Skip to main content

Renowned speaker and intimate partner violence expert to present annual Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture 

by Chris Hilburn-Trenkle

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work is pleased to welcome Carolyn West, Ph.D., as the guest speaker for the 2024 annual Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture Series on March 19, 2024. 

West, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Washington Tacoma in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, has devoted her career to empowering domestic violence and sexual assault survivors during their healing journey.  

She will present “Becoming a Leader by Leaning Into Your Story.” This event will be presented virtually and in person in the auditorium of the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building on UNC’s campus. The presentation starts at 12:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Participants are required to register for the event. 

”I am deeply honored to give the Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture,” West said. “I am inspired that after a nearly 30-year career, Mr. Boyd has continued to leave a legacy with this Leadership Lecture Series. In that spirit, my goal is to reflect on my nearly 30-year career to share concrete strategies for how social workers can become survivor-centered, culturally-responsive, trauma-informed, strengths-based leaders by asking themselves, ‘What is my story?’ I believe that by tapping into our own stories—of fear and failures as well as strength and resilience, we find our authentic selves, which enable us to be better servant leaders.” 

As a 23-year-old graduate student, West successfully filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her university and started a media campaign to raise awareness. Since then, she has authored more than 100 academic publications, including “Technical Assistance Guidance Series: Serving Black Women Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence.” She is featured in the streaming documentary “Subjects of Desire,” which is currently available on STARZ and Hulu, and is a writer and producer for “Let Me Tell Y’all ’Bout Black Chicks: Images of Black Women in Pornography,” a documentary that has been presented at violence organizations and universities around the United States. 

One hour of continuing education credit will be offered to participants. Register now for the event. 

More About the Speaker 

West received the University of Washington Distinguished Research Award in 2016, the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013 and the University of Washington Outstanding Woman of the Year Award in 2011.  

In addition to becoming a fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Psychology of Women in 2004, West was on the inaugural editorial board for the journal Sexualization, Media, & Society, an outlet that first published in 2015. 

About the Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture Series 

Bobby Boyd ‘69 (MSW) is a member of UNC School of Social Work’s Board of Advisors, a recipient of the School’s 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award, and the former director of Catawba County Social Services, where he retired after a nearly 30-year career. 

The lecture series in his honor is made possible by the Bobby Boyd Leadership Fund at the School of Social Work. The fund was established by Boyd’s former staff at the Catawba County Department of Social Services, the Social Services Board and Catawba County Commissioners with the purpose of sustaining Boyd’s vision of focusing on results and excellence in public service. The fund supports leadership development and opportunities for UNC School of Social Work students. The Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture provides a forum for leaders from various fields of practice to discuss their experiences and their use of specific strategies to provide leadership aimed at promoting social change interventions.