Page 0021

STRONGER SOCIAL FABRIC

Network Leadership

NETWORK CO-LEADS

Suzanne Brown, PhD

Associate Professor

Wayne State University

fb7139@wayne.edu

Robert Cosby, PhD

Assistant Dean

Howard University

robert.cosby@howard.edu

Sandra Edmunds Crewe, PhD

Dean

Howard University

secrewe@howard.edu

Michelle Munson, PhD

Professor

New York University

michelle.munson@nyu.edu

Erika Sabbath, ScD

Associate Professor

Boston College

erika.sabbath@bc.edu

LOOKING BACK

During the past five years, members

of the network for Eradicate Social

Isolation and their colleagues have:

• Compiled a special issue of the Clinical Social

Work Journal on eradicating social isolation

in diverse populations and across the lifespan

• Organized a symposium at the Society

for Social Work & Research conference

on "Adversity, Marginalization, and Social

Isolation: Risks and Resilience"

• Participated in the Social Isolation Impact

Summit, hosted by the Motion Picture &

Television Fund and the Milken Institute's

Center for the Future of Aging

• Delivered the keynote address at the

University of the Western Cape in Cape Town,

South Africa on the importance of human

relationships

• Served on the ad hoc committee and

contributed to the Consensus Study Report

of the National Academies of Sciences,

Engineering, and Medicine on "Social Isolation

and Loneliness in Older Adults"

• Advocated for policy, practice, and

educational changes to ensure that social

isolation, particularly among older adults,

receives adequate attention

• Presented a CSWE Teaching Institute:

"Eradicate Social Isolation: Teaching and

learning strategies for generalist and

advanced curriculum"

In 2020 alone, responding to the COVID -19

pandemic, members of the network to

Eradicate Social Isolation have:

• Established a helpline at Wayne State

University to train volunteers to help

reduce stress and social isolation among

healthcare workers

• Launched a Virtual Health Ministry program

in Washington, DC, in which social work

student navigators link congregants at

area churches with services as well as a

Grandparent Reassurance Program

• Delivered webinars on "Isolation & Creativity

in the Time of COVID -19" and  "Social Work:

A Relational Profession in a Time of Social

Distancing"

• Published articles on the implications of

COVID -19 for older adults, African Americans,

and the brain itself

• Conducted a survey to understand the

impact of COVID -19 related social distancing

on mental health and well-being

LOOKING AHEAD

Network members have articulated the following objectives for this Grand Challenge

over the next five years:

• Continue to advocate for their policy recommendations, using best practices gleaned from

innovative approaches in the UK and other countries around the world:

1. Increase access to social supports that strengthens social connections for children,

families, older adults and people with disabilities

2. Build more age-friendly communities that strengthen social connections

3. Reduce barriers to social inclusion for those marginalized by racism and other

forms of oppression

• Organize their research activities around a set of research questions focused on social support,

social integration, and social exclusion

• Engage network leads and national colleagues on strategies to embed strategic teaching tools

into the curriculum at the BSW, MSW, and PhD levels

• Increase the scope and cohesiveness of their network to better expand and coordinate their efforts

• Include community leaders from across the country in generating strategies to eradicate social

isolation and build social connection

An Impact Report at Year 5 of the 10-Year Initiative | 19

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