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Centennial Celebration

UNC School of Social Work is celebrating its centennial — 100 years since UNC-Chapel Hill offered the first courses in its new School of Public Welfare in September 1920!

This is a major milestone, in both the history of the University and the history of the State of North Carolina. During its first 100 years, our School has been a strong and consistent leader in social work education, with these and other accomplishments:

  • First school of social work in North Carolina
  • First school to offer a doctoral degree in social work in North Carolina
  • First Black faculty member at UNC-Chapel Hill — Mrs. Hortense McClinton
  • First Black dean of a professional school at UNC-Chapel Hill — Dean John Turner
  • More than 5,000 alumni

Truly, the story of social work in North Carolina has its beginnings here, and our School community — students, alumni, current and former faculty and staff, donors and friends — have much to celebrate. The theme of the Centennial Celebration, “100 Years of Social Work: Ready for Next,” emphasizes that this celebration is about our future as well as our history.

Because the University has restricted public events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC School of Social Work is extending its centennial celebration to span two years. During the 2020-2021 academic year, our School will host a series of virtual events and activities. We are optimistic that pandemic restrictions will ease and we will be able to add in-person events during the 2021-2022 academic year.

2020-2021 Events and Activities

We will add information here as additional events and activities are scheduled throughout the year.

Centennial Speaker Series

Our School is launching its centennial celebration with the new Centennial Speaker Series, focusing on social justice and anti-racism. Each event is virtual (presented on Zoom — you must register in advance to receive Zoom access to the event), free, and open to the public. Our speakers are leaders in social justice and anti-racism, nationally and internationally, and they will inspire you!

Rev. William Barber
Sept. 24, 2020

Rev. Wiliam Barber has led numerous Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly. He is a visiting professor of public theology and activism at Union Theological Seminary, an author of four books, and a recipient of the MacArthur oundation Fellowship and the North Carolina Award.

Ibram X. Kendi
Oct. 28, 2020

Ibram X. Kendi is an author of three New York Times best-selling books, including “How To Be An Antiracist.” He is the Andrew W. Melton Professor in the Humanities and the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent.

Eddie Glaude Jr.
Jan. 20, 2021

Eddie Glaude Jr. is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, an author of seven books, a columnist for Time Magazine and a regular commentator for radio and TV news programs.

Service Project: Carolina Social Workers Action for Voting (C-SWAV)

Our School celebrates its legacy of service to North Carolina with a special service project in fall 2020 — a voter awareness campaign. Students, faculty, staff, and community partners are working together on this nonpartisan effort to ensure that eligible voters are registered and are able to cast their ballots in 2020. Learn more about Carolina Social Workers Action for Voting (C-SWAV) and get involved!