Social Work's Own Reckoning in 2021: A talk on the Unrecognized Income Inequality & Systemic Racism within the Social Work Profession (Monmouth/Ocean Unit Event)

Wednesday, April 28 2021 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM [EDT]

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Wednesday, April 28 2021 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM [EDT]


This event is hosted by the Monmouth and Ocean County Unit.

New to a Unit event? NASW-NJ has 12 volunteer-led, county-based Units that hold regional events around the state of New Jersey for members in that area. (However due to the public health emergency, Unit events will be held virtually until further notice!) These events are planned and coordinated by an appointed volunteer Chair and Co-Chair, as well as a Regional Representative from NASW-NJ’s Board of Directors. The Monmouth/Ocean Unit Chair is Jeanne Koller, PhD, MSW, LCSW (, and the Central Regional Representative is Caelin McCallum, MSW (

Unit events are a fun, informative way to grow your network near your home or workplace. These events are one of the many benefits of NASW-NJ membership, but we do invite all mental health professional to join us at this meeting. Learn more about our Units here.


Social Work's Own Reckoning in 2021: A Talk on the Unrecognized Income Inequality & Systemic Racism

                      within the Social  Work Profession


Date: Wednesday, April 28th  from 6-7:00pm


Zoom login information will be emailed to you once you register.


Speaker:  Steve Burghardt, PhD, MSW


 The talk on April 28th will be based on Steve Burghardt's "The End of Social Work: A Defense of the Social Worker in Times of Transformation." (Cognella, 2020)  His work explores the deeply flawed status quo of the social work profession. Its message is clear: it is not acceptable for social workers to labor under intolerable working conditions and financial strain because they work with the poor and oppressed.

 Steve Burghardt will address why social workers no longer have the income and status once shared with nurses and teachers. He will analyze the leadership failures that cause social workers to be blamed for not ending poverty yet expected to handle burnout through self-care rather than collective action. He looks beyond nostrums of social justice to the indifference to systemic racism in the profession’s journals and programs and explores the damage caused by substituting individuated measures of unvalidated competencies for grounded wisdom in practice. It is thus no accident that a profession committing to “care for everyone” undermines the herculean work that so many social workers do on behalf of the poor, marginalized, and oppressed.

 Situating the work in the crises of 2020, Burghardt ends with a proposed call to action directed at a transformed profession. Such a campaign would be situated within the national struggles for racial justice, climate change, and economic equality so that social work and social workers regain their legitimacy as authentic advocates fighting alongside the poor and oppressed—and doing so for themselves as well.

  Speaker's Bio:

Steve Burghardt, M.S.W., Ph.D. is a professor of social work at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College-CUNY. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and over ten books. His work as a consultant, trainer, and executive coach in the public and nonprofit sectors led him to a deep appreciation and respect for the committed work of frontline, as well as executive, staff for their unyielding commitments to those with whom they work—especially the poor, marginalized, and oppressed.



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Unit Chair: Jeanne Koller, PhD, MSW, LCSW (

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