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— October 2022 —
Grand Challenges: News & Updates

Policy | Practice | Research | Education

Events | Books & Publications | Sponsors

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

Call for Applications!
Grand Challenges for Social Work Doctoral Award

The Grand Challenges for Social Work (GCSW) is pleased to announce the call for applications for its inaugural doctoral awards cohort. The Doctoral Awards are an exciting new element of the GCSW’s efforts to GoGrander and are generously funded by the New York Community Trust.

Doctoral awards of $3,000 are available to support dissertation or capstone expenses of social work doctoral students whose work addresses at least one of the Grand Challenges. It is expected that awardee proposals will discuss the impact on and potential to create policy and practice changes. One award will be made for each of the 13 Grand Challenges.
Applications are due December 9 by 8pm ET.

Please view guidelines to apply here. If you have additional questions, please contact

ICYMI: Congressional Briefing Focuses on Welfare of Native American Children

Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) and the National Foster Youth Initiative recently hosted a congressional briefing on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) last month. The speakers included CRISP Legislative Director Angelique Day, PhD, MSW (University of Washington, GCSW Premier Sponsor) and a descendant of the Ho Chunk nation, sharing powerful testimonies on the importance of the ICWA in the face of historic and contemporary systemic abuses of state power to undermine of Native American families’ custody of children. Read the summary here.

Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act Introduced

With the support and endorsement from the National Association of Social Workers, along with several other organizations in the International Transformational Resilience Coalition, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have recently introduced the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act. This bipartisan bill would tackle the nation’s mental health crisis head-on by addressing the extensive community trauma caused by natural disasters, funding community-based public health responses, and mobilize social workers in implementing these solutions. Learn more here.

ICYMI: The Future of Building Wealth: Research, Policy & Action: Recording Available

Racial, gender, generational, and educational wealth gaps forestall opportunity and narrow options, and have widened during the pandemic. How can we address the inequities that are creating unequal access to wealth? Earlier this month, local and national experts gathered to discuss solutions to these enduring problems and strategies for empowering everyone to build assets. The event was cosponsored by the Social Policy Institute at Washington University, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Aspen Institute, Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University (GCSW Premier Sponsor), and Heartland Forward. Watch the video here

ICYMI: Empowering Voting and Democracy

The Empowering Voting and Democracy series has concluded, but you can still stream the recordings. The events featured insights from leading experts on voting rights and the democratic process. To watch the videos in the series, visit the Center for Social Development’s website.

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

The Schools for Climate Action’s Student DC Lobby Day and Press Conference in support of House Resolution 975 (H. Res 975): Youth Mental Health and Climate Change on September 21 was a resounding success, with over 90 student advocates, aged 13-17, meeting with over 60 congressional offices about support for H.Res.975. Students told their personal stories of their experiences of climate-related disasters and climate anxiety, educating lawmakers on the connection between the concept of youth mental health and climate change. If you are interested in supporting their effort, please take a look at and share the social media toolkit to share images from the press conference and lobby day.

Biden Administration Moves Forward to Fix ACA "Family Glitch"

The Biden administration has issued a final rule closing an Affordable Care Act loophole known as the family glitch, which prevents people from receiving ACA subsidies if a household family member has access to affordable coverage through work. Open enrollment for ACA plans is scheduled to begin next month and about 1 million Americans will either gain coverage or see their insurance become more affordable as a result of the new rule. Read more here.

New Collaborative Suicide Prevention Research Center Announced

With about one death by suicide reported every 11 minutes in the US and an increased risk of suicide in individuals involved in the justice system, the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice at Wayne State University (GCSW Contributing Sponsor) has co-established the National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention, along with 14 partner institutions and funded by a $15 million grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health. The center will use contact with the justice system (e.g., police contact, court involvement, arrest) as a novel indicator of suicide risk in the general population. The center will link big data systems that efficiently track publicly available data on justice involvement to health system records to identify individuals at risk for suicide and connect them to community care. Read more.

Calling for a Right to Housing, Not Just to Shelter in NYC 

In a recent article, Grand Challenge to End Homelessness network co-lead Deborah Padgett, PhD, MSW (NYU Silver School of Social Work, GCSW Premier Sponsor), comments on the New York City shelter system, strained by rising homelessness as well as the arrival of buses of migrants from the southern U.S. border. New York is unique in that the state’s laws guarantee the “right to shelter” for every person, but Dr. Padgett argues that “we really need a right to housing more so than we need a right to shelter,” to address the current situation “where we’re spending billions on managing homelessness, but not ending it.”

New Housing Solutions Matchmaker Tool Now Available

In alignment with the Grand Challenges to End Homelessness and Build Financial Capability and Assets for All, Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program partnered with National Association of Counties and Brookings Metro to create a housing policy matchmaker tool that provides broad policy recommendations, including specific resources to support local officials for housing affordability, homelessness, and more. Explore the tool here.

ICYMI: Building a Transformative 21st Century Research Agenda for Child Welfare 

In partnership with the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis (GCSW Premier Sponsor), the recording for the first session of a six-part series on building a transformative 21st century research agenda is available to view. Presenters Tricia Stephens, LCSW-R, PhD (Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work) and Hope Newton (Redlich Horwitz Foundation) discussed the use of research in addressing racial and socioeconomic disparities in the child welfare system. Watch it here.

Congrats to Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller, a 2022 MacArthur Fellow!

Reuben Jonathan Miller, PhD (University of Chicago, GCSW Sustaining Sponsor), has been awarded a 2022 MacArthur Fellowship earlier this month, for his work studying the long-term impacts of incarceration on individuals and their families, as aligned with the Grand Challenge to Promote Smart Decarceration. Miller is one of the few social workers to be awarded the annual MacArthur Foundation award, which recognizes extraordinary dedication and originality in creative individuals. Learn more about his work here

Using Big Data to Identify Need and Service Utilization among Young Adults 

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, will lead an effort to understand service utilization by harnessing data science. With a grant from the Constance and Martin Silver Center on Data Science and Social Equity, Dr. Munson will lead a cross-institutional team to use "big data" to identify “hotspots of need” and key drivers of service utilization among young adults with mental health needs. Learn more

Call for Participants: Study on the Impact of Juvenile System on Black Family Life

Durrell Washington, MSW, a PhD candidate at University of Chicago’s Crown School of Social Work (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor) is calling for participants for his dissertation study.  Washington is conducting virtual interviews with siblings of formerly incarcerated juveniles and will be paid $50 for their time. Participants must identify as Black, be 18 years old or older. Please contact Washington for more information.

Research Project Aims to Pinpoint Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicides

Network co-lead for the Grand Challenge to Build Healthy Relationships to End Violence, Jill Messing, PhD, MSW (Arizona State University, GCSW Premier Sponsor), is leading a research study that is trying to pinpoint factors that lead people to kill their partners.

As part of the study, the team is seeking to interview loved ones who have lost someone to intimate partner homicide. The researchers want to find out what the relationship was like so they can home in on risk factors – and potentially pinpoint what makes violent episodes escalate to homicide and why they might not.

The team is looking for people who lost a loved one to domestic homicide between 2016 and 2020 in six states: Arizona, New Jersey, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon or Texas. The person interviewed must be at least 18 years old and able to speak in Spanish or English. Participants will be paid $40. Learn more.

University of Kansas School of Social Welfare Presents Grand Challenges-Focused Event Series  

Beginning this month, the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare (GCSW Sustaining Sponsor) will host a second series of interactive panels highlighting school research and community practice in several areas related to the Grand Challenges for Social Work, including Building Healthy Relationships to End Family Violence and Closing the Health Gap. “For social work, the Grand Challenges have served to focus our profession on the contributions we already make to address unmet needs, as well as the considerable distance that remains on our journey to social, economic, racial and environmental justice,” says Amy Mendenhall, PhD, MSW, the school’s Associate Dean for Research. CEUs are available for attendees. Learn more about the events coming up.

University of Toronto Tackles Climate Change Among the World’s Grand Challenges

In alignment with the Grand Challenge to Create Social Responses to a Changing Environemnt, the University of Toronto brings diverse research communities together to address climate change in their Climate Positive Energy strategic initiative. It is one of several cross-disciplinary collaborations at the University of Toronto “solve the world’s grand challenges”, according to Timothy Chan, PhD, the school’s associate vice-president and vice-provost strategic initiatives. To learn more, see the University of Toronto’s spotlight on this initiative in their Groundbreakers video series.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Financial Capability and Asset Building Services

October 25

Online event. More info & register here.

How has financial capability service delivery evolved in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and what do these shifts mean for funders in supporting equitable, effective services in the future? Join Asset Funders Network and the Center for Financial Security (CFS) at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for the webinar release of the new brief, "The Impact of COVID-19 on Financial Capability and Asset Building Services."

NASW Virtual Forum: Social Work Resiliency Through the COVID Continuum 

November 2-3
Online Event. Register here.

The 2022 NASW Virtual Forum: Social Work Through the COVID Continuum, November 2-3, will include sessions on topics such as resiliency, ethics, self-care, public policy, telehealth, moral injury and much more. Participants can earn up to 23 CEs through live-streamed and on-demand sessions, and access session recordings for 90 days after the live event. 

Job Talk Panel for Social Work Grad Students: Foundation & Research Nonprofits

November 7
Online Event. Tune in here.
The Promote Smart Decarceration Student Engagement Group is hosting a panel discussion for social work graduate students entering the non-academic job market. Panelists include Ryan Shanahan, PhD (Youth Justice Research Director, Vera Institute of Justice), Matthew Mizel, PhD (Director of Criminal Justice Research, Arnold Ventures), and Ayesha Delany-Brumsey, PhD, (Director of Behavioral Health, Council for State Governments Justice Center). 

Gender-Based Violence and American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

November 8
2—3:15 PM ET
Online Event. Register here.
Moderated by Katie Schultz, PhD (University of Michigan, GCSW Sustaining Sponsor), this webinar gathers five researchers from across the country to discuss their work addressing gender-based violence and American Indian and Alaska Native communities. This webinar is hosted by the National Institute of Justice, Violence Against Women Research Consortium, Center for Ending Violence at Rutgers School of Social Work, and the University of Maryland School of Social Work (GCSW Premier Sponsor).

2022 CSWE Annual Program Meeting

November 10–13
Anaheim, CA
Register here.

The Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting (APM) is the place where social work education influencers collaborate, learn, teach, and grow. The 68th APM will be held at the Hilton Anaheim, November 10–13. The 2022 APM continues the 4-year Leading Critical Conversations theme and will focus on addressing human rights in the United States and around the world. 

New Research on Banks as Racialized and Gendered Organizations

A new open access paper, co-authored by Terri Friedline, PhD, MSW (University of Michigan, GCSW Sustaining Sponsor) on banks as racialized and gendered organizations is available in Social Service Review. Through in-depth interviews with bank employees, Friedline and her team explored banks’ familiar, routinized practices and procedures, discovering the depths of these organizations’ reliance on racial and gender hierarchies with wide-reaching implications.

Call for Papers! Leveraging Social Work to Address Gun Violence

Gun violence permeates our nation and damages physical, mental, and behavioral health across different populations and systems. Every day, 321 people are shot in the United States, and gun violence is one of the most pressing public health crises of our time.

The Advances in Social Work journal is seeking submissions on how social work can address the multifaceted issue of gun violence for their fall 2023 special issue, "Leveraging Social Work to Address Gun Violence." The deadline to submit abstracts is November 1.

Accepting Submissions for the New European Social Work Research Journal

The European Social Work Research Policy Press and the European Social Work Research Association recently announced an exciting new international, peer-reviewed journal for 2023: European Social Work Research, dedicated to the development, practice, and utilization of social work research. Its inaugural issue will be published in March 2023, as a special issue titled 'Challenges and Opportunities for European Social Work Research.' Deadline to submit abstracts is April 30, 2023. Learn more 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
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GCSW Contacts
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