Past Event

6th Annual School Social Work Conference: A Healing Justice Movement for Educators & Practitioners

March 19, 2021
8:45 AM - 3:45 PM
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Online Live Event

$80- $160 with 2.5- 5.5 Live- Online CE hours provided. See registration page for all CE, pricing, and discount information.

Conference Description

Social workers in educational spaces are advocates for social justice while grappling with secondary trauma, inequity, and obstacles across all levels of practice. How do we engage in conversations around the grief we endure and at the same time experience resiliency, hope, and joy that we can manifest in our interactions with others? 

According to Cara Page of the Kindred Healing Justice Collective, “Healing Justice identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma, violence and disassociation; and bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression in our bodies, hearts and minds.”

This transformation extends to communities and systems as well. We invite you to explore this question through workshops -- by sharing knowledge, strategies and approaches with one another in order to  cultivate opportunities for healing, connection, awareness and action.  If you are a change agent impacting young people’s lives and community, this conference is for you!

Detailed Schedule

Part One: 8:45am- 12:15pm

3 Contact Hours, Live-Online

8:45am- 9:15am -Welcome and Introductions by Dean Melissa Begg & Dr. Kathryne Leak, Associate Dean and Director of Field Education


9:15am- 10:30am - Keynote with Cara Page

“Reclaiming Our Radical Imagination”

The purpose of this presentation is to explore the relationship to the School of Social Work to the methodologies and historical oppression of the Medical-Industrial Complex.  We will explore how social work was created and how it  perpetuates systems and schools of thought rooted in colonialism and explore ways these schools of thought have been transformed.

Objectives: By attending this lecture, participants will gain increased knowledge of

  • the legacy of Social Work/Medical Institutions in the context of US Colonialist History.
  • intergenerational trauma as it relates to policing/surveillance; the Medical-Industrial-Complex/Police-Industrial Complex & social work as a system of care.
  • Healing Justice as a political strategy to sustain the well-being of our communities; and build lineage and practice through cultural memory & practice
  • Transformative Justice as a political strategy (how to hold accountability processes inside of systems and family structures)
10:30 -10:45am -  Break
10:45am-12:15pm -  Workshop 1 with Dr. Ian Levy

“Hip Hop & Spoken Word Therapy for School Support Staff”

The purpose of this workshop is to illuminate the use of hip hop and spoken word therapy (HHSWT), a culturally responsive school-based counseling framework whereby students engage in previously validated counseling interventions through the process of writing, recording, and performing hip hop music (Levy, 2012; Levy & Keum, 2014). Participants will first learn the theoretical constructs of HHSWT, and then engage in the practicing of salient HHSWT skills to use within their direct practice.

HHSWT is grounded in established counseling theories, including cognitive behavioral therapy and person-centered therapy, and couples with a bevy of hip-hop cultural practices, such as: lyric writing as cognitive and emotive journaling, collaboration as role-play, hip-hop performance to bolster group dynamics, and the hip-hop mixtape to guide the counseling process. By rooting counseling tools in aspects of youth culture such as these, students can engage in the evocation and analysis of previously undisclosed thoughts and feelings. Levy (2019) argues that lyric writing as cognitive and emotional journaling allows students to make lyric-based journal entries to process the emergence of specific difficult thoughts, feelings, and emotions outside of sessions.  Further, through the use of role play as collaboration, students work in small -groups, pairs, or with their counselor to co-construct songs around emotional experiences to learn to analyze thoughts and feelings and develop solutions (Levy, 2019). The hip hop cultural practice of the cypher is discussed as a group space where hip hop community members convene to share their emotionally-laden art (Levy, Emdin, & Adjapong, 2018). Levy et al., (2018) argue that the hip hop cypher is a community-based group space utilized for catharsis, which can be intentionally infused in traditional group counseling practice. To aid youth in counseling sessions with the intentional exploration of salient emotional themes, Levy, Cook, and Emdin (2018) recommend engaging youth in the cultural process of planning, marketing, and disseminating emotionally- themed hip hop albums, or mixtapes. Levy (2019) found a school counselors’ use of HHSWT in group counseling inside a school hip hop recording studio to positively support students' social and emotional development.

Learning Objectives: Participants will

  • learn the principal theoretical tenets of Hip Hop and Spoken Word Therapy to support students' navigation of social and emotional concerns.
  • deepen their knowledge of hip hop culture, and ultimately learn how to engage with young people of color in a culturally competent fashion.
  • have access to practical tools and strategies to implement hip hop-based interventions within their direct work in schools. The flexibility of this approach will allow everyone to learn an approach to integrating it in their schools.
  • learn about the effectiveness of this approach through various data sources, to assist them in advocating for the use of this approach in their school buildings and/or districts.


12:15- 1:00pm - Lunch Break


Part Two: 1:00pm- 3:45pm

2.5 Contact Hours, Live-Online


1:00- 2:30pm  - Choose ONE between Workshop 2.A or Workshop 2.B


Workshop 2.A Wendy Blanco, LCSW “Trauma & Resiliency Model of Care that Works!”

The TRIUMPH model is one that is rooted in empowerment and choice. It empowers survivors of trauma to heal on their terms. Our model has non-traditional healing modalities, including trauma-informed yoga, dance movement, healing arts and it is the extension of talk therapy. Talk therapy is a western model and it works for some, but not all, and so we have incorporated modalities that are adaptations of cultural practices and indigenous healing methods that we utilize to build community. We incorporate body-based modalities because we know there is a lot of research to support these interventions. We also bring modalities to underserved communities, including EMDR, because we believe in equity and that everyone should have access to quality mental health care and wellness services.

Considering the global pandemic, we will discuss the role of providers; how to acknowledge our own self-care needs, how to create safe at-home work spaces and how to engage with participants in a more creative way. 

Learning Objectives: Participants will

  • identify what the TRIUMPH model is and be able to identify at least one modality incorporated in the model.
  • learn a new intervention, Community Resiliency Model (CRM) and be able to identify one CRM skill.
  • identify what trauma- and resiliency- informed models mean and the differences between the two. 
  • learn one or more ways to engage clients with the use of technology.



Workshop 2.B Jessica Taube, LMSW “Liberation and Healing Through Community Organizing”

The workshop will explore ways that young people can engage in youth leadership roles and community organizing opportunities within their schools and larger communities, with particular attention to institutional racism and the role of various school stakeholders in addressing it. We will discuss how the intersection of individual clinical work and youth organizing, along with trauma-informed schools and social-emotional learning practices such as restorative justice and mindfulness, can heal individual youth and their families and empower and transform their communities.

Learning Objectives: Participants will

  • review sample school-based social justice/youth organizing models and design a draft of their own to take back to their schools, with options for both in-person and remote activities.
  • discuss and analyze the impact of youth leadership models, social emotional learning, and restorative justice practices in schools and write a draft proposal for changes they can advocate for in their schools.


2:30- 2:45pm - Break


2:45- 3:45pm - Workshop 3. Dr. Cindy Bautista-Thomas

“Day Debrief & Reflection”

Throughout the conference you will have explored the ways we engage in conversations around the grief we endure and at the same time experience resiliency, hope, and joy that we can manifest in our interactions with others. This ending session will provide a guided debrief by Dr. Cindy Bautista-Thomas of these considerations, in light of Cara Page’s definition of Healing Justice.

By attending this session, participants will  

  • gain a new and/or deeper understanding of what constitutes Healing Justice
  • identify ways they can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma, violence and disassociation
  • identify collective practices that impact and transform consequences of oppression in the body, heart and mind
3:45pm - End


$80- $160 with 2.5- 5.5 Live- Online CE hours provided. See registration page for all CE, pricing, and discount information.



Contact Information

Office of Professional Excellence