Penn School of Social Policy and Practice Marks 100 Years at the National Council on Social Work Education

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820October 22, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — As a part of the centennial of social work education at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice is sponsoring the opening ceremonies and special plenary session for the Council on Social Work Education’s 54th Annual Meeting. The conference brings together more than 3,000 social-work educators, students and practitioners at the Marriott Downtown Hotel , Oct. 30-Nov. 2.

The special session will feature Jonathan Kozol, an advocate for educational reform and author of “Savage Inequalities” and “The Shame of a Nation.”

Kozol will describe inequalities within urban education: large class sizes, inexperienced teachers, lack of pre-K opportunities and the damaging effects of racial isolation, which perpetuates the gap between different racial groups in public schools.

He will highlight the breakthroughs devoted educators have made in increasing racial sensitivity.

More than 18 faculty from the School are presenting a variety of topics at the conference, including:

Damon Freeman, “Critical Race Theory and Social Work Education.”

Roberta Sands, “Evaluation: From the Inside Out.”

Ram Cnaan, “Has the Time Come for a Doctorate in Social Work?”

“Nearly 3,000 social workers and social-work educators are coming to Philadelphia for three days at this national event and we’re proud to host them all as a part of our centennial celebration,” Richard Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice, said. “In this challenging economic and social environment, more and more families will look for assistance and turn to those at the front lines of human services, the social workers.”

The conference also offers social-work students resume-writing workshops and panel discussions about finding a job. These programs are designed to prepare the next generation of social-work practitioners and educators to enter the 21st-century workforce.

The Council on Social Work Education is a non-profit national association representing more than 3,000 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social-work education.

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