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Social Justice and Diversity Grant Conference

SJD Grant Conference

Click The Photos Below to Download The Featured Students' Presentations:

Ankika Carter Presentation
Fengtao Huang Presentation
Aaron Rodwin Presentation
Teffance Coffie Presentation
Kya Richards Presentation
Rachel Shin Presentation

About NYU Silver's Social Justice and Diversity Grant

NYU Silver Social Justice and Diversity Grant logo

Established in 2012, NYU Silver's Social Justice and Diversity Grant fosters student-designed programs that address a diverse set of local, national, and international social justice issues in social work.

The goals of the grant are to:

  • Support and encourage events that lead to the development of socially just communities
  • Encourage a commitment to cultural humility, social diversity, and inclusion
  • Facilitate the review of personal values and beliefs that may influence decision-making
  • Promote self awareness to eliminate biases in professional practice

For the first four years of the Social Justice and Diversity Grant, NYU Silver held a "Grant Challenge" in which students competed for funding for programs related to the goals of the grant that they designed, promoted and implemented. In the 2016-17 Academic Year, NYU Silver instead held its first-ever, student-to-student Social Justice and Diversity Grant Conference with the theme "Walking the Talk: Bringing Social Justice and Diversity to Direct Practice."

For quick facts on the evolution of the Social Justice and Diversity Grant program from a challenge to a conference, please click here.

What People are Saying about NYU Silver's 2017 Social Justice and Diversity Grant-funded Conference:

“It was a fantastic event! I am looking forward to attending next year's conference.”

“While each presentation had a ‘clinical’ frame at times, these were largely focused on non-pathologizing/non-medicalized ways to forward justice in practice.”

“Personal stories. Inspiring stories. Unique approaches to traumatized people.”

“The cultural and experiential diversity of the presenters was great. I feel like I learned a lot and had my assumptions/opinions challenged by the presentations and by those at my table during discussions.”

“I loved that the conference was made up of presentations by students. It felt like more of a conversation rather than being taught. “

“As a first-year student, I was encouraged deeply by seeing these six students standing on the stage provided by my own school. This is a good demonstration and practice opportunity for MSW students.”

“I love the fact that the sessions were led by my fellow students. It really gave an approachability to the material and made me more excited about the ways that my generation is contributing to this cause.”  

2017 Social Justice and Diversity Grant Conference Selection Committee

We would like to thank the members of the Social Justice and Diversity Grant Conference Selection Committee for the time and expertise they devoted to choosing among the many excellent program submissions:

2015-2016 Grantees

Aging and Ageism in the LGBTQ Community

Co-sponsored by Pride in Practice

A panel exploring the intersecting forms of oppression that affect LGBTQ elders. Presenting research on ageism in the LGBTQ community including prevention and support at all levels of social work, from clinical practice to policy advocacy.

Unaccompanied Minors: Which Way Home? 

Co-Sponsored by the Student Collective for Global Social Work, Latin@ Social Work Student Organization

A documentary viewing and panel discussion to enhance awareness among social workers of the strengths, struggles, and needs of unaccompanied Latinx minors in the U.S. 

Addressing the Needs of NYC’s Homeless

Co-Sponsored by Chinese Student Support Group

A discussion with social workers working with the homeless population and an opportunity to participate in a service-learning event to raise social workers’ awareness of the issues faced by people who are homeless in New York City.

Feminism is for Everybody

Co-sponsored by Collective of interested students from Silver, Columbia & Fordham, Chinese Student Support Group

A panel discussion of feminism in a multicultural context facilitated by Dr. Peggy Morton. Featuring representatives from diverse cultural backgrounds including China, Morocco, U.S.A, Spain, and Thailand. Followed by a reception and art exhibition by students from the Tisch School of the Arts, the Pratt Institute, and the School of Visual Arts

Exploring Cultural Identity - The Asian & Asian American Experience

Co-Sponsored by the Chinese Student Support Group

A multi-cultural exploration of race, social justice, and cultural identity through an Asian-American and international Asian lens.

Building an Anti-Oppressive Alliance

Co-Sponsored by Challenging White Privilege through Awareness and Action, Latinx Social Work Student Organization, Students of Color Collective

An interactive workshop for social work students interested in developing their commitment to social justice through an exploration of critical race consciousness and the development of anti-oppressive skills for their personal and professional lives.

Voices of Latinx Social Work Students

Co-Sponsored by Latin@ Social Work Student Organization

A video project and social media campaign to raise awareness about the need for more Latinx and Spanish-speaking social workers to work with the growing Latinx population in the U.S.

2014-2015 GRANTEES

Next Step: College  

Co-Sponsored by the Center for MultiCultural Education, and the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research

This pilot program is a focused mentorship opportunity centered on supporting college enrollment for youth aging out of foster care. BSW and MSW students are invited to apply for this amazing opportunity. Selected youth will be paired with an BSW or MSW student mentor. Mentors will guide youth on their college selections, and counsel youth towards a positive transition into college. All NYU Silver students are encouraged to apply.

Also join students and alumni for an important forum about youth, foster care, and disparity in higher education. This forum will include a panel discussion including youth in foster care, in addition to a keynote presentation.


Trans Care Basics: Clinical work with the Trans Population

Co-Sponsored by Out Faculty, Pride In Practice

The Trans Care Basics workshop will be offered to students, faculty, and alumni, and will provide participants with the knowledge and skill set to critically examine the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Guest Speaker, Carrie Davis, MSW, will address the unmet needs of the transgender community and teach social workers to provide sensitive, competent care to a diverse group of individuals.

Saturday, March 7th | 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM | Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, Rm 908


Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Conference

Co-sponsored by Students of Color Collective, Chinese Student Support Group

Through lectures and guest speakers, this two day symposium will address the the systemic issue of sexual violence within the United States and around the world. The two day conference will address 3 component areas: Awareness and Education, Prevention and Intervention, Policy and Advocacy.

Friday, April 3rd | 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM | Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, Room 905/907
Saturday, April 4th | 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM | Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, Room 905/907

Addressing Victims’ Needs: Creating Holistic Models of Support for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

Co-Sponsored by The Center on Violence and Recovery, Global Spiritual Life at NYU, Latino Social Work Student Organization  

Community experts, Dr. Faye Zakheim, Priya Chandra, and Pastor Donna Schaper, will discuss the creation of holistic models of support for victims of intimate partner violence. Participants will gain insight into the commonly overlooked needs of unique populations and the challenges of building comprehensive services for victims. They will also learn how spiritual life, community integration, and support groups can play a role in the healing process.

Thursday, April 16th | 3:00-5:00 PM | Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, RM 905  

Recruit, Support, and Develop NYU Silver Latino Social Workers

Co-Sponsored by Latino Social Work Student Organization

This project aims to bring together NYU Silver administrators, students, and alumni for a series of breakout sessions. The breakout sessions will provide a forum to discuss and design models that can recruit more Latino students, and support their development while in school. This vision includes creating curricula additions which can prepare Latino students to work in a bi-lingual, bi-cultural social work environment.

Tuesday, April 21st | 12:00-1:45 | 1 Washington Sq North, Parlor  

Voices of Young Asians and Asian Americans in the United States

Co-Sponsored by Student Collective for Global Social Work, Chinese Student Support Group

The experiences of young Asians and Asian-Americans in the U.S. facing issues of racism and racial discrimination is not often explored and studied. Three panelists will discuss their experiences and facilitate an interactive dialogue session, where they will provide an opportunity to discuss racism and discrimination in the U.S. This event hopes to advocate, create awareness and bridge differences among Asians and non-Asians alike.

Tuesday, April 21st | 6:30 - 9:00 PM | Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, Room 905/907

Contemporary Social Justice Issues: Addressing the Social Hardships that Youth Face in the 21st Century

Co-sponsored by the Students of Color Collective, Student Collective for Global Social Work, Phi Alpha National Honor Society - Pi Pi Chapter

Saturday, February 21st | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM | Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, Room 405/406 |

Participants have the opportunity to attend a panel-led discussion, that will focus on the increasing population of homeless LGBTQ youth of color, the development of gender equality for youth, and the growing percentage of unaccompanied youth from Central America.

Guest Speakers will include:

  • Antonio Freitas, Early Childhood Division, The Children’s Aid Society
  • Griselda Vega, Safe Horizon, Anti-Trafficking Program
  • Kevin Lotz, Trinity Place Shelter
  • Renée Reopell, Montefiore Medical Center, Adolescent AIDS Program
  • Robert Lopez, Anti-Violence Project

2013-2014 GRANTEES

Promoting Human Rights in Conflict Zones

Featuring a presentation by Dr. Madelyn Miller & Maria Blacque-Belair (Doctors without Borders), this program aims to explore issues of trauma and human rights violations from a social work perspective and provide students with the tools and information needed to contribute to addressing these issues on both an individual and global scale.

Gentrification: How Well Do You Know Your Neighbors?

Set in the context of the controversial 2004 re-design of the Fulton Mall in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the film explores the forces reshaping neighborhoods along race and class lines through the eyes of a “gentrifier.” It addresses the conflicting views of gentrification as community revitalization versus a force that is erasing the rich social and cultural history of New York’s neighborhoods along socioeconomic lines. The film hopes to discuss how citizens can actively fix a broken urban planning process. The film will provide a framework for the accompanying seminar on the changing socio-economic landscape in New York City. Learn more and watch the trailer here:  

Voices of the Bronx

Despite high rates of poverty, high school dropouts, and community violence facing adolescents in the Bronx, they are a chronically underserved population and continue to fall through the gaps. As social workers and policy makers, we need to gain a better understand of this population and develop culturally competent and appropriate services for the culturally and socioeconomically diverse communities in the Bronx. Participants will engage in panels and small group discussions on educational, health, and criminal justice issues faced by adolescents in the Bronx, and learn about ways that they can become engaged with initiatives in underserved neighborhoods and best serve adolescents to help them achieve their goals.  


Images and Talks: The Social Climate Among Diverse LGBTQ Populations in NYC

The global social and political landscape for LGBTQ populations are changing rapidly. With a special focus on the Asian-Pacific Islander cultural experience, participants will gain insight into the international social and cultural atmosphere for a marginalized population through lectures from scholars, personal stories from students and individuals who identify as LGBTQ, and small group discussions. The event will also feature an art exhibition by a New York-based artist who focuses on creating images that reflect on the media’s effect on how LGBTQ individuals are viewed by themselves and by society.


2012-2013 Grantees

Cross Cultural Social Work in the Criminal Justice System

The program began with a week-long film series featuring films (“Sing Sing University,” “abUSed: The Postville Raid,” “Cruel and Unusual,” and “The House I Live In”) that explored the experiences of imprisoned racial minority, immigrant, and transgender populations. Following the screenings, a one-day symposium hosted a panel discussion that addressed the dynamics of race, gender, sexuality, and culture among these, and other, vulnerable incarcerated populations. The panel also considered possibilities for change and reform.

In addition to several student groups, the symposium included the involvement of a number of community organizations, including speakers from Hudson Link, Families for Freedom, the Vera Institute, the Drug Policy Alliance, Communities United for Police Reform, New York State Prison Justice Network, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Appellate Defenders, Wal-Mart Free NYC and the New York City Department of Probation.

Furiendly Visits: Animal Assisted Therapy with Older Adults

The two-part program served to highlight the older adult population, the fastest-growing age demographic in New York City, and indeed, nationally, as well as the growing practice of non-traditional therapies, including animal-assisted therapy. Silver MSW students, along with the Animal Assisted Therapy in Social Work, and Gerontology groups, brought dog therapy teams to the Square to provide a therapeutic environment for older adults in the community, and hosted a second event for students.

Community partner organizations included Greenwich House, The Good Dog Foundation, A Fair Shake for Youth, and Puppies Behind Bars.

International Climate Change Think Tank Conference

Three Silver interns at the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) collaborated with UU-UNO staff members and other MSW and Global Affairs international students to identify and share research on climate change issues in their home countries. In their conference, “Small Island States: A New Endangered Species,” participants explored social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture as it applies specifically to climate change issues in vulnerable small island states, and, more broadly, aimed to promote international social justice by analyzing national environmental policies which already exist or which can be improved to better protect its citizens. Participating students presented research to one another and to key UU-UNO representatives, and identified future potential directions on how to improve climate change policies.

Community organization involved in this program were the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, and the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security.

Pride and Prejudice: LGBT Minorities in Traditional Faith-Based Communities

The program brought two panels of LGBTQA community members to talk about how their Queer identities relate to their diverse cultural and faith identities. The first, which focused on the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda and Nigeria, discussed the current social climate in these countries with respect to views on LGBTQ individuals from a “values” perspective and potential pathways to change. The second event focused on the controversial practices of “conversion therapy” and other religiously influenced therapeutic messages, looking more broadly at how faith, culture, and religion play a role in therapy for both patients and professionals. The panels explored how the development of LGBTQA identities may create new opportunities for peace and reconciliation in other cultural and faith conflicts. The program also gave a select number of students the opportunity to participate in the “Creating Change” National Conference on LGBT Equality in Atlanta in June 2013.

Community partners for this program included The NYU Center for Spiritual Life, The Unitarian Universalist Association United Nations Office, and Jewish Queer Youth (JQY).