needs

In the British Medical Journal, Shu Fang, PhD, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China, and Jin Huang, PhD, Saint Louis University School of Social Work and Brown School at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor), write that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s new guidelines on social work with adults experiencing complex needs “could further be enhanced by stressing social workers’ capacity to provide financial care. Social workers can help individuals and families access benefits and community resources and support them to meet basic financial needs... Such needs are intrinsically linked to health.” Huang co-leads the GCSW network to Build Financial Capability and Assets for All. Read the letter.

2022 National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference Recap

ICYMI: In July, the National Alliance to End Homelessness held its 2022 National Conference in Washington DC. Nearly 1,300 advocates, providers, people with lived experience, local government staff, healthcare and social workers, and others working to end homelessness gathered to learn from each other. Watch the opening remarks, Day 2 plenary, and Day 3 plenary recordings from the conference. 

ICYMI: Baby Bonds in Context: A Systems Approach to Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

The Urban Institute recently led a discussion with wealth experts and practitioners, situating baby bonds within the context of other wealth-building and income-supporting policies, assessing baby bonds’ role in an overall strategy for addressing the racial wealth gap, and showing how state and local practitioners are developing systems approaches to tackling racial wealth gaps in their communities. View the recording here.
In addition, network co-lead Trina Shanks, MSW, PhD (University of Michigan, GCSW Sustaining Sponsor) is a co-author of a new blog posted by Urban Institute on addressing wealth gaps to address financial insecurity at the root. Shanks, along with Madeline Brown, MPP, and Signe-Mary McKerna, PhD, note that income-based policies are not enough to achieve household financial security. Read it here.

UMB’s B'More Reconnects Initiative Featured on Local Radio

The B'More Reconnects initiative at University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work (GCSW Premier Sponsor) aims to solidify the bonds between parents and children and reduce trauma in the city of Baltimore, where 20,000 children have a parent behind bars or on parole or probation. Several key figures associated with the program were interviewed on local radio station WYPR, including Kate Sweeney, MSW, co-director of the Parent, Infant, Early Childhood Program at UMB’s Institute of Innovation and Implementation.

The Mutual Benefit of Evidence-Based Treatment for OUD in a Jail System

Monday, August 22
11 AM – 12:30 PM CT

Online event. Register here.

This training, offered by the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice at Wayne State University (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor) will focus on the benefits of using an evidence-based occupational safety framework to train law enforcement officers on best-practices for working with persons who use drugs. Attendees will learn the importance of identifying a substance use disorder issue versus a mental health issue and how to provide medication-assisted treatment through medical in the facility improves the workplace. A recording of the training will be available on the MDHHS IMP website.

Upcoming Events in Empowering Voting and Democracy Series

The Empowering Voting and Democracy series features insights from leading experts on voting rights and the democratic process. Organized by the Center for Social Development’s Voter Access & Engagement Initiative, in collaboration with partners across the country, the series elevates the work of those fighting for democracy and engages the public in efforts to expand equitable access to democratic US institutions. For additional events and videos in the series, visit the Center for Social Development’s website.

Voting, Misinformation, Disinformation, and Manipulation

Wednesday, September 7
12:30–1:30 PM CT

Online event. Register here

Elections in the United States continue to face threats from false and misleading narratives, conspiracy theories, misinformation, disinformation, and manipulation. On September 7, join Shireen Mitchell, MS, founder of Stop Online Violence Against Women, and Jennifer Slavik Lohman, JD, director of the St. Louis Area Voter Protection Coalition, for strategies to counter these threats. Gena Gunn McClendon, PhD, director of Voter Access and Engagement for the Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor), will moderate.

Voting Is Social Work: Researchers Speak Out

Tuesday, September 13
12:30–1:30 PM CT
Online event. Register here

Social workers sit at the intersection of the individual and society and are well-positioned to register people to vote and encourage civic participation. Join this panel of social work researchers as they discuss innovative ways to increase voter engagement. Speakers include Mimi Abramowitz, PhD, Jenna Powers, MSW, Addie Sandler, PhD, Shannon Lane, PhD, Gena Gunn McClendon, PhD, and Gary Parker, MSW.

Voting in Missouri, Civic Education, and Engagement: Local Voting, Community Action, and Impact

Wednesday, September 28
12:30–1:30 PM CT
Online event. Register here.

What does every Missouri voter need to know about the voting system? This event will offer guidance on navigating the system, from voter registration to absentee voting. Speakers include Gena McClendon, PhD, Center for Social Development, Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor); Eric Frey, Director of Elections, St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners; and D. Benjamin Borgmeyer, JD, Director of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. The discussion will be moderated by Louis Damani Jones, Engage Democracy Fellow at the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

Daniel Thursz Social Justice Lecture: Restorative Approaches in Policy, Programs, and Practice

Thursday, September 29
5 PM – 7 PM ET

In-person and online event. Register here
Hosted by University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work (GCSW Premier Sponsor), this interdisciplinary panel will describe the history and theory of the contemporary restorative justice movement and how restorative approaches and practices have been applied at the community, university, and state levels. The event will encourage discussion about the different ways social workers might seek training or become involved in restorative justice practices.

New GCSW Book Highlighted by NASW

The latest Grand Challenges book, Grand Challenges for Social Work and Society: Milestones Achieved and Opportunities Ahead, was highlighted in the recent National Association of Social Workers' Memberlink newsletter. As Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Social Workers, remarks in his commentary:

"In the coming half decade, to grow and elevate the profession, social work must commit to being intentional and deliberate about leveraging the Grand Challenges for transformational societal change. The transformational change we seek does not happen by chance. It is measured, intentional, and deliberate."

Order your copy today!

Call for Papers: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) welcomes and encourages the submission of a broad range of research work, and seeks submissions from the fields of economics, finance, law and economics, cognitive and behavioral science, among others. CFPB will host its sixth research conference on consumer finance at our headquarters in downtown Washington, DC, in December 2022. Deadline is August 22. Submit your papers.

SpringerBriefs in Social Work and Social Change; Call for Papers on Reducing Poverty and its Consequences

SpringerBriefs in Social Work and Social Change is a compact book series of authored and edited briefs on the state-of-the-art literature on social change, with a primary focus on social work, contributed by educators, researchers, and practitioners across the globe, featuring compact volumes of 50 to 125 pages. Read them here.

Springer is calling for submissions to its new Collection on Reducing Poverty and its Consequences, including to the Journal of Human Rights and Social Work. Deadline is September 1. Submit your articles here

Call for Papers: The Future of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Social Work: Challenges and Opportunities

The Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work is seeking submissions for the special issue, "The Future of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Social Work: Challenges and Opportunities." Deadline is September 15More info here.

Call for Papers: Environmental Justice and Black Women’s Health Research & Praxis

Nghana Lewis, JD, PhD, at Tulane University has launched a Special Collection at the Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care dedicated to research developments in environmental justice and Black women’s health. Manuscript deadline is November 18. Learn more and submit here.

Thank You to All of Our Sponsors

Funding supports the initiative’s infrastructure, the 13 Grand Challenge networks, and increasing cross-network collaboration and communications efforts, including webinars, social media, our monthly newsletter, and the website.
To pledge your support, contact Kira Silk.

Premier Sponsors
Arizona State University | New York University | University of Maryland
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Sustaining Sponsors
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Wayne State University

Contributing Sponsors
University at Albany | University of Louisville

Individual Sponsors
Richard Barth & Nancy Dickinson | Torstein Dahl Bratberg
Marilyn Flynn | Raheem and Erika Lay
Michael & Margaret Sherraden
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