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September 2018

Get Involved!

In this edition of UP!, we highlight some of the Grand Challenges activity going on since June. For all our news, follow our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter, watch our YouTube videos, or visit the website.
If you’ve got news about a Grand Challenge project or activity, please share it with us and post to our Facebook group, Please also forward this newsletter to anyone interested in the GCSW initiative.

Attention university communications directors! GCSW will be convening a communications-focused webinar this fall to highlight the many ways we can work together to expand the reach of the Grand Challenges. We hope you'll join us! Stay tuned for more information.
News & Opportunities

Each issue we bring you news about advances and opportunities in a variety of Grand Challenge areas.

The NYU Silver School of Social Work marked the start of the 2018-19 academic year with a new program of activity to engage students in the Grand Challenges for Social Work.

As part of orientation for nearly 600 incoming students, the school held a panel discussion on the Grand Challenges featuring NYU Silver faculty members who are national leaders on several Grand Challenges. NYU Silver Dean Neil B. Guterman, PhD, moderated the conversation between Assistant Professor Ernest Gonzales, PhD, co-lead of the Advance Long and Productive Lives challenge; Professor Michelle R. Munson, PhD, an invited member of the Eradicate Social Isolation challenge; and Professor Deborah Padgett, PhD, co-lead of the End Homelessness challenge.

This fall, the school will also launch the NYUSilverUp4theChallenge Student Competition to inspire students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to propose concepts or projects that utilize the core social work values to address the pressing social issues included in the Grand Challenges. Full competition details will soon be available, and more information on NYU Silver's initiatives may be found on its Grand Challenges webpage.
Integrating Grand Challenges with Curriculum & Field Work 
In the spring of 2018, Western Carolina University's Department of Social Work implemented an exciting new project incorporating the Grand Challenges into its Bachelor of Social Work curriculum and field placements.
Early in the semester, students learned about the Grand Challenges and had in-class discussions about the ways their field agencies are working to address one or more of the challenges. Each student then chose one challenge on which to focus. They answered a series of open-ended questions about their agency and the challenge, and created a poster to illustrate their responses and share information about the work they had been involved in. 
At the end of the semester, the department hosted a poster presentation, during which students shared their work with faculty, administrators, and other students. The event was a huge success, celebrating the students' work and providing them with a meaningful closure experience. It was also a great opportunity to showcase to the community the contributions of the social work program.
For more information about the project, contact Katy Allen, MSW, Assistant Professor & Director of Field Education, Western Carolina University Department of Social Work at
Training Modules for Preventing Behavior Health Issues in Young People Now Available Online
The first training module developed by members of the Ensure Healthy Development for All Youth Grand Challenge, "Introduction to Prevention Theory and Concepts," is now available on the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health and Prof2Prof websites. The next two modules, "Direct Practice in Prevention" and "Community Prevention Practice," will be available in October. Ultimately, there will be five modules focusing on key elements of preventing behavioral health problems in young people. The modules are designed to introduce graduate social work students to tested and effective strategies, programs, and policies. 

Ensuring Healthy Development for All Youth Featured at Utah Parenting Conference 
J. David Hawkins, PhD, network co-lead for the Ensure Healthy Development for All Youth Grand Challenge, will be speaking about "Five Proven Keys to Promote Healthy and Successful Kids" at the September 29, 2018 Uplift Families Parenting Conference at the Utah Valley Conference Center. Uplift Families is an initiative of the First Lady of Utah. For more information visit
Call for Submissions: The Grand Challenge to End Homelessness
Due December 3, 2018

The Journal of Social Work Education invites submissions for a special issue titled "Advancing Social Work Education to Meet the Grand Challenge of Ending Homelessness" to be published in 2020. Amanda Aykanian, PhD, University at Albany, and Benjamin F. Henwood, PhD, University of Southern California, are guest editors.

This special issue will highlight research and conceptual models that address education, outcomes, and approaches to teaching about homelessness, with the goal of providing a roadmap for social work programs that educators and researchers can use to advance their efforts to achieve the Grand Challenge of ending homelessness. Details and submission criteria.
New Financial Support for Grand Challenges Research at University of Washington and University of Maryland

The University of Washington Office of the Provost and the UW School of Social Work have committed financial support to advance Grand Challenges scholarship. The funds will be used to support graduate student research in Grand Challenge topic areas, deepening the impact of social work innovators and scholars. "The collaborative Grand Challenges approach has energized the field of social work and has led to important innovations that address urgent social problems," said then-Provost Gerald Baldasty. "At the highest levels of the university, we want to show our support for our graduate students who are committed to this important effort." Read more here.

With a generous allocation of funding from Dean Richard P. Barth, PhD, the University of Maryland School of Social Work is is offering a new, competitive dissertation award, in the amount of up to $4,000, to support "Research to Advance a Grand Challenge for Social Work and Society." PhD candidates are invited to apply for this award by describing how their dissertation study addresses one of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work. Dissertation award applications can be found on the UM SSW PhD website under 'Dissertation Funding.'
Ending Gender Based Violence

On September 12, the Arizona State University School of Social Work welcomed over 200 community practitioners, researchers, and advocates to campus to discuss ending gender based violence. This activity falls under the Stop Family Violence Grand Challenge. The conference, Promoting Just and Effective Solutions to End Gender Based Violence, included keynotes by Tonya Edmond, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis, and Tricia Bent-Goodley, PhD, Howard University. Workshop participants discussed leading-edge research on interventions with immigrants and refugees experiencing domestic violence, the role technology plays in domestic violence practice settings, and restorative justice alternatives for addressing interpersonal harm. A concluding community dialogue explored the intersection of violence with oppression, poverty, and racism, and why it is important to discuss these topics even as science points to solutions to end violence.
Upcoming Events
Prof2Prof Online Demo 
October 3, 2018
3pm Central Time

The Financial Capability and Asset Building Grand Challenge Network is hosting a web-based demonstration of Prof2Prof. All are invited to learn about the many ways Prof2Prof can be an asset to Grand Challenge networks. Please join us! More information.

The Council on Social Work Education's Annual Program Meeting (APM) is the place where social work education influencers collaborate, learn, teach, and grow. The 64th APM—"Expanding Interprofessional Education to Achieve Social Justice"—will be held November 8–11, 2018, at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. Learn more.

Prof2Prof: Creating a Scholarly Hub for Social Work Education and the Grand Challenges
CSWE 2018 Annual Program Meeting
November 9, 2018, 3-4pm
Dolphin, Walt Disney World Resort, Europe 10, Lobby/Third Floor

  • Kristen Slack, PhD, Founder, Prof2Prof and Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work
  • Sarah Christa Butts, MSW, Executive Director, GCSW, University of Maryland School of Social Work
  • Darla Spence Coffey, PhD, MSW, President and Chief Executive Officer, CSWE
  • Ronald Manderscheid, PhD, Executive Director, NARMH and NACBHDD
  • Julie Birkenmaier, PhD, MSW, LCSW, Professor, Saint Louis University
  • Jonathan Singer, PhD, LCSW, Associate Professor, Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work
  • Lissa Johnson, MSW, LCSW, Director of Administration, Washington University in St. Louis, Center for Social Development
There will also be a GCSW–Prof2Prof booth at the meeting—we hope to see you there!
Local Missouri Summit: Financial Stability and Economic Mobility in Our Community 
November 8, 2018, 8:00 AM–3:00 PM CDT
Shelter Insurance Training Center | Columbia, MO 

This summit, a collaborative of Shelter Insurance, the University of Missouri School of Social Work, the Columbia Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Grand Challenges for Social Work, will bridge research and practice by engaging local Missouri providers, employers, and other key stakeholders in discussions around the current economic landscape and ways to increase financial capability and asset building in vulnerable households. Panelists will share best practices in the field of service, public and private policy making, advocacy, financial services and employment, and will engage participants in developing a plan of action to move the community forward. The outcomes of the summit will help inform Heart of Missouri United Way targets for financial stability impact grants. For more information, contact: Rachel Delcau, MSW, Director of Community Impact, Heart of Missouri United Way, at 573-443-4523 or
ACSSW Conference: School Social Workers Rise to the Grand Challenges for Social Work
January 28–30, 2019
Tulane University | New Orleans

The American Council for School Social Work (ACSSW), in collaboration with Tulane University, is hosting the 7th ACSSW Advancing School Social Work Practice National Institute in January 2019. Themed on the Grand Challenges for Social Work, this conference is an interactive, participatory experience in which practitioners, researchers, leaders in school social work, and university scholars share their expertise and wisdom acquired from practice. In support of the Grand Challenges initiative, the ACSSW 2019 conference sessions will feature each of the 12 Grand Challenges and their connection to school social work practice, leadership and research, and will include this keynote panel presentation:

Keynote Panel Presentation
Monday, January 28, 2019 | 8:45–10:15 AM
Grand Challenges for Social Work: The Essential Role of School Social Workers

University of Southern California School of Social Work professors—Larry Palinkas, PhD, Marleen Wong, PhD, and Ron Avi Astor, PhD—will provide an overview of the Grand Challenges for Social Work with an emphasis on how and why School Social Workers and their school colleagues are essential to achieving these challenges. ACSSW is honored to feature this renowned panel of researchers and experts in the field of social work. Join us in New Orleans as we address significant societal issues and embrace our part in helping to achieve the Grand Challenges for Social Work: Individual and Family Wellbeing for all… a Stronger Social Fabric…and a Just Society.

Register today.
Network for Social Work Management: 30th Anniversary Conference
Save the Date: May 29–June 1, 2019
Chicago, IL 
The Network for Social Work Management's 30th Anniversary Conference will be held in partnership with Loyola University Chicago. Call for Proposals coming soon.
2019 Symposium on Solutions to End Youth Homelessness
June 17–19, 2019
New York University

Join more than 700 community activists, government officials, young people, executive directors, program managers, writers, case managers and funders who are dedicated to ending the youth homelessness crisis at this exciting symposium co-sponsored by NYU. Deborah K. Padgett, PhD, Network Co-Lead for the End Homelessness Grand Challenge and NYU faculty liaison, will be presenting a pre-conference workshop on conducting research with and about homeless persons. Full details are yet to be announced but you can find more information here.
GCSW Partnership with Prof2Prof
The partnership between the Grand Challenges for Social Work and Prof2Prof provides the forum for GC networks and individual members to share their work, collaborate across and within disciplines, and so much more. Watch this video to see Prof2Prof in action. Create your profile today!

NEW! Graphics Help Describe the GCSW
There are now two graphics to help convey the GCSW. One shows the different organizations that are a part of the initiative and how they are related. The other provides ideas for how various individuals and groups, including deans and directors, faculty, students, practitioners, advocates, funders, and policy makers can get involved. Feel free to use these in your own conversations and presentations about the GCSW.

GCSW YouTube Channel
Have you seen the GCSW YouTube channel featuring webinar recordings and more? Take a look! If you have videos related to Grand Challenges and would like them placed on the GCSW channel, please contact Sarah Christa Butts, MSW, Executive Director, at

GCSW Wikipedia Article
Help us build out the Grand Challenges for Social Work Wikipedia article! We are relying on volunteer editors to help make the article more robust and keep it up to date, so please take a look and contribute where appropriate.

2018 Sustaining Sponsors
It's not too late! Contact Sarah Christa Butts, MSW,
to pledge your university’s support.
Arizona State University
Boston College
Boston University
Case Western Reserve University
Colorado State University
Columbia University
Fordham University
Indiana University
Michigan State University
New York University
The Ohio State University
University of California, Los Angeles
University at Buffalo
University of California, Berkeley
University of Alabama
University of Chicago
University of Denver
University of Georgia
University of Houston
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
University of Missouri
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
University of Washington
Washington University in St Louis
Thank you to our Sustaining Sponsors! For more information about becoming a Sustaining Sponsor or if you have questions about Grand Challenges for Social Work, contact
Sarah Christa Butts, MSW, Executive Director, at
Subscribe to UP! today!

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