2018-2019 Events

Communications Office
August 30, 2019

Every academic year, the School of Social Work convenes innovative thinkers and practitioners to engage with our community on social justice and related topics. During 2018–2019, our School hosted more than 200 events, some of which were sponsored by faculty research centers, others by student caucuses, and still others by various administrative offices. We provide some highlights below, along with annotations as to why these particular events stood out from the year’s crowded schedule. And where applicable, we provide links to Livestream or YouTube, where the events can still be viewed.




6: 5th Annual School Social Work Conference: Building Cultural Humility
“The evaluations from our 276 attendees spoke to how the attendees were given something they could use in their school the next day: it was a ‘learn today and implement tomorrow’ conference. Each year the content keeps getting better and we keep getting better at what we’re doing.” —Office of Professional Excellence

 1: Psychopharmocology and the Brain: Clinician Basics
“The best thing about this continuing education workshop, which sold out with 70 attendees, was that we had a lot of new people come who were outside the School of Social Work—not just alumni and students. They were people who work out in the field who might never have walked into this building before.” —Office of Professional Excellence


23: New Frontiers in Poverty Research, 5th Annual Conference | News article | Livestream
“This year’s keynote speaker, Wes Moore, spoke passionately about the need not only to reduce poverty but also to find ways to sustain its alleviation.” —Comms Team

8: The Opioid Epidemic: Where Do We Go from Here?
“Listening to Chinazo Cunningham, MD, convinced me how easy and effective addiction treatment could be if it were destigmatized. I further enjoyed hearing from a leading member of Nabila El-Bassel’s research group who will be tackling the opioid crisis in New York State.” —Comms Team

25: Syrian Refugee Health and Health Service Delivery in Jordan and Turkey: Project ASPIRE | News article | Livestream
“It was particularly interesting to hear from Project ASPIRE’s collaborators, who are working on the ground with Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey. They told us for instance that in Turkey, health care providers have experienced prejudice and stigmatization for aiding refugees, whom many see as a strain on Turkish society.” —Comms Team

25: 2019 Lucille N. Austin Lecture on Care for Traumatized Immigrant Children | Livestream
“I particularly valued hearing Bethany Miller’s talk, with photos, about the horrible system for processing immigrants at our southern border. It showed the ineffective little slips of paper people are given each day to wait their turn for processing. Our government apparently isn’t even using a laptop to keep track of people requesting to enter the country. Quite similar to the lack of record keeping on children who are separated from their families.” —Comms Team

23: Just Societies LIVE: Health and Human Rights | YouTube
“It was fascinating to observe two researchers from very different parts of Columbia University find out how much they have in common in terms of disability rights and gendered health care.” —Comms Team

18: Poverty & Social Policy Seminar: “Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works”
“It was an extraordinary opportunity to hear from Berkeley economist Rucker Johnson, who refer to himself the poster child of racial integration in schools. Drawing on longitudinal studies going back to the 1960s, his latest book shows that students who attended integrated and well-funded schools were more successful, white as well as black.” —Comms Team

18: Just Societies LIVE Special Edition: Ester Fuchs with Mayor Michael Tubbs on Just Cities | YouTube
“No one knows city-level politics better than Ester Fuchs of SIPA. She has even written a book in which Mayor Tubbs’s city, Stockton, California, is a case study so is familiar with his issues. Watching the two of them meet for the first time on this Facebook LIVE episode, discovering their many commonalities despite generational differences, was priceless.” —Comms Team

18: Inaugural Alice P. Lin Memorial Lecture with Michael D. Tubbs, Mayor of Stockton, CA | Livestream
“I enjoyed listening to Michael Tubbs talking about his guaranteed income experiment: the differences a few hundred extra dollars per month can make in someone’s life and the many reasons people gave him that the experiment shouldn’t go forward.” —Comms Team

16: Just Societies LIVE: New Media and New Narratives | YouTube
“Tackling the topic of how virtual reality, gaming, and other new media can further a more equitable society, Professor Courtney Cogburn and Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab’s Lance Weiler engaged in a forward-looking discussion that defied disciplinary categories. There was a great, almost instant, rapport between these two guests.” —Comms Team

13: Acceptance Commitment Therapy for the Treatment of Anxiety
“The speaker, Brian Mundy, is one of the top trainers in New York City. Not only was this continuing education workshop sold out, with 72 attendees, but he was wonderful and we got great feedback.” —Office of Professional Excellence

10: Launch Event: Youth Correctional Leaders for Justice (YCLJ) | Livestream
“Current and former youth correctional administrators as well as the formerly incarcerated and their families packed the room to discuss how to end punitive youth prison models. This event kicked off a new organization that would work toward making this a reality.” —Comms Team

5: China’s Invisible Crisis: How the Urban-Rural Human Capital Divide Threatens China’s Growth and Stability | Livestream
“While China’s cities have succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, the overlooked rural population—who make up the vast majority of the population—is being left behind. Dr. Scott Rozelle calls this China’s ‘invisible crisis’ and gave us the evidence he will present in his forthcoming book of this name. It was eye-opening.” —Comms Team

1: 2019 Hoffman Writing Lecture: The Language of Inclusion
“Students, alumni, and other social work practitioners gathered to reflect critically on the importance of inclusive writing for non-profit administrators. Speaker Deepa Iyer and her co-facilitator, Ashleigh Washington, challenged participants to craft funding narratives that reflect social work values and emphasize clients’ strengths.” —Writing Center


30: Caring for All: Challenges and Opportunities in China and Beyond
“This conference exemplified everything I came to enjoy about being at Columbia for three months: the multidisciplinary research approach to solving complex social problems and the emphasis on international collaboration.” —Candice Yandam-Rivière, visiting scholar, China Center for Social Policy

14: Annual Metro New York Master’s Level Social Work Job Fair
“Ninety-seven employers and training institutes and 808 students and alumni attended this event organized by the Metro New York Social Work Consortium. Watch the calendar for next year’s event, to be hosted by NYU.” —Office of Career Services

7: Beyond the Bars 2019: Until She’s Free | News article
“On opening night of the conference, emotions flowed from tears to anger to laughter as women’s theater groups from New Orleans and New York performed in a way that made clear how poor women and particularly women of color, are stripped of opportunities, as well as confronted by racism, poverty, and violence—all central to them ending up in prison.” —Center for Justice

6: Chinese Couplets: Film Screening and Dialogue with Director
“Very few of us know about America’s Chinese Exclusion era. Professor Jinyu Liu’s film screening was an opportunity to fill in that lacuna. The director, Felicia Lowe, made the film based on her family’s own experience.” —Comms Team

5: Just Societies LIVE: Columbia Professors Bruce Western & Damon Phillips | YouTube
“The School of Social Work and the Just Societies Initiative of the Columbia Commitment convened two experts on criminal justice to discuss the process of reintegration. One of our most widely watched episodes, this discussion between Bruce Western, author of Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison, and Damon Phillips, co-director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, examined the concrete challenges formerly incarcerated people face trying to secure employment upon re-entry.” —Comms Team

1: Empathy Bootcamp with Dr. Kelsey Crowe | News article
“In this eye-opening workshop hosted by the Center for Complicated Grief, Dr. Crowe dispelled some of the uncertainty of dealing with a client, friend, or family member who is in pain. Participants were relieved to learn that offering the suffering person to join you in an activity you enjoy makes you more likely to follow through.” —Comms Team


27: Original Wellbeing Lecture Series: Emergence and Submergence
“This three-part series featured Hadrien Coumans of the Lenape Center of New York City discussing the well-being practices he and others had drawn from a range of contemporary indigenous cultures.” —Comms Team

21: Presumed Competent: Asian Americans and Affirmative ActionLivestream
“Asian Americans have been unwittingly pulled into the affirmative action controversy and pitted against the Black and LatinX populations in the contest for desirable high school and college spots. This data-informed talk by two sociologists examines myths and realities that can affect how our students and their families relate to one another in a competitive environment.”  —Comms Team

19: Social Work LIVE: Jinyu Liu, Jeanette Takamura and the Health Needs of Seniors | YouTube
“This episode of Social Work LIVE provided a comparative perspective of different approaches to aging around the world. The robust discussion jumped from policy to practice and offered a lot of lessons for all efforts to provide proper care to seniors going forward.” —Comms Team

18: Celebrating Recent Work by Bruce Western
“The Bruce Western panel was great because it showed the collaboration across Columbia on the incredibly important topic of mass incarceration. Western’s book Homeward is a fascinating work of qualitative research and was interesting to hear about.” —Comms Team

13: Preparing for Careers and Internships in Policy: A Panel Discussion
“Experienced professionals who are alumni of the School of Social Work and Mailman School of Public Health led an insightful discussion on the value of direct practice skills, the ways social workers can make an impact on policy, and steps students can take to navigate a path toward similar roles.” —Office of Career Services



11: Social Work LIVE: Neeraj Kaushal and Bethany Miller on the Migrant Caravans | YouTube
“This discussion was a perfect example of what the Social Work LIVE program does best: bring together different members of the School community, with their unique knowledge and experience, to compare notes on pressing topics. Prof. Neeraj Kaushal brought to the table her expertise on U.S. immigration policy, while MSW student Bethany Miller was preparing to volunteer with immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.” —Comms Team

7: Film Screening and Panel: “Please Remember Me”
“Prof Jinyu Liu was the perfect person to host a film screening on the topic of aging in China, which she studies. The filmmaker followed her great uncle and aunt for three years as the aunt developed Alzheimer’s and the uncle, pancreatic cancer. It’s a tender and moving portrayal of aging within the Chinese cultural context.” —Comms Team


29: Annual Lecture: China’s 40 Years of Poverty Alleviation: Historical and Sociological Perspectives | Livestream
“The audience responded well to Professor Li Xiaoyun, both to his lively style of discourse and to his thought-provoking theories about how China can contribute its experience of poverty alleviation methods to other countries.” —Comms Team

14: Social Work LIVE: Neeraj Kaushal and U.S. Immigration Policy | News article | YouTube
“Prof. Kaushal introduced her new book, Blaming Immigrants, explained that U.S. immigration policies (at least as of last fall) were a model for the rest of the world, and advocated for allowing more, rather than fewer, immigrants into the United States. Thought provoking as well as timely!” —Comms Team

7: Panel Discussion: Social Policy Faculty Reflect on Midterm Election Results
“Whenever we have an election, our School’s policy faculty come into their own and are a font of knowledge on how to interpret the results in terms of what the social work community cares most about: lowering poverty rates and providing opportunities for the poor and vulnerable.” —Comms Team

10: Time to Talk: How (and Why!) Social Workers Need to Talk to Journalists | News article
“At this well-attended panel discussion organized by a student caucus, social work students learned how to use the media to advocate for their clients while not jeopardizing confidentiality. Dr. Claire Green-Forde, executive director of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, was an exceptionally savvy and inspiring panelist.” —Comms Team


24: Inaugural Communities of Color Roundtable Networking Night
“More than 60 students and alumni gathered for an intimate event that provided a safe, open forum to discuss job searching and navigating the workplace as a person of color. Student attendees commented how valuable it was to be able to connect with alumni in senior-level positions and receive their candid insights and advice.” —Career Services

12: Pony Power: Achieving Well-Being through Horse-Assisted Activities
“Dana Spett, MSW, founder of Pony Power Therapies in Bergen County, New Jersey. was the field supervisor for one of our online students. At this panel discussion she advocated for equine therapy, and for raising the money to do clinical trials so that insurance companies will cover the cost some day. The program was also special because it opened with a video we made at the farm itself.” —Comms Team

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