Events 2021 Social Justice Events

Social Work and the Future of Democracy

Date: March 10, 2021
Location: Virtual Conference 


Justin Hodge, LMSW, is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan where he promotes socially just policies through his engagement in governmental and political organizations. A licensed MSW, he earned his MSW degree at the University of Michigan. Justin was elected to serve the Washtenaw County community as both the Chair of the Eastern Washtenaw Democratic Club and the Vice-Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Washtenaw County Democratic Party. He was also appointed to serve on the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Community Advisory Board for Law Enforcement where he brings a social justice perspective to the board.


Dr. Mimi Abramovitz is the Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Work at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and The CUNY Graduate Center. She is co-leader of the Social Work National Voter Mobilization Campaign. Known nationally and internationally as a public intellectual and an activist, she publishes widely on issues related to women, poverty, human rights, the U. S. welfare state and the impact of public policy on non-profit human service agencies–all through the lens of race, class and gender. She earned her B.A. in sociology at the University of Michigan and her MSW and PhD at Columbia University School of Social Work.

Chad Dion Lassiter is a national expert in the field of American race relations. Mr. Lassiter has worked on race, peace, and poverty-related issues in the United States and abroad. He is currently the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, where he has legislatively delegated authority to investigate a complaint alleging the occurrence of unlawful discrimination. Mr. Lassiter received his Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Social Work, where he was the A. Phillip Randolph Award winner in 2001 and he received his bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Johnson C. Smith University in 1995.

Edolphus “Ed” Towns is former Member of the United States House of Representatives where he served 15 terms (30 years) representing citizens of Brooklyn, New York. During his distinguished career in Congress, Ed Towns rose to become the Chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In 1991, he was elected Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in 1991 and in 2010, he founded the Congressional Social Work Caucus during the 111th Congress. He earned his MSW degree from Adelphi University School of Social Work. Ed Towns is a principal with Gray Global Advisors, a consultant for the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), and a board member for World Business Lenders.

Charles E. Lewis, Jr. is the founding Director of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP). He is an adjunct professor at Columbia University School of Social Work and a member of the Grand Challenges for Social Work Leadership Board. He was recently inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Dr. Lewis was Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for former Congressman Ed Towns Towns when he oversaw the creation of the Congressional Social Work Caucus. He earned his MSW degree in clinical counseling from Clark Atlanta University and PhD in policy, planning and policy analysis from Columbia University.

Event recordings:

Social Work and Future of Democracy Forum

Young Social Workers Speak Out On The Future of Democracy

View souvenir program 

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