News from the UGA School of Social Work
February 2017

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February 2017

The month of February is Black History Month, and I’ve been very impressed with all the events at the University of Georgia. In particular, I am proud to see that our faculty, students and alumni are creatively involved, organizing dialogues that address difficult, historic problems while engaging campus and off-campus communities in seeking solutions. Earlier this month the Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights sponsored a discussion of liberation theology as a framework for empowering disenfranchised African Americans. The talk, which featured Dr. Llewellyn “Lee” Cornelius and Fenwick Broyard (BSW '02, MSW'13), was well attended. The Bachelor of Social Work Club also assembled an impressive panel of academics and community leaders, as well as sponsors, for a viewing and discussion of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “13th.” The film’s title refers to the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in the U.S. but did not end mass incarceration. That event, too, filled the space where it was held (the Intersection, in the Tate Student Center). On Feb. 28 our student chapter of the Association of Black Social Workers will host another event here at the school, "Shades of Difference: A Conversation on Colorism," about within-group discrimination.

I am proud of this kind of involvement, in part because it shows a strong commitment to addressing difficult issues. The events that mark this month also particularly remind me of the words of Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Social Work. Dr. Carlton-LaNey’s area of research is the history of African-Americans’ contributions to the field of social work. During my years at that institution, she would repeatedly remind me that social work history often left out the names of African-American social work leaders. Even though they made significant contributions to our profession, they are rarely remembered in the social work literature.

So, in honor of Black History Month I encourage you to go and read about these inspiring social work pioneers. Read about Frankie Adams (1902 – 1979), who developed the two-year sequence in community organization method of practice. In 1965 she also became our school’s first African American instructor, and possibly the first African American to teach at the University of Georgia. Read about Thyra J. Edwards (1897-1953), who was a leader in child welfare, with a visionary emphasis on interdisciplinary work and internationalism, or about E. Franklin Frazier (1894-1962), who directed the Atlanta School of Social Work and who wrote the seminal and controversial article The Pathology of Race Prejudice. Of course, you should also read about the indomitable Dorothy Height (1912-2010), who was often referred to as the “godmother of the civil rights movement” and about Whitney M. Young, Jr. (1921-1971) who was the executive secretary of the Urban League in Omaha , Nebraska, taught social work at the University of Nebraska, and became dean of the Atlanta University School of Social Work. Look at some of the NASW publications about these leaders: Social Work and the Black Experience, or African American Leadership. Celebrate Back history in social work.

I would also like to celebrate some of the important work being done by our faculty here at the School of Social Work to promote social justice and well-being among African Americans in the US. Here are just a few examples among many:

  • Drs. Harold Briggs,June Gary Hopps , Leon Banks and Michael Holosko are studying racial disparities in social work higher education;
  • Dr. Rosalyn Campbell and Dr. Michael Robinson both focus on understanding the health and wellbeing of African Americans in relation to behavioral health.
  • The director of our Center for Social Justice, Dr. Lee Cornelius, studies physical health disparities and Dr. Tiffany Washington examines disparities in older adults;
  • Dr. Maurice Daniels is a dedicated historical scholar of the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement and Dr. Tony Lowe also studies history, examining long-lost stories of two African-American postmasters who served in Hogansville, Georgia in the late 19th century.

If you get the opportunity, please read more about the excellent work being done by our faculty (ANNA – OKAY TO PUT LINKS FOR EACH FACULTY IN BODY OF MESSAGE, AS ABOVE?). As always, I hope you will be in touch or come to visit the School. Think about coming to visit for Social Work Month in March—we would love to see you!

Warmest regards, newsletter

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Social Work administrative assistant makes a difference on and off campus (Kat Farlowe)

  • Staff member Kat Farlowe profiled in Columns.
  • June Gary Hopps spoke at a panel discussion, "The Roots of Good Works and the Atlanta School," at Clark Atlanta University.
  • Tiffany Washington among the contributors to Specialized Practice Curricular Guide for Gero Social Work Practice, now available for download.
  • Trina Salm Ward and Jane McPherson received funding from the American SIDS Institute for a grant proposal titled "Sleep Baby Safe: An ecologically tailored safe sleep coaching intervention for African American infant caregivers."
  • Rosalyn Denise Campbell, Mary Caplan, Jane McPherson, Orion Mowbray, David Okech, Trina Salm Ward and Tiffany Washington were recognized by the UGA Career Center's Career Outcomes Survey as faculty who contributed greatly to student career development and success.
  • Students in Jane McPherson's global social work class raised funds for the Youth Uplift Challenge.

Alumni News


Laura Jalbert

If you have alumni news you'd like to share, please contact Jennifer Abbott, alumni director, at

March is Social Work Month!
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