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The engagement of universities and colleges, as well as professional organizations, has been central to

the success of the Grand Challenges for Social Work efforts to educate the next generation of social

workers to develop evidence-based interventions and policy proposals. Organizations and schools

of social work across the country are weaving the Grand Challenges into their programs in a number

of significant ways, from curriculum enhancements to core programming. For example:

• An entire DSW program at the University of Southern

California, a post-masters fellowship at Florida State

University, and a dual degree program at Colorado

State University School of Social Work and the

Colorado School of Public Health - all have been

organized around the Grand Challenges.

• New York University Silver School of Social Work

conducted #NYUSilverUp4theChallenge, a student

competition grounded in the principles of the Grand

Challenges, reflecting the unique and powerful

ways that social workers are positioned to address

the Grand Challenges. Topics ranged from the

development of programs to eradicate social

isolation, to examining food insecurity and instability

in a changing environment, to ending homelessness

by taking an anti-racist stance in efforts toward

eviction prevention.

• The University of Denver featured the Grand

Challenges in their Science for Action series, and the

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School

of Social Work held a Harness Technology for Social

Good yearlong lecture series.

• Many of the Grand Challenges, including Ensure

Healthy Development for Youth, Reduce Extreme

Economic Inequality, Build Financial Capability

and Assets for All, and Harness Technology

for Social Good, have developed textbooks,

education modules, and webinars to train students,

professionals and the public.

• Faculty around the country - including Azusa Pacific

University and Fresno State University - have

incorporated aspects of the Grand Challenges into

their curricula. The University of South Alabama

uses a course in problem-based learning to

examine the Grand Challenges. New courses have

been developed to address the Grand Challenges,

including courses on Smart Decarceration at the

University of Chicago and University of Maryland

School of Social Work.

• Countless books, book chapters, journal articles,

and other publications have been written by

network members and leadership team members

about individual Grand Challenges and the

initiative as a whole.

• More than 60 departments and schools of social

work have formed the Western Consortium for

the Grand Challenges to identify, spotlight, and

implement initiatives such as teaching innovations,

new practices in field education, learning networks

for scholarly professionals, and fresh concepts

of community service.

• The GCSW has shared access to a variety of

educational events, ranging from our own webinar

Covid -19: Learning from History about Disaster

and Economic Inequality to The Art of Policy Practice:

Navigating the Legislative Process, co-branded

with Influencing Social Policy (ISP), a nonprofit

organization for social work educators, students, and

practitioners, and the National Association of Social

Workers (NASW).

• The GCSW has partnered with Prof2Prof to serve as

an intellectual hub for connecting network members

and their contributions to the Grand Challenges.

Prof2Prof is a platform that allows scholars, higher

education faculty, doctoral students, and academic

staff to share their best teaching, research, and

management materials across disciplines, and on a

global scale. This partnership is intended to advance

Grand Challenges' goals related to education;

shed light on the contributions of social work

professionals; inspire collaboration and partnerships

with other disciplines; and create a working space

for the Grand Challenges networks.

• Grand Challenges leaders and members have

continued to be highly visible at national and

regional conferences, participating in roundtable

discussions, presentations, and special interest

groups, as well as booths and networking

opportunities at conferences held by organizations

including NASW, Council on Social Work Education

(CSWE), the Society for Social Work and Research

(SSWR), The American Council for School Social Work

(ACSSW), Wichita State University School of Social

Work's POWER Conference, the Kentucky Association

of Social Work Educators, and others.

• Wayne State University has committed faculty,

staff, funding, and other resources to advance the

Grand Challenges, particularly in Greater Detroit,

and documented these efforts in Rising to the

Challenge 2017.

6 | Progress and Plans for the Grand Challenges


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