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Inaugural Legacy Speakers Series to focus on child maltreatment prevention

UNC School of Social Work is launching a Social Work Legacy Speakers Series this month with a focus on promoting child maltreatment prevention and to advance equity. The main event of the Legacy Speakers Series is free and open to the public and will be held on April 25 in the auditorium of the School’s Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. Registration to attend the series in person or to participate via zoom is required. Six hours of continuing education credit will be offered to participants.

The inaugural event will bring together individuals committed to strengthening the lives of children and families and to address the challenges and gaps in current service systems to ensure that the community’s most vulnerable are not harmed by programs or efforts intended to buffer them from the effects of traumatic experiences. The goal: to create an enduring legacy of security and stability for children and families.

School of Social Work Dean Ramona Denby-Brinson noted the School’s intention to host the Legacy Speaker Series each spring to highlight the months of April (Child Abuse Prevention Month) and May (Foster Care Awareness Month) and to spotlight the needs of our communities and the capacity of the organizations that support them. Further, the event will enable social work practitioners, researchers and community leaders to consider the impact of child welfare programs and policies on overall well-being.

“When future communities look back to examine our efforts, what conclusions will they reach?” Denby-Brinson asked. “Many individuals in our community have made it their life’s service to strengthen children and families. I see this event as an invitation to join in a community conversation where we will grapple with the challenges that we are facing and consider a path forward that will define the impact we want to see.”

For the inaugural event, the School has invited community and academic leaders to participate with parents and families in a mix of panel discussions, breakout sessions and individual sharing. Discussions will focus on the economic, justice, education, and health issues that impact the lives of children and families.

Social Work Legacy Speaker Series program booklet

Social Work Legacy Speaker Series recordings and presentations

Invited social work and community participants include:

Phillip Redmond and Tamika WilliamsProgram Officers Phillip Redmond and Tamika Williams of The Duke Endowment.

Katie Maguire-JackKatie Maguire-Jack, a University of Michigan associate professor and one of the nation’s leading experts on child maltreatment.

Camille QuinnCamille Quinn, an assistant professor at The Ohio State University (OSU) and health criminologist who examines the treatment of Black girls in criminal justice systems.

Michelle Johnson-MotoyamaMichelle Johnson-Motoyama, an associate professor at OSU and CDC and NIH-funded researcher who examines state and federal policy at the intersection of economics and child maltreatment.

Susan YoonSusan Yoon, an associate professor at OSU who examines child maltreatment and resilience with a focus on fatherhood/father involvement.

Denby-Brinson said she’s especially interested in using the series as a platform for exploring additional collaborations that are community defined and for elevating the perspectives of parents and children.

“I also really want us to think about what it means to ‘use’ research, define impact, and integrate teaching, research, and practice in service to the child welfare community,” she said.