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Social Work Day sold out

Chad Broughton, who will speak at Social Work Day. Photo from the World Affairs Council of Northern California.

Chad Broughton, who will speak at Social Work Day. Photo from the World Affairs Council of Northern California.

UPDATE: The 2017 Social Work Day is sold out.

Citizenship will be the focus of the 2017 Social Work Day on Monday, March 27, at Illinois State University’s Alumni Center.

Shaping the Narrative: Social Work Action for Engaged Citizenship hopes to be a vehicle for helping social service providers move forward in these uncertain political times. Social work advocates from across the state will have the opportunity to discuss how to provide necessary social services under a new administration and continue to work as a force for good.

“I think we have all felt the current social and political experience to be divisive and acrimonious like no other. At a time when we feel the most divided, we will need to reach past ideological and political positions to find our common humanity, and work from there,” said Diane Zosky director of the School of Social Work. “This is what our Social Work Day Conference is meant to do. For each of us to understand people who might come from a different perspective and then work from our common humanity to heal the divisions.”

The event will run from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alumni Center.

Speakers will include Professor Chad Broughton of the University of Chicago, and Charlotte Alvarez, staff attorney with the Immigration Project. Broughton is a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago in public policy studies, and the author of Boom, Bust, Exodus: The Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities. The book, which won the 2016 WOLA-Duke Human Rights Book Award, traces the ripple effects of a single factory closing. It offers a sociological window into the origins and experience of growing income inequality in both the United States and Mexico in the NAFTA era.

Broughton is also a contributing writer to The Atlantic, a news magazine that provides readers with an analysis of politics, business, culture, and technology domestically and internationally.

In September 2014, Alvarez joined the Immigration Project, a nonprofit organization that provides immigration legal assistance to the 100,000 immigrants residing in Central and Southern Illinois. She saw a need for trustworthy representation in immigration cases and went to Harvard Law School to become an immigration attorney. After law school Alvarez was the legal services director at the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama for two years where she managed the Immigration & Access to Justice Program and represented clients in naturalization, visas, VAWA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and family-based immigration cases.

A panel of local religious leaders will take place in the afternoon to discuss their faith’s tradition regarding social justice and their interpretation of the separation clause in the constitution and how the current socio-political discourse impacts their faith community. Panelists include Shaykh Khalid Herrington, imam and resident scholar of the Islamic Center of Bloomington-Normal, Archana Shekara representing the Hindu Temple of Bloomington-Normal, Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe  of the Moses Montefiore Congregation, and the Rev. Frank McSwain Sr., of the Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.

For more information, contact Anne Cook at or (309) 438-8187.