About the Conference
School social workers are often called to accomplish a myriad of tasks that may go beyond the scope of their work. With limited resources and support, they transform individuals, systems, and situations. Sometimes it feels like they are performing magic, but their secret is a proven toolkit of social work practices. A central component of this toolkit is cultural humility, an approach through which social workers can navigate between fostering home/school collaboration and encouraging anti-racist practices inside and outside the school. Now in its fifth year, the School Social Work Conference will build upon its foundation of creating liberatory spaces of learning and networking by examining the role of cultural humility to ameliorate inequality in communities. The conference will provide space for discussion, new learning, and community building.
Anthony De Jesús is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT. He received his MSW at the Boston University School of Social Work and was a school social worker in Boston prior to earning an Ed.D. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He previously served as a researcher and administrator at the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños and on the faculty at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. He is conducting a study of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families’ Racial Justice Initiative.
Madeline Pérez De Jesús is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work and Latino Community Practice at the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut. A life-long New Yorker before moving to Connecticut, Madeline received her Ph.D. at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. Her study, Two Tales of One City: A Political Economy of the New York City Public High School Admissions Process, was awarded honorable distinction in 2011. She co-authored a volume, Theory and Educational Research: Toward Critical Social Explanation (Anyon et al. 2008, Routledge), in which she has a featured chapter on the experiences of Latina mothers navigating school choice. She is currently working on a book that tells the story of families from two communities at opposite sides of the income ladder searching for access to quality high schools as they navigate the NYC public high school admissions process.