In a statement from Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of Social Current, a network of more than 1800 social sector organizations, she commented on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade:

“While many reactions to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade after nearly 50 years of precedent have illuminated our nation’s political divide, our concerns focus squarely on the impact this decision will have on equitable access to health care, which fosters the health and well-being of all people in our nation.

Prior to the trigger laws going into effect across numerous states, the U.S. already had the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries. Researchers point to our nation’s relatively low numbers of maternity care providers and comprehensive health care, including postpartum supports, as the cause.

Then consider the multiplying effect on communities of color. A study just this week from Duke University suggests a total ban on abortions could increase maternal deaths among Black women by 33%.

Some 26 states are expected to pass some form of abortion restriction, many not even offering exemptions for the life of the mother, rape, or incest. These statewide bans will disproportionately affect the health and well-being of women of color who already face disparities in health care access and outcomes.

These states also lack significant resources to support pregnant people, including access to affordable health care services, childcare services, behavioral health care, and paid family leave.

Studies also show a link between lack of access to abortion and poverty. The Turnaway Study followed women for a decade and found that those denied an abortion were four times as likely to be living in poverty years later, and that trend continued to impact their children. For people living in poverty, this ruling represents a glass ceiling of economic disparities they may never overcome.

We can see the looming future of generations of people being forced to carry pregnancies resulting from rape or incest to term and the impact of that on their emotional well-being. We see generation upon generation of adolescents and young people facing mandated births without adequate resources to lift themselves out of poverty. We see a future of greater divides across America—not political divides but a division of haves and have nots, as only families of means will have the ability to travel across states or to other countries to access safe abortions and reproductive health care services. And we see a potential future of more erosion of rights, as other rulings linked to Roe v. Wade that protect access to contraception and same-sex marriage are challenged and possibly eroded.

We work at the nexus of community and government to support policies that advance equity, improve health and well-being, and increase economic opportunity and mobility so all people can thrive. This Supreme Court ruling strips away the fundamental rights that provide equitable access to health and economic opportunity. It is a setback for our whole society and we pledge to work across our sector and across our nation to ameliorate its impacts and support the right of all people to have self-determination in the most critical and life-changing decisions that impact their health, their families and their lives.”

Last week, Congress passed major gun safety legislation for the first time in 30 years. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act passed with a vote of 65-33 in the Senate and 234-193 in the House of Representatives. President Biden signed the bill into law on Saturday. Following the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, a small bipartisan group of moderate Senate lawmakers came together to hash out a bill that could gain 60 votes and overcome the chamber’s filibuster. The resulting compromise did not include some Democratic priorities, including bans on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines; however, its provisions were significant enough to gain intense opposition from the National Rifle Association, which ultimately failed in its lobbying efforts. In the Senate, all 50 Democrats were joined by 15 Republicans in passing the bill, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said is “going to save lives.”

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act expands background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21 to include juvenile and mental health records and gives authorities up to 10 days to perform the checks, up from three days in current law. As part of the compromise, this provision would expire after 10 years. In the bill, $750 million would go to incentivizing states to pass red flag laws, which allow law enforcement to temporarily take guns away from people seen as dangerous in the eyes of a judge. For states that do not implement red flag laws, they will have the option of using the money to support crisis and violence intervention programs. The legislation also closes the “boyfriend loophole,” a long-sought provision among Democrats, which would bar people convicted of domestic violence or under a restraining order to buy a gun, whether they are spouses or intimate partners. The bill would also commit $300 million to school safety and community mental health programs, including training for school personnel who work with minors with mental health challenges. Finally, the bill would create the first-ever federal prohibition on gun trafficking, which would crack down on “straw purchasers,” or buyers who obtain guns for others who can’t legally buy guns.

Congressional Budget Office Releases Report on Work Requirements and Supports

The Congressional Budget Office released a report on the effect of work requirements and work supports on employment and income for participants in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicaid. The study found that work requirements increased employment for TANF and SNAP enrollees but not for Medicaid enrollees. Because programs decrease benefits as participants earn more, the increase in income for TANF beneficiaries was equal to the decrease in benefits, while the SNAP and Medicaid beneficiaries saw their benefits reduce more than their income rose, as a result of work requirements. The data on work supports was more promising. Subsidized child care, job search assistance, and subsidized employment increased employment for beneficiaries, while job training had more varied effects. Moreover, the study found that work supports through government programs gave participants extra resources to spend on goods and services.

Congress Passes School Meal Aid Bill to Combat Child Hunger

Late last week, Congress passed the Keep Kids Fed Act, which would extend COVID-19-related school meal waivers for another year. Originally passed in the 2020 Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the waivers expand eligibility for free school meals by increasing the income cut off from 130% to 185% of the poverty level. Under the waivers, reimbursement rates are enhanced to allow schools to afford meal provision, given supply chain challenges and rising food prices. For the 2022-2023 school year, rates would increase by 15 cents per breakfast and 40 cents per lunch. The waivers also allow flexibilities, such as giving parents the ability to pick up meals to eat at home. The Keep Kids Fed Act would extend these waivers through Sept. 30, 2022, for the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option, and through June 30, 2023, for the 2022-2023 academic year. The bill is budget neutral, as it uses unspent funds from prior pandemic spending to cover the waiver extensions.

New Fact Sheet on the SNAP-Ed Program

The Food and Nutrition Service released a fact sheet on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), which educates SNAP recipients on how to budget effectively, cook healthy meals and increase physical activity. Program research shows that 40% of participants ate more fruits and vegetables and drank fewer sugar beverages and 35% were more physically active. Moreover, SNAP-Ed programs in schools are associated with enhanced cardiovascular fitness. One of its partner programs in Georgia, “Be a Health Hero: EAT, DRINK, MOVE,” utilized marketing campaigns, like billboards, shopping tote bags, and store signage, to increase awareness of healthy eating practices.

2022 will mark just the second year Juneteenth is recognized as a federal holiday. Given the latency of many to commemorate the ending of slavery in the U.S., companies are now struggling to appropriately recognize the holiday, which encapsulates both joy and pain. While there are some meaningful observances planned, some organizations may be silent.

“While many organizations are now closing their offices for Juneteenth, it’s not enough. Leaders should be assessing their organizations and looking for how they can support their employees and communities in more substantive ways that meaningfully address inequities,” said Undraye Howard, vice president of equity, diversity, inclusion, and engagement at Social Current.

It’s no secret that employers across the country – and across industries – are currently struggling to support the mental health and well-being of their employees. Organizations in the social sector are certainly feeling the constraints of escalating \costs and rising needs for services, coupled with the pressures to invest in and retain employees.

Today, we are faced with many new and longstanding challenges to workforce resilience. The ongoing stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges around advancing inclusion and equity, and secondary stress that some staff experience on a regular basis are a few of the many obstacles to creating a positive staff culture, which is the core of a resilient organization.

A recent post on the CompassPoints blog puts it candidly, “We need to talk about how tired folks are. After the last two years, it seems like everyone is feeling the strain of burnout in a deep and long-lasting way. For many Black leaders and leaders of color, the demands to support their communities through turbulent times, keep organizations running, and tend to life amidst multiple crises has taken an especially heavy toll.”

Recent research from the Building Movement Project validates this assessment. Their report, Trading Glass Ceilings for Glass Cliffs: A Race to Lead Report on Nonprofit Executives of Color, explores the added burdens facing leaders of identity-based organizations, the challenges that BIPOC leaders encounter when taking over leadership from white predecessors, and the common realities of being a leader of color in the nonprofit sector. The report found:

  1. Leaders of color need supports, not more training.
  2. Leaders of color take on added burdens, without additional compensation.
  3. Leaders of identity-based organizations face distinct demands.
  4. Unique challenges come with taking over leadership from white predecessors.
  5. Too few white leaders factor race equity into their succession plans.

“It is clear that people of color face additional barriers and burdens in the workplace and it is up to us, collectively, to advance equity at the person, organization, and systems levels,” said Howard. “It is critical that we not only recruit and hire people of color but that we create workplace cultures that ensure they are supported, feel valued, and can bring their ‘whole selves’ to work each day.”

Embedding Equity in Your Workforce

Organizations must partner with staff and prioritize advancing equity as core to how they look to advance workforce resilience. By building self-awareness, psychological safety, and a shared accountability, organizations will foster the beginnings of both workforce resilience and a culture enriched by equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

“Nurturing a positive and supportive culture that aligns with our values does not happen overnight. Learning and building capacity around the concepts and interconnected strategies for EDI and workforce resilience, developing individualized plans, and putting plans into action and course correcting along the way is the surest way to make progress toward their goals,” said Karen Johnson, director of the Social Current Change in Mind Institute. “This work requires us to be innovative, curious and courageous, but it is doable, and our workforce is worth the investment.”  

For leaders looking to partner with staff to improve their workforce cultures and increase well-being and job satisfaction, Social Current is now offering participation in a yearlong learning collaborative. This unique opportunity will provide sustained support and connection through a cohort with others working to advance similar goals.

EDI is at the core of this learning collaborative’s curriculum, which will advance understanding of brain science, build psychological safety, prioritize positive workforce culture, and increase connection. And in addition to this workforce resilience learning collaborative, Social Current is also offering a learning collaborative fully dedicated to advancing equity, with applications due June 30.

For organizations that are looking to move quickly into action, Social Current’s three-part virtual workshops lay the foundation for building an EDI-enriched organization and offer dedicated worktime for building an EDI action plan with the help of experienced facilitators. This workshop is ideal for investing in your EDI taskforce or other staff leading equity efforts.

Advancing equity takes sustained commitment from leaders and organizations and at the same time, needs to begin somewhere. This Juneteenth, affirm your commitment to your workforce and advancing EDI.

The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for participants to help evaluate a new web survey developed for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the U.S. Department of Education. This survey is part of NCES’s National Household Education Survey, a study that helps educators, researchers, and policy-makers better understand children’s care and schooling.

By engaging the voices of individuals with lived experiences, especially those in marginalized communities, we can help strengthen their quality of life through policy and action. Encourage your community members to participate!

Opportunity Details

The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for parents or guardians of a child who is under age six AND who:

They are also looking for the parents or guardians of a child in K-12 (children enrolled in public school, private school, or who are homeschooled).

If an individual is interested in participating, they should contact the Census Bureau at 301-763-4979 and mention Education or send an email and enter “Education” in the subject line of the email. The individual will then be contacted and asked to complete a brief telephone screening in order to determine if they are eligible. The telephone screening will take approximately 10 minutes.

If the individual is eligible, the Census Bureau will schedule a 90-minute interview at their convenience. During that interview, participants will be asked to complete a web survey about their child’s care or education and their experience and perceptions of the web survey itself.

Eligible participants will receive $60 cash as a thank you for their participation. The study sessions will begin on June 16, 2022, and conclude on July 7, 2022.

Following the recent tragedies in Tulsa, Uvalde, Laguna Woods, and Buffalo, a small, bipartisan contingent of centrist senators that had been meeting behind closed doors to discuss possible legislative responses finally reached a tentative agreement over the weekend. Leading the negotiations were John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). A broader group of moderate lawmakers was also influencing the talks. The proposed framework bolsters mental health resources, increases funding for school safety, and provides grants to states to incentivize “red flag” laws that allow law enforcement to take guns away from individuals who are deemed dangerous to others. The deal also includes expanding background checks to include juvenile records for gun buyers under the age of 21, and a long-sought prohibition on dating partners – not just spouses – from having guns in cases of domestic abuse.

The White House had been pushing for a ban on assault rifles for individuals under the age of 21, and the House of Representatives passed its own bill last week that included a prohibition on sales of semiautomatic weapons to people under the age of 21 and a ban on magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition. These bans, however, will likely not be included in whatever deal the Senate ultimately works out. Sen. Cornyn has publicly said that these types of bans are off the table. Though the tentative deal represents the farthest Congress has gone in recent decades on gun safety legislation, there are still details to nail down. For Democrats, the deadline for action is fast approaching; in the past, flurries of legislative activity after mass shootings have often dragged on without producing any results. Republicans insist on sticking to the negotiations and working out the details, no matter how long it takes. Both sides say that their colleagues are working in good faith. Any deal would need the support of all 50 Democrats, plus at least 10 Republicans, to bypass the filibuster and become law.

On June 1, Social Current CEO Jody Levison-Johnson released a statement about the recent gun violence and urged the social sector to treat gun violence as an urgent public health issue. Social Current will continue to address the underlying causes of gun violence by championing community-based violence intervention efforts, positive youth development programs, increased federal funding for research on gun violence, and trauma-informed and brain-science aligned policy principles, among other things.

Community Services Block Grant Reauthorization Passes the House

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Modernization Act of 2022, introduced by Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), and James Comer (R-Ky.), passed the House of Representatives. The CSBG supports a network of over 1,000 Community Action Agencies (CAA), which help low-income families attain economic stability through skills training, educational empowerment, and housing services. If it passes the Senate and is signed into law, the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Modernization Act would reauthorize funding for CSBG for another 10 years—the longest reauthorization in program history—and would increase the annual level of funding by $1 billion for the first five years. It would also increase the number of eligible people by raising the income eligibility threshold to 200 percent of the poverty line. Finally, the bill would create a new initiative called the Community Action Innovations Program, which would direct federal and state training and assistance to groundbreaking, evidence-based poverty-reduction programs. In 2019, CAAs served more than 9 million individuals. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, these community-based organizations helped people acquire personal protective equipment, access vaccines, and receive supplies for remote learning.

HUD Bolsters Eviction Protection and Diversion Program

Last month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $20 million in grants to 11 nonprofit and government legal organizations, as part of its Eviction Protection Grant Program. The previous round in November awarded grants to 10 organizations. Grant beneficiaries provide legal assistance to low-income tenants at risk of eviction. These services disproportionately assist people of color, people with limited English proficiency, and people with disabilities. The program also helps landlords access resources for rent arrears. HUD cites multiple studies that show legal assistance services save taxpayers millions of dollars and mitigate evictions that would otherwise destabilize families. The Eviction Protection Grant Program is just one program alongside many, including the State and Local Emergency Rental Assistance program, that help families retain shelter during the recovery from the public health and economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DELIVER Act Reintroduced in Congress

Reps. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Sens. Angus King (I-Maine) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) reintroduced the Delivering Elderly Lunches and Increasing Volunteer Engagement and Reimbursements (DELIVER) Act, which would increase the gas reimbursement rate for volunteers who deliver meals to the elderly for programs such as Meals on Wheels. Especially during this time of inflation, gas costs for volunteers have gotten prohibitively expensive. This bill would raise the tax deduction for volunteer drivers from 14 cents per mile, a figure that hasn’t changed in nearly two decades, to 58 cents per mile, the standard business rate. This bill will ease costs for volunteers, allow senior citizens to continue living independently in their own homes, and foster more community and civic engagement.

Social Current was proud to sponsor a national press panel held by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago on May 31. Ruby Goyal-Carkeek, senior vice president at Social Current joined a panel of parents from the Alliance National Parent Partnership Council (ANPPC) along with child welfare professionals, and medical experts including Robert Sege, MD, PhD. The focus of the panel was to help members of the press better frame future stories that touch on child welfare and child protection with a pro-family lens. There were approximately 70 participants including reporters from The Boston Globe and Washington Times in attendance.

During the panel, Ruby Goyal-Carkeek highlighted several key insights to improve child and family well-being including work that Social Current has undertaken:

  1. Despite research studies such as the one presented by Dr. Sege and research from Chapin Hall and others on the benefits of economic and concrete supports for families, prevention remains under-prioritized as a public policy. Only 15% of child welfare spending is to support parents and keep children safely in their homes, compared to 45% of spending on out-of-home placements (the other 40% is divided between CPS/investigations, adoption, and guardianship)
  2. Three federal programs are due for re-authorization by Congress this year and can help to make community-based prevention more of a priority. They are 1) the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), 2) Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, and 3) the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. A modest investment in families allows parents to care for their children the way they want to. Other critical supports to families are the expanded Child Tax Credit, paid family and medical leave, and quality childcare with improved access. Access to behavioral health services is another critical component to supporting families during difficult times, as multiple studies have shown an increased need during the pandemic.
  3. Solutions to improve child and family well-being must address equity and racial justice. Most families come to the attention of CPS for allegations of neglect, which are often related to economic insecurity. These families need economic and family support much more than child protection involvement. In fact, CPS often doesn’t have the resources to provide these types of economic and family support services and doesn’t do a good job of connecting families to resources. The policy solution is to disentangle economic hardship from neglect, showing how they are different, and offloading economic stressors experienced by families. We also need to better understand the results of mandatory reporting policies and look to reshape them as mandatory supporting policies. More than half of all Black children and more than ⅓ of all children in the U.S. are a subject of a child abuse or neglect investigation by the age of 18. This type of mandatory reporting structure does not encourage reporters to connect families with help from supportive programs before harm occurs and before families become involved with CPS, and it is a racial justice issue that requires immediate attention.
  4. Social Current is the national technical assistance provider to five demonstration sites for a federal demonstration initiative funded by the Department of Justice called Child Safety Forward. This national initiative is working to reduce child abuse and neglect fatalities and injuries through a collaborative, community-based approach. One of the five sites, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, is putting equitable solutions into practice as they expand Family Resource Centers across the state and improve safety planning to better address serious injuries and child fatalities from abuse and neglect. Through a collaborative approach to systems change, they are looking to respond differently to neglect allegations by focusing on protective factors and working to promote supportive services to families.
  5. As the federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities stated in its 2016 report “Within Our Reach,” child welfare agencies cannot do this work alone. Media can help to improve outcomes for children and families by covering child welfare more thoroughly, beyond the tragedies that occur, and increase public attention to prevention programs that work. In a national survey of parents with young children, even before the pandemic, 48% of parents report not receiving the help or support they need. Together, we can illustrate that a community-wide, public health approach to child and family well-being is required so that all parents are supported, and all families can thrive.

Panel handouts from the event:

In a statement from Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of Social Current, a network of more than 1,800 social sector organizations, she commented on the recent shootings in communities across our nation:

“Tulsa. Uvalde. Laguna Woods. Buffalo. These senseless tragedies have robbed our nation of too many precious lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 100 people die in the U.S. every day from gun violence. There have been 27 school shootings just this year and 20 mass shootings since Uvalde. What is clear is that gun violence in America is an urgent public health issue across our nation and we must do more to address the underlying conditions that lead to these tragedies. In short, we must do better.

As a network of more than 1,800 social sector organizations, our mission is to advocate for and implement equitable solutions to society’s toughest challenges through collaboration, innovation, policy, and practice excellence. We believe that community-based organizations, supported by public policy and adequate funding, have the tools to help reduce incidents of gun violence. While it is up to our nation’s leaders to pass common sense gun laws that can reduce the accessibility of weapons of war, there are also community-based and federal public policy initiatives that we believe can reduce the epidemic of gun violence in our nation and prevent future tragedies. These include:

  1. Development of community-based violence intervention efforts that can reduce the cycle of community gun violence, address the underlying causes of gun violence, and promote health equity.
  2. Expansion of positive youth development programs, and other prevention models supported by evidence.
  3. Increased federal funding for research on gun violence.
  4. Advance trauma-informed and brain science-aligned principles in policy, including the RISE from Trauma Act.
  5. Expansion of place-based initiatives that use holistic approaches to community impact/development to create safe and vibrant neighborhoods and make employment opportunities, affordable housing, and other basic needs a reality across the nation.
  6. Address the youth mental health crisis by advocating for prevention programs; supporting the Mental Health Services for Students Act of 2020; and providing more funding to school and community-based mental health programs that build awareness of trauma, train appropriate staff to identify and screen for behavioral health challenges, and incorporate positive behavioral health interventions, family engagement, and treatment.

Reducing gun violence and the horror of mass shootings will require a robust public health response that emphasizes proactive, preventative strategies that build community resilience and well-being. We have the tools at hand to strengthen communities and reduce these senseless deaths. We call on Congress and our nation’s leaders to meet this moment with the political will to change the status quo and pass common sense policies that reduce the epidemic of gun violence and support the ability of every individual, family, and community to thrive.”

View this compilation of resources for tools and guides related to talking to children about shootings, providing psychological first aid, coping with grief, and more.

We often say that employees are our greatest asset. This is most certainly true—and employees are also people who we need to connect with personally and partner with closely to create a resilient organization. Today, we are faced with many new and longstanding challenges to workforce resilience. The ongoing stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges around advancing inclusion and equity, and secondary stress that some staff experience on a regular basis are a few of the many obstacles to creating a positive staff culture, which is the core of a resilient organization.

The new Social Current Workforce Resilience Learning Collaborative is a unique opportunity for organizations looking to strengthen their workforce culture and partner with staff to increase well-being and job satisfaction. This yearlong learning collaborative will provide sustained support to participating organizations and connect them with a cohort of other organizations working to advance similar efforts. Practically, organizations will learn and apply valuable core concepts and strategies, develop individualized theories of change, and put their plans into action.

Together, we will build the foundational strategies and navigate the steps for implementing recruitment, hiring, and retention practices that promote psychological safety, positive staff culture, and increased accountability. Participating organizations will receive knowledge, skills, and resources to strengthen their workforce during these challenging times.

Learn more in our free upcoming webinars June 7 and June 15 or office hours June 30 and July 7. Watch the recording of the informational webinar online.

Join the learning collaborative by submitting our online application. The deadline to submit is July 8, and all organizations will be notified by July 15. The learning collaborative will launch with a virtual kickoff meeting Aug. 22.

About the Curriculum

To ensure participating staff have the knowledge and skills they need to build theories of change, the learning collaborative will begin with two half-day trainings. In addition, a three-hour virtual training will be held each month for the first four months of the initiative. The learning will incorporate longstanding knowledge from various intersecting fields with timely, “pandemic-era” lessons learned. It is grounded in four core concepts of workforce resilience:

View an outline of each meeting and training.

About the Collaborative Approach

This initiative prioritizes collaboration at multiple levels. First, staff from each organization will participate and be responsible for advancing the initiative.

Both the Senior Leadership and the Core Implementation teams participate in the full range of Learning Collaborative offerings.

The learning collaborative model offers the second level of networking. This initiative will engage 10-20 organizations that share similar goals and challenges around workforce resilience. They will be able to share ideas informally, as well as during scheduled cohort calls. Separate calls will be held for all Senior Leadership Teams and all Core Implementation Teams.

Timeline

June 7 from 2-2:45 p.m. ET: Optional Informational Webinar for interested applicants
June 15 from 2-2:45 p.m. ET: Optional Informational Webinar for interested applicants
June 30 from 2-2:45 p.m. ET: Office Hours
July 7 from 2-2:45 p.m. ET: Office Hours
July 8: Deadline to Apply Online
July 15: Organizations Notified
Aug. 22 from 1-5 p.m. ET: Virtual Kickoff Meeting
Sept. 12: In-Person Kickoff Meeting prior to SPARK 2022 in Baltimore

Pricing

Travel and expenses associated with joining the in-person meeting Sept. 12 in Baltimore and registering for SPARK 2022 are not included in the learning collaborative fee.

Learning Collaborative Activities

Download the full outline of learning collaborative activities.

Kickoff Meetings:

Four Three-Hour Virtual Trainings in Workforce Resilience Topics
One training will be held each month for the first four months of the initiative.

Mid-Year Virtual Meeting
Organizations will convene to share their learning and theories of change. This half-day virtual meeting will mark the start of moving from the learning phase to the planning phase, which will be followed by action.

Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®)
This assessment will be administered to five key staff in each organization after the first virtual training. This cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence is a first step in developing a plan for personal growth. Everyone who completes the inventory has an individual debrief session with an IDI qualified administrator. Learn more about the IDI.

Consultation Calls
The second half of the learning collaborative will shift its focus to action. Interactive sessions with various subgroups within the initiative will provide support, resources, and ongoing learning needed to finalize the planning process.

Summit Virtual Meeting
This half-day virtual meeting will focus on sharing final theories of change, lessons learned, and sustainability of the initiative.

Dr. Cristina Mogro-Wilson

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Social Current, formerly the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the Council on Accreditation, today announced the selection of Dr. Cristina Mogro-Wilson to serve as editor-in-chief of the Families in Society journal, which was previously led by Dr. Sondra Fogel, who served as editor-in-chief for the past seven years.

Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services has been a core journal in social work research for over 100 years. Launched in 1920 by Mary E. Richmond, a pioneer in the field and the founder of social casework, the journal built a knowledge base for the first systematized approaches to the practice of social work and has been stewarded over the years by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. Families in Society is published in partnership with SAGE Publishing.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Mogro-Wilson, whose work as a recognized Latina scholar and expert in health disparities and culturally-responsive practice and education in racial minority populations will greatly inform the future direction of Families in Society,” noted Dr. Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of Social Current. “Addressing the challenges that families face today, including socio-economic disparities, racism, substance misuse and behavioral health disorders, requires an evidence-informed approach that is grounded in social change through the lens of advancing equity. Dr. Mogro-Wilson’s body of work is uniquely attuned to addressing these vital issues and aligns closely with Social Current’s commitment to advancing equitable solutions to society’s toughest challenges through collaboration, innovation, policy and practice excellence.”

“As a Latina social worker, I value social justice and am committed to advancing equity,” noted Dr. Mogro-Wilson. “I look forward to working with the Families in Society team of scholars to increase the vitality and relevance of FIS though diverse representation in advisory board members, peer reviewers, manuscript authors, and – importantly – the readership. The art, science, and practice of social work are such important elements of the discipline because they can strengthen families and communities and help all people achieve their full potential. That’s why inclusiveness, transparency, and authenticity in Families in Society scholarship will help advance transformational research and practice, which in turn supports efforts to ensure everyone experiences well-being and opportunity.”

Dr. Mogro-Wilson received her master’s in social work from the University of Michigan, with a focus on practice with children, youth, and families in 2003, followed by her doctorate from the University at Albany, School of Social Welfare in 2007. Most recently, she has served as assistant professor in residence at the UCONN Health Center in the School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics from 2007-2009, transitioning to the School of Social Work (SSW) tenure-related tracks, achieving tenure in 2015 as an Associate Professor in SSW. As of August 2022, Dr. Mogro-Wilson will be a full professor at SSW.

She served as the director for the Puerto Rican and Latin@ Studies Project (PRLSP) from 2015-2017, leading them to sustainable achievements in the acquisition of research grants and the development of a bilingual/bicultural master’s in social work program. The PRLSP has been referenced and used as a model in various arenas such as the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and different social work programs throughout the nation.

From 2019-2022, she served as research director for the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) with a focus on supporting design and implementation of applied qualitative and quantitative research projects; the development of research proposals to secure private, state, and federal funding to sustain and grow the UCEDD’s research and evaluation agenda; and the development of policy analysis related to programs demonstrating the full inclusion of people with disabilities in education, work, and community life.

Dr. Mogro-Wilson’s publishing experience includes serving as an editorial advisory board member and more recently as an associate editor for Families and Society and Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE), which is the flagship journal for CSWE. She co-edited a special issue of JSWE on Teaching, Field Instruction and Administration in the Time of Pandemic or Natural Disaster, with Danielle Parrish and Nalini Negi during the COVID-19 pandemic, co-authoring an editorial on the hidden cost of caregiving during the pandemic. As a graduate faulty representative and member of the National Nominating Committee and Council on Publications for CSWE from 2018-2021, she also worked to ensure anti-racist and diverse representative content in CSWE publications.

“We are confident that Dr. Mogro-Wilson will build on the legacy launched by Families in Society founder Mary E. Richmond and the many who have helmed the journal since,” added Dr. Levison-Johnson. “A special thank you goes out to Dr. Sondra Fogel who has stewarded FIS for the past seven years, mentoring Dr. Mogro-Wilson and other scholars in the pursuit of academic excellence in the field of social work practice, policy, and research.”

For more information on a subscription to Families in Society, please contact Kirstin Anderson.

Social Current has released its first-ever federal public policy agenda. This agenda will power our policy and advocacy efforts for 2022-2024, as we work to build an equitable society where all people thrive.

“We are thrilled to reach this milestone for Social Current. We realize this is just the beginning of our work and opportunity to realize our network’s collective power and influence,” said Social Current President and CEO Jody Levison-Johnson. “We know we must work together to move the needle on key public policies to create an equitable society. Social Current looks forward to engaging our network of organizations, their communities, and all of our partners to advocate for these critical priorities.”

The 2022-2024 federal policy agenda is the result of months of input from the Social Current network through focus groups, surveys, and individual conversations. It represents the breadth and diversity of our network organizations, the challenges they face, and the future they envision.

Register now for our June 29 webinar to learn more about the specific policies Social Current will champion. Jody Levison-Johnson and Derry Kiernan, field mobilization and policy manager, will share how you can join in supporting in our collective advocacy work.

Within our policy agenda, you’ll find our policy principles—our commitments that serve as the foundation of our policy agenda:

  • Center equity
  • Engage voices with lived experience
  • Promote prevention
  • Advance whole-person approaches
  • Create access and opportunity
  • Ensure the health and resilience of the social sector

Following our foundational principles, the agenda details the policies Social Current and our collective network seek to accelerate through leadership and policies we seek to accelerate through partnership with our coalition partners and other experts. These policies are in four key areas:

  • Advancing Equity. As the cornerstone of our agenda, we seek to advance equity by empowering community voices, utilizing data for equity, and ensuring equitable access and resources
  • Improving Health and Well-Being. We seek to advance healing-centered and trauma-informed policy, respond to behavioral health needs, and integrate cross-systems approaches that support health equity
  • Increasing Economic Opportunity and Mobility. We seek to expand economic supports so that all people can achieve upward mobility and financial security
  • Achieving Social Sector Health and Excellence. Our commitment to the health and excellence of the sector is absolute; we seek to ensure our sector’s financial viability and ability to attract and retain a strong workforce