For best formatting view this email in your browser.
— September 2022 —
Grand Challenges: News & Updates

Education | Policy | Practice | Research

Events | Books & Publications

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

Friedline Weighs In on Student Debt Relief Program 

Terri Friedline, PhD, associate professor at the University of Michigan (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor) and network co-lead of the Grand Challenge to Build Financial Capability for All, shares her thoughts on President Biden’s student debt relief program in a recent article. While the relief package will make a real difference, Dr. Friedline is concerned that it ignores the role structural racism and sexism play in educational debt, writing "The Biden administration will have to do more if it aims to adequately address these and the many other remaining structural problems with debt and education." Read the story here.

Social Work Podcast Features a Guide to Decolonizing the Field 

University of Buffalo School of Social Work (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor)’s inSocialWork Podcast recently featured Autumn Asher BlackDeer, PhD, MSW, in a conversation about decolonizing the field of social work and “dismantling systems of oppression instead of helping clients cope with them.” Listen here.

UC Davis Announces Grand Challenges Focus Areas

The University of California, Davis has begun a Grand Challenges initiative to help remove obstacles to transdisciplinary collaborations and use the power of expertise in its campus community to find more holistic solutions to some of most daunting issues facing humanity. The initiative is working rapidly to bring disciplines together in new ways to advance the school’s global impact. Its focus areas align closely with the Grand Challenges for Social Work, including addressing emerging health threats and the climate crisis.

Bill Introduced to Increase Number of Social Workers in Libraries

The More Social Workers (MSWs) in Libraries Act, has just been introduced, seeking to further strengthen public libraries as community hubs by placing aspiring social workers into library facilities across our country. Introduced by Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), the bill will help reinforce America’s social worker talent pipeline by creating a paid social worker internship program at public libraries nationwide. Leaders from a wide range of social work organizations, including AASWSW, NASW, NASW Texas, and CSWE share their remarks in the press release

Schools for Climate Action Advocate on the Hill for Youth Mental Health & Climate Change

As part of the Schools for Climate Action, student co-authors of House Resolution 975 (H. Res 975): Youth Mental Health and Climate Change, along with 70 student climate advocates, plus 20 teachers and health professionals, gathered on Capitol Hill September 21-22 to meet with House members and urge support for the resolution. This is the first time Schools for Climate Action has been back on the Hill in three years, the last time being Greta Thunberg's visit to Congress in 2019. To learn more about this effort, see the Schools for Climate Action website and Media Advisory.

Recording Available: Interstate Licensing Compact Stakeholder Review Session

Watch the recent NASW session on the Interstate Licensing Compact, which provides a review of the draft legislation from Council of State Governments representatives, as well as analysis and reflections from NASW leaders with a national perspective. To participate in the next steps of the compact’s development, you can read the draft social work compactsubmit your feedback, and register for a free online review session.

Hawaii House Candidate Notes GCSW as Part of His Platform

Esera Vegas, candidate for one of Hawaii's seats in the US House of Representatives, explained he wants to tackle the 13 Grand Challenges for Social Work, including ending racism, homelessness, and extreme economic inequality, in his home state’s efforts to tame tourism. “How do I end houselessness, and hunger, and all these things?” asks Vegas. “I’ve got to get to the root cause... that’s what this avenue is for me." Vegas, 33, previously wanted to become a doctor, until realizing he was more interested in treating ailments through macro-level public health approaches. He then started working as a researcher for the Hawaii Senate Ways and Means committee. Read more

ICYMI: Voting Is Social Work: Researchers Speak Out

Stream the video from this recent event featuring Mimi Abramovitz, PhD, Hunter College, Gena Gunn McClendon, PhD, Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor), Shannon Lane, PhD, Yeshiva University, Gary Parker, PhD, Clark-Fox Policy Institute at Washington University, Jenna Powers, MSW, University of Connecticut School of Social Work, Adelaide Sandler, PhD, Marist College, and Moderator Jason Ostrander, PhD, Sacred Heart University.

The event was presented by Washington University’s Brown School (GCSW Premier Sponsor) through a partnership between the Association for Community Organization and Social Action, Center for Social Development, Clark-Fox Policy Institute, Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy, Influencing Social Policy, Network for Social Work Management, Social Justice Initiative, Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work, and Voting is Social Work. The event was part of the Empowering Voting and Democracy series, which features insights from leading experts on voting rights and the democratic process. For additional events and videos in the series, visit the Center for Social Development’s website.

Number of Workers Ages 75 and Older Expected to Double by 2030

Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, co-lead for the Grand Challenge to Advance Long and Productive Lives and director of the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at Washington University in St. Louis (GCSW Premier Sponsor), recently spoke with the Texas Standard, a national daily news show, about the influx of older workers into the job market. Listen here.

New York Recovery Centers Installing Vending Machine to Distribute Overdose-Reversal Drug

Local radio station WSKG highlighted Wayne State University (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor)’s Center for Behavioral Health and Justice (CBHJ) work in helping install vending machines distributing overdose-reversal drugs in a Central New York recovery and community center. The center, called The Turning Point, had heard about vending machines available in states like Michigan, and thought it would be a good fit for the recovery center. Matt Costello, LMSW, CBHJ program manager, says “[It would be] nice if crises only happened from nine to five on Monday through Friday, right? We know in the real world, that doesn’t happen. So if you have a strategically placed machine, it offers the opportunity for ease of access.”

Achieve Equal Opportunity for All Researchers to Evaluate Salaries in WA Human Services Sector

Jennifer Romich, PhD, co-lead of the Grand Challenge to Reduce Extreme Economic Inequality and director of the University of Washington (GCSW Premier Sponsor)’s West Coast Poverty Center, and Professor Emiko Tajima, PhD, were awarded a contract for nearly half a million dollars to conduct a comparable-worth wage analysis of the nonprofit human services sector in the City of Seattle and King County. Learn more.

Gender Inequality & Energy Access Article Featured in Nature Energy

Nature Energy featured a recent commentary article on gender inequality and energy access by Praveen Kumar, PhD, professor at Boston College (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor). Dr. Kumar’s work aligns with the Grand Challenge to Create Social Responses to the Changing Environment. Check it out! 

Kudos to JSWE Best Conceptual Article Award Winners!

Co-lead for the Grand Challenge to Harness Technology for Social Good, Melanie Sage, PhD, MSW, along with co-authors Johanna Creswell Báez, PhD, Laurel Iverson Hitchcock, PhD, Kaitlyn Lewis, LCSW, and Matthea Marquart, MSW have won the Journal of Social Work Education’s award for best conceptual article in 2021 for their publication “Social Work Educators’ Opportunities During COVID-19: A Roadmap for Trauma-Informed Teaching During Crisis.” Congratulations to all! Read the paper here.

Engaging Students to Promote Smart Decarceration

Over the past year, PhD candidates Ashley Jackson, MSW (Washington University, GCSW Premier Sponsor), and Durrell Washington, MSW, (University of Chicago, GCSW Sustaining Sponsor), Promote Smart Decarceration network co-leads, have organized doctoral social work students nationwide engaged in research on the criminal/juvenile legal system. They’ve identified ways to elevate the visibility of the Promote Smart Decarceration network and enhanced doctoral student engagement by creating opportunities to network and foster community over several convenings. They’ve also held meetings on topics such as preparing for the job market, collaborating on conference abstract submissions, and sharing best practices on dissertation proposal and committee development. Learn more.

ICYMI: 2022 SSWR Brief & Brilliant Session Recordings Available

Recordings of the sixth annual Brief and Brilliant sessions presented at the 2022 SSWR conference in Washington DC, last January are now available! Check them out.

Eradicate Social Isolation Co-Lead Appointed to Journal of Adolescent Health Editorial Board

Michelle R. Munson, PhD, professor at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work (GCSW Premier Sponsor) and co-lead of the Grand Challenge to Eradicate Social Isolation, has been appointed to a three-year term on the editorial board of the Journal of Adolescent Health, a multidisciplinary scientific journal dedicated to improving the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults. Dr. Munson is a widely published and internationally recognized expert in mental health services and interventions for adolescents and young adults. Read more.

Housing First and Homelessness Webinar 

September 26
2:30 PM ET
Online Event. Register now.

Join the National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for the final installment of a four-part series on homelessness and Housing First. Homelessness is a crisis in many communities and requires urgent action. To end homelessness once and for all, federal, state, and local governments must invest in proven solutions--such as Housing First--at the scale necessary to address the problem.

New Vaccines, Updated Boosters and Living with a (Controlled) Pandemic

September 29
1:00–2:30PM ET 

Online event. Register here.

Join NASW for a free, interactive webinar, discussing the topics of new COVID-19 vaccines, updated booster formulations, what we’re learning about long COVID, living with a controlled (versus an urgent) pandemic, special considerations for mental and behavioral health providers, and constructively navigating uncertainty. Offered in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, participants can earn 1.5 CE’s offered through NASW’s Connect to End COVID-19 initiative. 

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.

The Future of Building Wealth: Research, Policy & Action

October 11
2 PM–5 PM CT

Washington University in St. Louis.
Learn more and register here.
Racial, gender, generational, and educational wealth gaps have been large, enduring, and exacerbated by the pandemic. What can be done to address these inequities and offer pathways to building savings and wealth? For policy options and context, join the coeditors of and select contributors to The Future of Building Wealth: Brief Essays on the Best Ideas to Building Wealth—For Everyone. The event is cosponsored by the Social Policy Institute at Washington University, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor), and Heartland Forward.

Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care 57th Annual Meeting

October 16-19
Nashville, TN
Register here.
“Staying Courageous: Rising Up, Building Hope and Leading the Call for Social and Racial Justice in Health Care,” the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care’s 57th Annual Meeting, will take place October 16-19 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, TN.

Ethnic Identity Promotes Mental Health Recovery for Young Adults of Color

A Mad in America article unpacks a recently published study by Kiara Moore, PhD, MSW, Michelle R. Munson, PhD, and PhD student, Aaron Rodwin, of NYU Silver School of Social Work (GCSW Premier Sponsor), as well as University of Alaska Anchorage School of Social Work’s Rei Shimizu, PhD. Their study found strong racial and ethnic identity promotes mental health recovery among young adults of color. Read the article here.

Submit Manuscripts Today to the Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work Journal

Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work is dedicated to the development and dissemination of abolitionist values, theory, and praxis within the profession of social work, including research, education, policy, and practice. Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work is also committed to exploring the challenges that result from raising abolitionist perspectives in social work, and supporting social work scholars, educators, and practitioners in confronting these challenges. Learn more and submit here.

Promoting Smart Decarceration & Eliminating Racism through Reimagining Marijuana Policy

Check out a new paper on reimagining marijuana policy to effectively promote smart decarceration and eliminate racism in the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare. The authors, including Charles Lea III, PhD, MSW, network co-lead to Promote Smart Decarceration, and Susan McCarter, PhD, co-author of the Eliminate Racism chapter in the Grand Challenges for Social Work and Society book's second edition, interrogate how the recent wave of marijuana decriminalization and legalization policies perpetuate collateral consequences and racial disparities in mass incarceration and recidivism, contrary to many lawmakers' arguments that these policies redress racial disparities in the criminal punishment system. Instead, the paper argues that we must move beyond current social equity programs to a race-conscious approach to marijuana policy reform, and offers evidence-supported policy and practice recommendations. Read it 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.

New! Four Publications from the Grand Challenge to Build Financial Capability and Assets for All 

Interventions Designed to Improve Financial Capability: A Systematic Review
A recent systematic review published in Research on Social Work Practice assesses evidence on interventions combining financial knowledge and skills with access to appropriate financial products and services. Julie Birkenmaier, PhD, network co-lead for the Grand Challenge to Build Financial Capability and Assets for All, and Brandy Maynard, PhD of Saint Louis University, and Youngmi Kim, PhD, of Virginia Commonwealth University, identify knowledge gaps, calling for additional research and suggesting avenues for future inquiry. Read it here.

Bank Compliance with National Transaction Account Standards
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Affairs examines bank responses to the voluntary national standards for bank account affordability and banks’ efforts to make information on such accounts publicly available. Finding that account cost is not the only barrier for consumers, Julie Birkenmaier, PhD, Saint Louis University, Jin Huang, PhD, Saint Louis University and Washington University, and Alana Balu, MSW, Christian Hospital, St. Louis, MO, suggest implications for policy and practice. Read it here.

Effective Finance to Increase Financial Well-Being for Low-Income Families 
A new study elaborates the concept of effective finance through the relationships of financial access and skills with financial well-being. Researchers with the Financial Capability and Asset Building initiative of the Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor) find that financial access and skills are positively associated with well-being. Jin Huang, PhD, of Saint Louis University and Washington University, Michael Sherraden, PhD, Margaret Sherraden, PhD, and Lissa Johnson, MBA, MSW, of Washington University, suggest a role for public policy in creating effective finance for all. Huang and Margaret Sherraden are network co-leads of the Grand Challenges Network to Build Financial Capability and Assets for All. Michael Sherraden is a member of the Grand Challenges Executive Committee. Read it here.

Building Financial Capability Among Low-Income Older Asian Immigrants
New research in the Journal of Consumer Affairs examines financial capability among low-income older Asian immigrants. A product of the Financial Capability and Asset Building initiative of the Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor), the study describes the dynamic process by which locus of control influences financial access, financial behaviors, and financial outcomes. The study was authored by Yunju Nam, PhD, University of Buffalo, Margaret Sherraden, PhD, Washington University, Eun Jeong Lee, PhD, Asian American Resource and Information Network, and Jin Huang, PhD, Saint Louis University and Washington University. Read it 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
University of Washington | Washington University in St. Louis

Sustaining Sponsors
Boston College | Boston University I Case Western Reserve University
Colorado State University | Columbia University I Fordham University
Howard University | Indiana University | Loyola University of Chicago
The Ohio State University | University of Alabama
University at Buffalo | University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles | University of Chicago
University of Denver | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Kansas | University of Michigan
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Pennsylvania | University of Pittsburgh
University of Tennessee | University of Utah
University of Wisconsin-Madison | Virginia Commonwealth University
Wayne State University

Contributing Sponsors
University at Albany | University of Louisville

Individual Sponsors
Richard Barth & Nancy Dickinson | Torstein Dahl Bratberg
Michael & Margaret Sherraden
Donate Now
GCSW Contacts
General inquiries:
Subscribe to Up! today!
Copyright © 2022 Grand Challenges for Social Work, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.