Robert L. Hawkins
McSilver Associate Professor in Poverty Studies; Assistant Dean and Director, Undergraduate Program; McSilver Faculty Fellow
PhD, MA, MPA, BA
Areas of Expertise: Poverty; social capital; family and children's policy; social policy analysis; diversity and racism; community-participatory research; qualitative methods; ethnographic research
Robert Hawkins is the McSilver Associate Professor in Poverty Studies at NYU Silver and serves as Assistant Dean and Director of the School’s undergraduate program. Dr. Hawkins has expertise in poverty and welfare, social capital use and development, race and social policy, community participatory research with mixed methodologies, and social policy analysis. He also has extensive programming, research, and teaching expertise in race and racism, diversity, oppression, and privilege. Dr. Hawkins has approached the study and understanding of poverty from many perspectives. He conducted research with low-income families in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, engaged in in-depth studies with single mother-led households, and led international work in poor communities in the Philippines. His current research focuses on racism and poverty as trauma, and addresses the link between social position, negative life events, and social capital usage marginalized and low-income individuals and families. He is particularly interested in the structural, sociological, and psychological barriers faced by low-income people trying to make a successful transition from poverty and welfare to positions of economic sustainability.
Dr. Hawkins has been an administrator and trainer in agencies addressing family needs for both children and older adults. He has worked with the Family & Children's Resource Center and the Center for Aging Research and Educational Services in North Carolina, the American Geriatrics Society in New York City, People for the American Way, and the University College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. He served as an ethnographic researcher with Welfare, Children, and Families, a three-city longitudinal study lead by researchers from Harvard University, University of Texas-Austin, Penn State University, and Brandeis University. This study examined in detail the lives of low-income single mothers, their neighborhood and community networks, and how the women survive under welfare reform.
Dr. Hawkins has served as an adviser and consultant for numerous other community, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations, and speaks, writes, and presents nationally and internationally on a range of related topics. He was selected by The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation to join the Sterling Network NYC, a multidisciplinary network of New York City leaders working together to tackle the challenge of increasing economic mobility.
Dr. Hawkins received his PhD in social policy with an emphasis on low-income families and children from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in 2002. In addition to his doctorate, he holds a master's degree in social policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, a Master's in Public Administration from the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
Understanding long-term HIV survivorship among African American/Black and Latinx persons living with HIV in the United States: A qualitative exploration through the lens of symbolic violence
Freeman, R., Gwadz, M., Wilton, L., Collins, L. M., Dorsen, C., Hawkins, R. L., Silverman, E., Martinez, B. Y., Leonard, N. R., Applegate, A. & Cluesman, S., Aug 28 2020, In : International Journal for Equity in Health. 19, 1, 146.
Getting by in New York City: Bonding, Bridging and Linking Capital in Poverty-Impacted Neighborhoods
Lukasiewicz, K., Bahar, O. S., Ali, S., Gopalan, P., Parker, G., Hawkins, R., McKay, M. & Walker, R., Mar 2019, In : City and Community. 18, 1, p. 280-301 22 p.
Welfare, Liberty, and Security for All? U.S. Sex Education Policy and the 1996 Title V Section 510 of the Social Security Act
Lerner, J. E. & Hawkins, R. L., Jul 1 2016, In : Archives of Sexual Behavior. 45, 5, p. 1027-1038 12 p.
Race, Space, and the Urban South: Then and Now
Tighe, J. R., Needle, E. & Hawkins, R., Apr 3 2015, In : Journal of Policy Practice. 14, 2, p. 96-113 18 p.
Economic and social abuse of low-income older adults: Policy solutions
Hawkins, R. & Weiss, M., 2014. Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health. 2 ed. New York: Sage
Non-academic factors associated with dropping out of high school: Adolescent problem behaviors
Hawkins, R., Jaccard, J. J. & Needle, E., 2013, In : Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research. 4, 2, p. 58-75
The Socio-Economic Empowerment Assessment: Addressing Poverty and Economic Distress in Clients
Hawkins, R. L. & Kim, E. J., Jun 2012, In : Clinical Social Work Journal. 40, 2, p. 194-202 9 p.
Unravelling social capital: Disentangling a concept for social work
Hawkins, R. L. & Maurer, K., Mar 2012, In : British Journal of Social Work. 42, 2, p. 353-370 18 p.
"waiting for the white man to fix things:" rebuilding black poverty in new orleans
Hawkins, R. L. & Maurer, K., Mar 2012, In : Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. 39, 1, p. 111-139 29 p.
Social justice revisited: Psychological re-colonization and the challenge of anti-oppression advocacy
Ali, A., McFarlane, E., Hawkins, R. & Udo-Inyang, I., 2012, In : Race, Gender and Class. 19, 1-2, p. 322-335
Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities
Hawkins, R. L., Vashchenko, M. & Davis, C., Oct 5 2011, Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice. John Wiley and Sons, p. 245-266 22 p.
A new methodology for assessing social work practice: The adaptation of the objective structured clinical evaluation (SW-OSCE)
Lu, Y. E., Ain, E., Chamorro, C., Chang, C. Y., Feng, J. Y., Fong, R., Garcia, B., Hawkins, R. L. & Yu, M., Mar 2011, In : Social Work Education. 30, 2, p. 170-185 16 p.
'You fix my community, you have fixed my life': The disruption and rebuilding of ontological security in New Orleans
Hawkins, R. L. & Maurer, K., Jan 2011, In : Disasters. 35, 1, p. 143-159 17 p.
Assessing racial equity impact in mental health policymaking: Reflections and recommendations
Abramovitz, M., Bernabei, S., Collado, C., Hawkins, R., Ho, W. & al., 2011, In : Mental Health News., 37, Winter, p. 8
Social capital and Juvenile Justice: Can we use it and how
Hawkins, R., Vashchenko, M. & Davis, C., 2011, Health and Well Being in the Juvenile Justice System. Sherman, F. & Jacobs, F. (eds.).New York: John Wiley and Sons, p. 245 – 266
Teaching note a cross-curricular, problem-based project to promote understanding of poverty in urban communities
Gardner, D. S., Tuchman, E. & Hawkins, R., Dec 2010, In : Journal of Social Work Education. 46, 1, p. 147-156 10 p.
Bonding, bridging and linking: How social capital operated in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina
Hawkins, R. L. & Maurer, K., Sep 2010, In : British Journal of Social Work. 40, 6, p. 1777-1793 17 p.
Outsider in: Race, attraction, and research in New Orleans
Hawkins, R. L., Apr 2010, In : Qualitative Inquiry. 16, 4, p. 249-261 13 p.
Fickle families and the kindness of strangers: Social capital in the lives of low-income single mothers
Hawkins, R. L., Jan 2010, In : Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 20, 1, p. 38-55 18 p.
Recovery from depression among clients transitioning out of poverty
Ali, A., Hawkins, R. L. & Chambers, D. A., Jan 2010, In : American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 80, 1, p. 26-33 8 p.
Same as it ever was, only worse: Negative life events and poverty among New Orleans Katrina survivors
Hawkins, R. L., Oct 2009, In : Families in Society. 90, 4, p. 375-381 7 p.
Disappearing acts: The social networks of formerly homeless individuals with co-occurring disorders
Hawkins, R. L. & Abrams, C., Nov 2007, In : Social Science and Medicine. 65, 10, p. 2031-2042 12 p.
The Child Care Development Block Grant and the Child Care Development Fund
Hawkins, R., 2007, Early Childhood Education: An international encyclopedia. New, B. & Cochron, M. (eds.).Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, p. 113-114
In their own words: Trauma and substance abuse in the lives of formerly homeless women with serious mental illness
Padgett, D. K., Hawkins, R., Abrams, C. & Davis, A., Oct 2006, In : American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 76, 4, p. 461-467 7 p.
From self-sufficiency to personal and family sustainability: A new paradigm for social policy
Hawkins, R. L., Dec 2005, In : Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. 32, 4, p. 77-92 16 p.
Cultural identity development in bi-racial children
Leibson-Hawkins, B. & Hawkins, R., 2004. In Applied developmental science: An encyclopedia of research, policies, and programs. Fisher, Celia B. & Lerner, Richard M. (eds.).New York: Sage
Hawkins, R., 2004. Applied developmental science: An encyclopedia of research, policies, and programs. Fisher, Celia B. & Lerner, Richard M. (eds.). New York: Sage
Single mothers and their children
Hawkins, R., 2004. In Applied developmental science: An encyclopedia of research, policies, and programs. Fisher, Celia B. & Lerner, Richard M. (eds.).New York: Sage
Social capital in theory and practice
Hawkins, R., 2004. Applied developmental science: An encyclopedia of research, policies, and programs. Fisher, Celia B. & Lerner, Richard M. (eds.).Sage
Everyday conflict and stress among older african american women: Findings from a focus group study and pilot training program
Weitzman, P. F., Dunigan, R., Hawkins, R. L., Weitzman, E. A. & Levkoff, S. E., Jun 1 2001, In : Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work. 10, 2, p. 27-44 18 p.
Elements of culturally competent practice: Building beliefs, knowledge and skills among agencies and providers
Hawkins, R., 1999. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School: Department of Social Medicine, Division on Aging
Training Curricula: Leveraging diversity
Hawkins, R., Parker, C.S. & Winther, A., 1999. Cambridge, MA: Interaction Institute for Social Change
Baby boomers in North Carolina
Salmon, M.A., Morse, M. & Hawkins, R., 1997. Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina Division on Aging and the Jordan Institute for Families, UNC School of Social Work
Training Curricula: Group and individual differences
Hawkins, R. & Salmon, M.A., 1997. Chapel Hill, NC: Jordan Institute for Families, UNC School of Social Work
Training Curricula: Cultural competency
Hawkins, R., 1996. Chapel Hill, NC: Jordan Institute for Families, UNC School of Social Work
Training Curricula: Cultural competency in adult services
Hawkins, R., 1996. Chapel Hill, NC: Jordan Institute for Families, UNC School of Social Work
Nelson, G., Salmon, M.A., Hawkins, R. & Schyette, A., 1995. The Field of Adult Services: Social Work Practice and Administration. Nelson, G. M., Eller, A. C., Streets, D. W. & Morse, M. (eds.).Washington, DC: NASW Press
Nelson, G., Salmon, M.A., Hawkins, R. L. & Schyette, A., 1995. The Field of Adult Services: Social Work Practice and Administration. Nelson, G. M., Eller, A. C., Streets, D. W. & Morse, M. (eds.).Washington, DC: NASW Press
Training Curricula: Aging processes
Hawkins, R., 1995. Chapel Hill, NC: Center for Aging Research and Education Services, UNC School of Social Work
Training Curricula: Coordinating resources with families
Hawkins, R. & Weber, L., 1995. Chapel Hill, NC: Family and Children Resource Program
American Geriatrics Society state affiliate handbook
Hawkins, R., Ward, S. & Goodwin, C., 1994. New York, NY: Author
Introduction to methodologies for clinical research in geriatrics
Cohen, H., Goodwin, C., Gilmore, C., Hoidra, C. & Hawkins, R., 1990. Durham, NC:
Hawkins, R. & Padilla, D. (October 2015). Sitting with Chickens: Qualitative, international participatory research in the Philippines. Presented at the 61st Annual Program Meeting, Council on Social Work Education, Denver, CO.
Padilla, D. & Hawkins, R. (October 2015). Depression, quality of life, and financial decision-making in a rural Filipino community. Presented at the 61st Annual Program Meeting, Council on Social Work Education, Denver, CO.
Small, L., Stephens, T., Hawkins, R., McKay, M. (January 2013). Youth who experience homelessness along with accumulated family difficulties and threats are at the highest risk for behavioral risk-taking and thus warrant specific interventions. A paper presented at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Work Research, San Diego, CA.
Hawkins, R. (April 2012). Keynote Address: Why Social policy is not social justice: Poverty, Oppression, and race in America. The I. de Quincey Newman Institute for Peace and Social Justice Lecture, University of South Carolina School of Social Work, Columbia, SC.
Hawkins, R. (April 2012). Guest Panelist/Speaker: From Oppression to oppression: Human trafficking and exploitation of the poor. United Nations-Universal Universalist Association, 777 UN Plaza, New York, NY
Hawkins, R. (July 2011). Keystone Lecture: Why Poverty Exists and What Helps End it. Presentation to Administrative and Executive Staff of the Governor, Surigao Del Norte, Surigao City, the Philippines.
BS: Strategies to Reduce Inequality
BS and MSW: Diversity, Racism, Oppression and Privilege
BS and MSW: Women's Health & Community Well-being: A Collaborative Ethnography in Del Carmen, Philippines
MSW: Advanced Social Policy - Poverty
DSW: Clinical Social Work and Social Policy: Past and Present