2019 Hoffman Writing Lecture: The Language of Inclusion

April 1, 2019 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


1255 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027 Room C03

Civil rights lawyer & award-winning author
Senior Fellow, Race Forward


Writing Consultant, Columbia School of Social Work
Senior Director of Learning & Staff Development, Safe Horizon

About the Event

Today, we live in, work with, and serve diverse communities and individuals who have complex and multilayered identities and experiences. How can our writing and communications be inclusive and empowering, rather than marginalizing or othering? This workshop will provide participants with concepts and practices to craft inclusive communications that strengthen their relationships with clients, funders, and community partners.

About the Speaker

Deepa Iyer is an author, civil rights lawyer, and community leader.

Over the course of her 20-year career, Deepa has advocated around social justice issues affecting immigrant communities and people of color. In the wake of 9/11, Deepa helped to start the first national non-profit civil rights organization that works with South Asians called South Asian Americans Leading Together or SAALT. She served as SAALT’s Executive Director for a decade, working on issues related to national security, immigration, and hate violence. Prior to her work at SAALT, Deepa served as Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, as Legal Director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, and Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Deepa’s experiences at SAALT formed the basis for her first book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future (The New Press 2015). We Too Sing America has received a 2016 American Book Award and was selected as a top 10 multicultural non-fiction books of 2015 by Booklist.

Currently, Deepa is a Senior Fellow at Race Forward, a non-profit organization, where she runs a project called Solidarity Is This to explore how we can build practices, language, and values to build equitable and inclusive communities. Deepa hosts a monthly podcast called Solidarity Is This, and provides trainings on racial equity to a range of stakeholders.

An immigrant who moved to Kentucky from Kerala (India) when she was twelve, Deepa graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and Vanderbilt University.

About the Moderator

Ashleigh Washington is a social worker whose career has emphasized a passion for fostering resiliency and social welfare for women. Applying her talent as an innovator, educator, and strategist, Ashleigh has been leading practice in the field of social work for the past 13 years. Ashleigh began her career working in direct service to substance users in Houston, Texas, and she has since worked in service to women in New York City’s public education, healthcare, and housing systems. Ashleigh has led program design, marketing, evaluation, and evidence-based practice within organizations like the NYC Department of Education, Harlem United, and currently Safe Horizon. As Safe Horizon’s Senior Director of Learning & Staff Development, Ashleigh leads the way that the agency’s 900+ employees learn, develop, and contribute to a society free of violence and oppression. Ashleigh is also a Writing Consultant at Columbia School of Social Work Center where she combines her interests in education, social justice, and communication.

Ashleigh holds a bachelor’s in social work from Prairie View A&M University in Texas, and a masters in social work from Columbia University.

Continuing Education Information

For a fee of $87.50, NYS-, NJ- and CT-licensed social workers and NYS licensed mental health counselors* are eligible to receive 3.5 contact hours. $25 discount for alumni and current field instructors. Licensed social workers for other states, please email swope@columbia.edu. Columbia University School of Social Work is a CSWE accredited institution.

Please note that in order to receive your continuing education certificate, you must attend the ENTIRE event and complete the evaluation in accordance to NYSED regulations*. There is a 10 minute grace period. Any participant who joins past 6:10pm or leaves earlier than 9:20pm will not receive CE credits nor is eligible for a refund. Please plan accordingly.

For more information, including learning objectives, please go to the registration page.

Questions on earning CE hours? Please contact swope@columbia.edu.

About the Hoffman Writing Lecture

Held every two years, the Hoffman Writing Lecture has been made possible by a generous gift from alumna Linda (MSW’68) and Peter Hoffman. They established the series to build the capacity of social work professionals to be clear and persuasive in their writing.