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Ron Avi Astor to Take Part in Congressional Briefing on Social Work in Schools

Ron Avi Astor, UCLA professor of social welfare in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and the Marjorie Crump Chair in Social Welfare in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, will serve on a congressional briefing panel to discuss “Bringing the Power of Social Work to Schools” on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 3-4 p.m., EDT. As part of the briefing, Professor Astor will discuss his findings on the increase of hunger in schools, as he recently shared in an op-ed for CNN.

The briefing will be moderated byCharles E. Lewis, Jr.,Ph.D., founder and director of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP), and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. Other panelists include Pia V. Escudero, executive director of the Student Health and Human Services (SHHS) division in the Los Angeles Unified School District; Mo Canadyexecutive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers; and Sandra D. Shephard, member of the Board of Education, Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Professor of Social Welfare Ron Avi Astor

The briefing will discuss the current issues of police aggression, often resulting in the death of unarmed Black citizens. In light of H.R. 7848—Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act—a bill recently introduced by Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar in the House of Representatives, Professor Astor and other scholars have called for social workers to be more engaged in the responsibility for public safety, and the decriminalization of schools with Black and Brown populations. 

Rather than debating the presence of police in schools, the focus of the briefing will be a fact- finding forum to discuss how best to provide for the safety and educational achievement of students in the nation’s public schools, the impact having police in schools has on Black and Latino students, and the benefits of having more social workers in schools. 

Astor, whose current work focuses on school climate in the twin pandemics of racism and COVID-19, has recently released a report on social workers’ recommendations for reopening schools this fall.  

Professor Astor was recently interviewed for an article in Education Week on schoolchildren, COVID-19, and trauma and contributed to another Ed Week article on teaching social and emotional skills in the COVID-19 era

The congressional briefing will be live streamed and is sponsored by the 
Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the American Council for School Social Work, the School Social Work Association of America, and the School Social Work Network.

To attend this webinar, register at this link.

For more information, visit the CRISP website.