Wurzweiler Celebrates 60th Anniversary

David Remnick to Keynote April 13 “Social Work in Challenging Times” Conference 

To mark its 60th anniversary, Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work will host a conference titled “Social Work in Challenging Times” on Friday, April 13. The event will take place at the Yeshiva University Museum at 15 West 16th Street, New York City. David Remnick, acclaimed journalist, author and editor of The New Yorker, will deliver the keynote address, titled “Free Press in the Era of Donald Trump.”

David Remnick

David Remnick

“The political landscape in which social workers and mental health providers work has changed dramatically over the last 13 months, with substantial changes in policies toward the poor and ill, toward immigrants, toward children and the elderly,” said Dr. Danielle Wozniak, David and Dorothy Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler. “But what hasn’t changed is social work’s dedication and passion for helping our society’s vulnerable populations. This conference will look at how we can and must impact the changing mental health landscape to uphold our professional mission and values.”

The heart of “Social Work in Challenging Times” will be three workshops focusing on the challenges presented to social work in medicine, mental health and immigration, led by Dr. Penny Damaskos (director of the Department of Social Work at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital Cancer Center), Faye Wilbur (deputy director of The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services) and Lindsay Nash (visiting assistant clinical professor at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law). Continuing Education Unit credits will be available, and registration for the conference is open.

The conference is dedicated to the memory of Dean Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, the first Latina dean of a New York school of social work, who led Wurzweiler from 2012 until 2016, and builds on other Wurzweiler efforts to promote social work advocacy. Last November, Wurzweiler partnered with the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work to present a Campaign School for Social Workers. Close to 100 social workers, mental health providers and students learned how to strengthen their civic engagement in the political process, up to and including staging a campaign for political office.

In addition, on March 21, Wurzweiler will participate in the Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD), when hundreds of New York State social work students and professionals will gather at the Capitol in Albany to lobby legislators on behalf of specific legislation. Dr. Lynn Levy, associate clinical professor and one of the leaders of the Wurzweiler contingent, emphasized how LEAD “gives our social work students the opportunity to see beyond the boundaries of their own careers and become more passionate not only about what they do but also about the policies that either hinder or help them carry out their professional and moral obligations.”

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