Accountability to Black and Afro-Latinx Communities
On February 24, 2022, authors from the best-selling book Latinx in Social Work came together for a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant, NYU Silver Clinical Associate Professor and Director of both the DSW Program and Adaptive Leadership in Human Services Institute, and facilitated by Latinx in Social Work Creator and Founder Erica Sandoval, LCSW. Anti-Blackness is a global construct that is a result of colonial oppression and has had a deep and lasting impact on Latin America. In this panel discussion, the authors of the compilation book Latinx in Social Work explored intersectionality in their communities, the effects of anti-Black racism in their lives, and the role they play in changing the course for future generations.
Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant, PhD, MSW
Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant is Clinical Associate Professor, Director of the Doctorate in Clinical Social Work program, and the Katherine and Howard Aibel Executive-in-Residence at NYU Silver. She is devoted to developing the leadership capacities of social workers for impact on the pressing social issues of our time, the intersection of race, ethnicity, and social justice, child welfare issues, and macro social work practice. Dr. Lausell Bryant’s career spans thirty-five years in youth services in both the private and public sectors. She has launched an Adaptive Leadership in Human Services Institute at NYU Silver, served as the executive director of Inwood House, a nonprofit youth agency from 2005-2014, and served as associate commissioner for the Office of Youth Development at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. She served on the NYC Panel for Education Policy and currently serves as the president of the board of the National Crittenton Foundation, which seeks to empower young women and girls. She received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latino Social Work Coalition and has received the Distinguished Contribution to Student Engagement Award at NYU Silver. She is the co-author of A Guide for Sustaining Conversations on Racism, Identity and Our Mutual Humanity and Social Work: A Call to Action.
Erica P. Sandoval, LCSW, SIFI
Erica is a passionate licensed clinical therapist who is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). She is committed to amplifying the voices and businesses of incredible Latinx social work leaders, who are healing and inspiring communities. She partners with organizations, universities, health care facilities, medical and corporate professionals to provide access to resources to advance teams and help employees and students thrive. Most recently, she co-founded Employee Network Allyance, a space for allyship for today and tomorrow’s employee network leaders who help each other succeed. Erica holds a Post Master’s in Clinical Adolescent Psychology and a Masters in Social Work from New York University, Silver School of Social Work. She currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for National Association of Social Workers NYC, the largest organization for professional social workers worldwide. She helped launch B.O.L.D, Building Organizing and Leading with Diversity. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of behavioral health, social disparities, trauma, and human development. She serves as Advisor for Latino Social Work Coalition and Prospanica NY. Her successful career earned her numerous awards. She is regularly invited to be a guest speaker, moderator and panelist by well-known organizations. Her greatest pride is raising her 21-year-old daughter, Isabella, as a single mother, who she considers her biggest teacher. As a proud immigrant from Ecuador, her passion is fueled in supporting the community she is a part of and their children. She has released her first book, Latinx in Social Work, quickly becoming a #1 Best Seller and Hot New Release under Social Work on Amazon.
Gerri K. Connaught, LMSW
Gerri K. Connaught is a PhD Candidate at NYU Silver. She obtained her MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at CUNY Hunter College and is a licensed master social worker. Her clinical experience includes working with various student populations—such as first-generation college students, student veterans, and adult learners—in transitioning into life as college students.
Gerri's research interests focuses on providing underserved and underrepresented groups with equal opportunity and access to higher education. She is interested in examining the racialized experiences of BIPOC students in social work education programs, and the ways in which these experiences contribute to feelings of the impostor phenomenon among BIPOC students, as well as the impact this has on their mental health.
Laura Quiros, PhD, LMSW
Laura Quiros, PhD, LMSW has been an associate professor of social work at Adelphi University for the past twelve years. She teaches social work practice at the doctoral and master’s level. Her research and scholarly interests focus on the trauma informed care from a social justice lens. The common thread in her consulting, teaching, and scholarship is elevating complexity and furthering the mission of social justice, including diversity and inclusion.
She coaches, trains and facilitates dialogues with executive- level staff across higher education, corporate, and nonprofits to dig deep and sincerely connect to diversity and inclusion. Some of this work involves gently pushing the boundaries of overcoming the resistance to talking candidly about whiteness and unpacking diversity and inclusion work. Much of this has been accomplished through relationship building. She uses her relationship building and clinical skills as a way to foster connection, inclusion and empathic accountability. The intersection for her is clear, as a woman of color from a very multicultural background, she could only survive through relationship building. Negotiating her identity required her to create safe enough and brave spaces in order to survive and thrive. Her practice is one of liberation, love, and generosity.
Ingrid McFarlane, LCSW-R
Ingrid McFarlane received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. She is a licensed clinical social worker with the “R” psychotherapy privilege in the state of New York. Ingrid is currently employed as a pediatric oncology social worker in the Northwell Health system at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. In addition, Ingrid has a private practice working with children, adolescents, individuals, and couples in Huntington, NY.
Her clinical experience is across a variety of settings, and includes inpatient and outpatient specialty clinics, crisis intervention, school mental health alliance, child and adolescent psychiatry, traumatic brain injury, Neuro rehabilitation, physical medicine and rehabilitation, hematology/oncology, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, and emergency medicine and trauma.
Embracing her passion for group work, Ingrid has also led parent support groups for the caregivers of children with a variety of oncological diagnoses and teen groups focusing on anger management and coping skills. She has also provided clinical and administrative supervision to undergraduate and graduate social work interns and professionals. Ingrid is passionate about providing therapeutic services to individuals and groups in crisis in a culturally humble manner focusing on BIPOC and immigrant populations.
Ingrid is trilingual and can speak, read, and write in English, Spanish, and French fluently. As a result, Ingrid is passionate about providing therapy in the client’s primary language to ensure that she embraces the full cultural identity of her clients as she utilizes a holistic, strength based, person centered approach to guide her practice. She utilizes a variety of techniques and skills drawn from recognized therapeutic models including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused, Psychoeducation, Play Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Family Systems Therapy.
Ingrid received The Cohen Children’s Medical Center’s Patient/Customer Focus Award in February 2020. Erica Sandoval, MSW, LCSW, president of the NASW-NY chapter and Ingrid will be launching “E & I Consulting” in 2022.
Paula McMillan-Perez, LCSW
Paula McMillan-Perez is an Afro-Caribbean licensed social worker, coach, and framework mentor who was raised and resides in the Bronx, NY. A graduate of Mt. Saint Mary College majoring in psychology and human service, she earned a Bachelor of Art as well as is a graduate of Adelphi University earning a Master of Social Work degree. She also obtained a certification as a professional coach from the Life Coach Institute. She has over a decade of experience serving all age groups surrounding child welfare, forensic social work, substance abuse, and trauma.
Through her work in New York City communities, she saw a need to create more accessible services for people of color, women, and children, which is how Personalize Your Coaching, LLC was born! Partnering with educators, individuals, and organizations to enhance confidence, communication, and build better relationships to move from surviving to thriving is what this work is all about. Through individual coaching, courses, group coaching, and workshop facilitation, she supports clients’ holistic growth through a mental wellness lens ensuring the capability to reach their goals.
Karen Ciego, LCSW
Karen Ciego is a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, public speaker, educator, and advocate for the healing of BiPoC. She has over eleven years of social work experience, many as a program coordinator in the healthcare system, wherein she contributed to several diversity initiatives. Karen led a high-achieving team of Black and Brown social workers towards clinical licensure—a personal goal near and dear to her heart. Under her supervision through the pandemic, her team implemented unparalleled culture-affirming interventions to serve populations most affected by COVID-19.
Karen is executive consultant of Clinicians of the Diaspora, LLC, and therapist to a roster of BiPoC professional women and mothers. Her therapeutic approach is informed by her lived experience as a first-generation Garifuna American raised in the South Bronx, where she lives with her brilliant and creative daughters. Karen provides clinical supervision, facilitates psychodynamic groups, teaches various social work courses, and takes naps occasionally. She inspires by way of humor, gratitude, and homegrown peace.
About Latinx in Social Work
Created by NYU Silver Alumna Erica Sandoval, LCSW, Latinx in Social Work is a collection of personal narratives that amplifies and highlights the voices of Latinx social workers healing, leading, and inspiring while sharing their challenges and successes navigating their careers.
Latinx in Social Work is a book is about space. The space Latinx social workers take up, the spaces they create and nurture, and the spaces that have yet to exist, but are so crucial to the growth and development of Latinx social workers, mental health practitioners, executives, and professionals in all industries in this country, and beyond.