Leadership Summit Review

Leadership Summit logo with collage of Dr Salome Raheim Sandra Edmonds Crewe and Marla Blunt Carter

The NASW 2023 Leadership Summit proved to be a success with a record number of social workers and social work students in attendance. More than 1,270 people registered for the event, which far surpassed the registered attendees for the inaugural NASW 2021 Leadership Summit.

Hosted virtually on June 22, the gathering provided expert insight into building leadership skills, leadership’s impact on DEI, leadership styles, the influence of social media on leadership, and more.

Most attendees gave favorable reviews of the summit, according to event surveys.

One attendee noted, “The summit was rich with knowledge about how to be an effective leader. I am very happy to witness this summit. I look forward to next year's summit, because I will be registering for it too.”

Marla Blunt-Carter, MSW, associate professor at Rutgers University School of Social Work, presented the opening keynote.

“It is our responsibility to educate ourselves on the trends and emerging issues, the complex problems impacting our clients and our communities,” she said.

"I hear over and over again that social workers say, ‘Oh, the news is depressing,” or, “Politics is dirty and messy - I don’t want to get involved.' But are we being true to our values and the Code of Ethics if we are not involved?” Blunt-Carter asked.

“Leaders are in the front, but they are also within the community,” she emphasized. "They are there to impact and change oppressive structures and to shape policies.”

She urged attendees to commit to the call for social workers to use their power for good.

“What are you doing to be a leader not only in the workplace, but in the world?”

The Rev. Dr. Salmone Raheim, ACSW, a DEI organizational consultant and trainer, highlighted ways to engage the body, mind, heart and spirit to counter pressures that arise in leadership. She also shared practices to increase capacity to lead under pressure.

A plenary session panel discussion on schools of social work and leadership development was also hosted.

Among the panelists was Dr. Sandra Edmonds Crewe, PhD, dean and professor of Social Work at Howard University.

“Being a leader really means you have a vision, a vision beyond what is in front of you to what the potential is out there in the community,” Crewe said. “Being a leader is about observing and acting on the realities we are facing on a day-to-day basis.”

To learn more about the NASW 2023 Leadership Summit, visit naswvirtual.socialworkers.org/nasw-leadership-summit-2023

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