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— June 2022: Pride Month —
Grand Challenges: News & Updates

Policy | Practice | Research | Education

Events | Books & Publications

It's Never Too Late To Be a GCSW Sponsor!

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

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

A new $100,000 grant to the Grand Challenges for Social Work (GCSW) from The New York Community Trust will expand the corps of social workers with doctoral degrees and build their commitment to careers tackling some of society’s biggest challenges.

The funds permit 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! Read more here

Senator, National Experts Discuss Strategies for Economic Security

On May 18, US Senator Bob Casey joined research, nonprofit, and policy leaders to discuss integrating approaches to economic security. The event was organized by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the University of Michigan School of Social Work (GCSW Premier Sponsor), the Grand Challenges for Social Work Network to Reduce Extreme Economic Inequality, the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis (GCSW Premier Sponsor), and the Institute for Economic and Racial Equity at Brandeis University. Read more, view the agenda, and stream the event.

Coalition, Treasury Officials Discuss Call for National Financial-Inclusion Strategy 

A coalition led by Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program wrote to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, PhD, and Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo, JD, in late April, calling for “a Presidential Commission to create a national, interagency financial inclusion strategy.” The coalition, now with over 100 signatories, met virtually with Treasury officials to discuss the proposal on June 7. Signatories included members of the Build Financial Capability and Assets for All Grand Challenge. Among points emphasized by coalition partners were the need to ground any strategy in equity, to pursue an interagency “whole of government” approach, and to define financial inclusion not just as access to basic financial services, but also as use of those services and beneficial outcomes from use. 

“The Race” Examines Restrictive New Voting Laws

In a segment for the award-winning political-news show The Race, Scripps National Correspondent Vanessa Misciagna examines the effects of restrictive new voting laws from the perspective of organizations working to register historically marginalized groups for the 2022 primaries. “The whole idea is to keep people afraid,” Gena Gunn McClendon, PhD, told Misciagna. Dr. McClendon is director of voter access and engagement with the Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor) and a leader in the Voting Is Social Work Movement. She added that the goal is to make voting difficult so that voters say, “Forget it, I'm not going to go vote because it's not going to matter.'" Access the segment here.

Congress Must Act to End Mainstreaming Hate, Says Director of Congressional Research Institute for Social Work & Policy

Charles E. Lewis, Jr., PhD, MSW, Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) Director and member of the GCSW Board, penned a letter in response to the tragic murder of ten Black residents in Buffalo recently. "What we are witnessing with mass shootings in this country, especially those driven by hatred is an existential threat to the American way of life. That is not hyperbolic." Read it here.

NASW Joins Mental Health, Education Organizations in Open Letter Urging Congress to End Gun Violence

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) joined eight other education, counseling, mental health, and social work organizations in an open letter in USA Today calling on Congress to take immediate action to address the nation’s gun violence epidemic. Responding to the mass shootings in Uvalde, TX, and Buffalo, NY, the open letter said that lawmakers show outrage when incidents of mass shootings and other gun violence occur but fail to enact laws to address it. Read it here.

Contact Your Senators and Urge Them to Increase Access to Social Work Services and Social Work Reimbursement Rates

Much-needed legislation increasing Medicare reimbursement rates for Clinical Social Workers (CSWs) and ensuring access to CSW services by Medicare beneficiaries has been introduced in both chambers of Congress. Currently the Senate is developing a comprehensive mental health reform legislative package and NASW needs social workers to help to advocate for the new Improving Access to Mental Health Act (S. 870) to be included. Contact your Senators today and urge them to co-sponsor this legislation and promote its inclusion in the Senate mental health package.

CBHJ Issues Brief on Formalizing Advisory Boards for Criminal Legal System Change

The Center for Behavioral Health and Justice at Wayne State University (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor) has recently provided a new tool on creating advisory boards for changing local criminal legal systems. As facilitating meaningful change in behavioral health and criminal legal systems is a community-wide effort requiring dedicated leaders with a clear, shared vision, bringing leaders together through a formal advisory board is a practical approach to improving the experiences of individuals with behavioral health concerns who encounter the criminal legal system. Access the guide here.

CBHJ’s director, Sheryl Kubiak, PhD, also recently recounted the challenging path towards addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Wayne County jail, in the Michigan Radio spotlight “'Was this gonna be a death sentence for me?’ Inside the Pandemic at the Wayne Co. Jail.

Sign Up for an NAEH Listening Session About Online Training Resources

The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) offers a suite of self-paced online training resources for those working to end homelessness at their Center for Learning.

NAEH is holding one-hour listening sessions to ensure these resources meet the needs of the homelessness field, including those who are experiencing homelessness, front-line organizations, other organizations, system leaders, and advocates. Please fill out this form to indicate your interest and availability for a virtual listening session today.

ICYMI: Implementation of Computer Adaptive Behavioral Health Screening in a Large Probation System

Members of the Smart Decarceration Project at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor), Matt Epperson, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor (Network co-lead), and Samantha Guz, MSSW, LSW, PhD student, presented at the UChicago Michael M. Davis Lecture Series on their work on computer adaptive behavioral health screening with Cook County Probation. Watch the recording here.

University of Michigan Professors Contributed to New Pew Report on Experiences of Transgender & Nonbinary US Adults

University of Michigan School of Social Work Professor Shanna Kattari, PhD, Med, and Lecturer Leonardo Kattari, MSW, helped to design and conduct focus groups contributing to the Pew Research Center’s new report, “The Experiences, Challenges and Hopes of Transgender and Nonbinary U.S. Adults.” Read the report here

Deadline Extended for JSWE Special Issue Abstracts

The Journal of Social Work Education has extended until Monday, June 27 the deadline for abstract submissions to a special issue “Preparing Students to Address the Grand Challenges for Social Work: Researching, Teaching, and Practicing Interdisciplinary Collaboration.” Learn about the issue and call for submissions.

Gerontological Leader Focused on Civic Engagement in Later Life Receives Award

Network co-lead for Advance Long and Productive Lives, Nancy Morrow-Howell, MSW, PhD, FGSA, of Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor) recently received the Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging from the Gerontological Society of America for her research on productive and civic engagement of older adults. Funded by the New York Community Trust through a generous gift from the Maxwell A. Pollack Fund, the award recognizes an individual whose research, scholarship, or practice has generated new or improved policies or practices related to healthy aging. Read more

Child Development Accounts Expand Resources for Higher Ed

Higher education opens doors, but families are struggling to cover the rising costs. New findings from the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment show that universal Child Development Account (CDA) policy enables even children in the poorest families to accumulate assets for education. CDA policy featuring automatic, at-birth enrollment, a substantial seed investment, and progressively structured supplemental deposits is recommended by the networks to reduce extreme economic inequality and to build financial capability and assets. Read more in a fact sheet from the Center for Social Development at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor).

University of Washington Researchers Receive Grants to Address Population Health’s Critical Challenges

American Indian and Alaska Native families in Washington state face compounded health-related risks from poverty and systemic racism, which can lead to high rates of birth-related morbidity and mortality. With a grant from the University of Washington Population Health Initiative and partnering with the Urban Indian Health Institute, a research team led by Jennifer Romich, PhD, Reduce Economic Inequality Grand Challenge Network co-lead, will study paid leave’s association with birth outcomes among first-time American Indian and Alaska Native birthing parents. Their work will lay the foundation for future studies around birth equity and equitable access to paid family leave. Read more.

A Career of Using Data to Make Community Change

Retiring after nearly 45 years on Case Western's Mandel School faculty and 35 years leading School's Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, the Harness Technology for Social Good’s Co-Lead Claudia Coulton, PhD, has led a career has centered on using data to make community change. As she retires from the university this year, she will continue to serve the center as a consultant. Read more here.

Council for Social Work Education Expands Access to Membership

Members voted to ratify revisions from the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) Board of Directors that ensure that all faculty, staff, and students of accredited and candidacy social work programs have access to member benefits through the program’s membership, essentially eliminating the need for individual memberships with CSWE. Individual memberships will remain available for retired faculty and administrators. Each program will receive two votes in future CSWE elections and decisions. Read more.   

Apply Now: Professional Development Opportunity for Emerging Faculty at Hispanic Serving Institutions

The National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families recently opened a call for applications for a new grant program for early career faculty at Hispanic Serving Institutions or Emerging Hispanic Serving Institutions aimed at supporting professional development. The Center will provide awards of up to $2,500 to cover expenses related to early career scholars’ professional development. In addition, grantees will have the opportunity to participate in professional development and networking events organized by the Center. Learn more and apply here.

Intersectional Insights: The Why and How of Peer Supports for Young People

June 22
2 PM – 3:30 PM ET

Online event. Details & Registration.
Many communities and organizations are considering offering peer support programming for young people experiencing homelessness, which offer unique value and support through their lived experience. However, many questions persist as youth peer support emerges and is being defined within unique organizational contexts. Join a conversation with two experienced peer program teams from the US and Canada.

2022 NASW National Conference

June 22–25
Washington, DC. Register here.

Join social workers, like-minded professionals, and social work thought leaders at NASW’s 2022 National Conference, June 22-25 in Washington, DC for four days of professional development, the opportunity to earn up to 24.5 CEs, and long overdue networking.

The Power of Political Social Work

June 27
7 – 8 PM ET

Details & registration.
How do you implement change in political social work? Find out in the next installment of the American Promise Connect conversation series, featuring top professionals in the social work field. Co-sponsored by American Promise, the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work & Policy, National Association of Social Workers (including NASW Vermont and NASW New Hampshire Chapters).

IJRD Summer Institute: Conducting Intervention Research in Criminal Justice Settings

July 25–29
Hybrid (in-person & virtual) event. Register here.

Register now to join the Institute of Justice Research and Development for its Summer Institute: Conducting Intervention Research in Criminal Justice Settings. Both virtual and in-person (at Tallahassee, FL) options are available! At the Summer Institute, you'll develop a behavioral and/or policy intervention and leave with a grant proposal to submit.

2022 National Conference on Ending Homelessness

July 25–27
Details & registration.

The National Conference on Ending Homelessness will bring together service providers, system leaders, advocates, people with lived experience of homelessness, and others to learn from each other, discuss best practices, and share new innovations in the field.

At the National Alliance to End Homelessness’s first in-person conference since the COVID-19 pandemic began, registrants will have the opportunity to attend plenaries and workshops focused on long-standing and emerging issues in the homelessness field, including race equity, creative housing solutions, peer support, older adult homelessness, unsheltered homelessness, and more.

Available Now! Second Edition of "Grand Challenges for Social Work and Society"

The latest edition of Grand Challenges for Social Work and Society: Milestones Achieved and Opportunities Ahead is now available from the Oxford University Press.

Featuring 13 chapters, one for each Grand Challenge, this revised edition provides updates on the initiatives laid out in the first edition and sets new goals. It also includes new information on the Grand Challenge to Eliminate Racism, gender equity issues across all Grand Challenges, expanding the social work pipeline, commentaries from leading social work organizations, and how interdisciplinary science can be applied to tackle society’s most urgent problems.
Edited by Richard Barth, PhD, MSW, Jill Messing, MSW, PhD, Trina Shanks, PhD, MSW, and James Herbert Williams, PhD, MSW, MPA, this compelling new book is essential reading for social workers, policymakers, educators, and other professionals. Stay tuned for future events celebrating the book’s launch!

New Legislative Solutions to Facilitating Empowering Interventions for Intimate Partner Violence

A new article in the Journal of Family Violence considers legislative remedies that would facilitate the emergence of additional safe, empowering, relationship-responsive, trauma sensitive additions to intimate partner violence services. "Strengthening Relationships between Couples to Respond to Domestic Violence: A Commentary on Policy Changes Needed to Support this Evolution" is authored by network co-lead and Grand Challenges Leadership Board Chair Richard Barth, PhD, MSW, and recent graduate from University of Maryland Baltimore (GCSW Premier Sponsor) Harriet Jiranek.

Climate Change, Social Work, and the Transition Away from Fossil Fuels: A Scoping Review

What are social work’s contributions to climate-mitigation strategies, particularly the transition from dependence on fossil fuels? A new scoping review of the social work literature led by Lisa Reyes Mason, PhD, (Social Responses to a Changing Environment Network Co-Lead), and Colleen Cummings Melton, MSW, Darian Gray, MSW, Andrea L. Swallow, MSW, (University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, GCSW Sustaining Sponsor) suggests that broader engagement is warranted from the profession, which possesses key skills and expertise for the challenges ahead. The open-access study is published as part of Sustainability’s special issue “Ecosocial Work and Sustainability.”

Call for Consumer Financial Resilience Papers for Special Issue of the International Journal of Bank Marketing

The Grand Challenge to Build Financial Capability and Assets for All network has put out a call for papers for a special issue of the International Journal of Bank Marketing, on the topic of financial resilience. As the concept examines consumer well-being from the perspective of vulnerability, financial resilience is especially important during the pandemic, when many consumers are struggling financially due to job loss and income reduction. This special issue looks to not only clarify the definitions and measurements of this concept but also provide practical, informative implications for policymakers and managers to improve consumer well-being.

Submit your papers between November 3, 2022 to January 8, 2023.

It's Never Too Late To Be a GCSW Sponsor!

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
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Sustaining Sponsors
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Wayne State University

Contributing Sponsor
Loma Linda University | Sacred Heart University
Smith College | The University of Louisville

Individual Sponsors
Richard Barth | Marilyn Flynn
Raheem and Erika Lay | Torstein Dahl Bratberg
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