Social and Racial Justice at JACSW
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November 2020
A Message from the Dean
 photo of Dean Hairston

Dear Alumni & Friends,

We are nearing the end of 2020, a year that has been one of many events never imagined or experienced in recent memories. In addition to a major health crisis that stopped normal ways of operating and social protests demanding new attention to age old problems of anti-Black racism, we are witnessing a Presidential election where the person declared the "loser" refuses to concede. These events are shaping who we are, how we respond to differences of opinion and facts and in some instances, how we even treat each other.

Here at Jane Addams College of Social Work we are addressing these new challenging situations while continuing age old traditions, though in new ways. This newsletter provides a glimpse of the work that we, along with alumni and community partners are doing to advance the College mission and our individual and collective commitments to social justice.

As always, thank you for your support of the College and please stay in touch. During these difficult times, and in good times as well, we need you and we need each other.

Creasie Finney Hairston, PhD
Dean and Professor

News from JACSW
JACSW Co-Sponsored Panel Discussion on Black Activism in Academia
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On November 16, the college partnered with the American Society of Criminology, Division on People of Color and Crime to co-sponsor the online panel Activism Among Academics: Creating Change from “The Ivory”. The event featured presentations from four academics, at different stages in their careers, about their activism and their decisions to engage in activism. Associate Professor Henrika McCoy presented as one of the panelists. Video of the fascinating discussion can be viewed on the college website.

Watch the Video »
JACSW Co-Sponsored and Hosted DCFS Latino Institute Day
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The college co-sponsored, hosted and provided technical support for the 2020 Latino Institute Day, held October 23 in partnership with Illinois DCFS and the Latino Advisory Council. The virtual institute featured a variety of presenters, including JACSW Assistant Professor Daysi Diaz-Strong, who presented The Transition to Adulthood of the Undocumented Childhood Arrivals, which examined the barriers created by legal exclusion as undocumented childhood arrivals come of age in the United States.

Faculty Updates
Henrika McCoy 

Associate Professor Henrika McCoy was a panelist for the webinar The Racial Caste System & Its Impact on Patient Outcomes, which addressed systemic health inequity and disparities in patient outcomes.

John Holton 

Visiting Research Professor John Holton is primary investigator for a new project at the Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research, funded with $748,871 from the Illinois Department of Human Services. He will study the demographics and clinical status of Williams and Colbert Class Members currently residing in Special Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities and nursing homes, and factors that impact their decision to transition to community-based living.

Kathryn Bocanegra 

Assistant Professor Kathryn Bocanegra moderated a statewide Town Hall on Shared Safety, sponsored by the Illinois Coalition for Shared Safety, which featured presentations and discussion from Illinois safety leaders, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

Aaron Gottlieb 

Assistant Professor Aaron Gottlieb, along with other members of Chicago's Use of Force Community Working Group, penned an article in the Chicago Sun-Times urging Mayor Lightfoot to adopt their recommendations for limiting use of force by police.


Other JACSW faculty have continued their research and dissemination of information on important aspects of social justice; click below to see their work.

Faculty Work in Social Justice »
Catch Up with our Doctoral Students
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JACSW doctoral students are busy not only with their studies, but also with community service and engagement, and publishing and presenting their scholarship. The Fall '20 issue covers all that and introduces the new cohort of doctoral students. It's also the inaugural edition of a new online format!

Read the New Doctoral Dispatch »
Alumni News & Updates
Donors and Students Honored at the Dean’s Scholarship Celebration
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With scholarships being the college’s number one priority during the IGNITE campaign, the 2020 Dean’s Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Presentation was a perfect way to recognize and thank all of our scholarship donors. As the first-ever virtual award ceremony held by the college, it was a lively and enjoyable event attended by donors, scholarship recipients and their friends and family members, and JACSW faculty and staff.

Darnetha Austin 

Darnetha Austin (pictured at left), recipient of the Patricia Counce Memorial Scholarship Award from the Chicago Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., gave an inspiring presentation about how the scholarship enabled her to fulfill her goal of attending Jane Addams to get her MSW degree and to serve others in her community.

You can view videos of Darnetha's remarks and messages from other scholarship recipients and donors on our website:

See the Impact of Scholarships »
Come Together on December 1 for #GivingTuesday
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Each year since 2013, UIC has engaged in #GivingTuesday, a global movement that inspires people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity. Through our collective efforts last year, UIC broke records for participation and dollars raised. This year, we’re asking the JACSW community to come together once again to help create opportunities for MSW students by making a gift on December 1. You’ll receive more information about how you can participate and make a difference!

The Giving Tuesday website will accept gifts beginning November 20 through December 4.

Giving Tuesday Website »
Alumni Updates
Donald Dew 

Donald Dew, MSW '80 and President/CEO of Habilitative Systems, Inc., has been appointed by Governor Pritzker to serve on the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission. He also wrote Understanding How Violence is Both a Consequence and a Cause of the Mental Health Crisis, published in a special mental health supplement of the Chicago Reader.

Randy Fisher 

An article by Randy Fisher, MSW '73, History and Development of School Social Work within Professional Organizations, has been published online at the Encyclopedia of Social Work. Randy was the 2017 Recipient of the Jane Addams Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and is establishing an endowed scholarship fund to support JACSW students in the school social work specialization.


Among other alumni who shared updates are Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler, PhD ’15, Deborah Dettman, MSW ’92 and Jackie Haas, MSW ’89.

See All the Updates »

Events for JACSW Alumni

It's Back! Peer-to-Peer Consultation Group

After a hiatus due to COVID-19, the Alumni Peer-to-Peer Consultation Group will meet virtually at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16. The consultation group provides a welcoming, open format for social workers to reconnect with fellow grads and network with other Chicago social work professionals for discussion of common clinical issues, case presentations and sharing of resource information with the group. JACSW Lecturer Lisa Salvadore LCSW, LCPC, CADC facilitates the group and would love to see you at the next virtual meeting!

Register for the Peer-to-Peer Group »


Save the Date: Alumni & Friends Celebration

On Friday, April 30, 2021 the college will host its first virtual Alumni & Friends Celebration. And there's no registration fee! You’ll be entertained and engaged while networking with attendees, honoring alumni, and raising funds for student scholarships. Stay tuned for more information about this event.


UIC Alumni Association

Alumni Exchange

A virtual event series that brings news, knowledge and entertainment to help you learn, grow, explore, connect and even escape from the everyday with a community of UIC alumni and faculty.

Virtual Book Club

An exclusive group for UIC alumni, faculty & staff to engage books and each other! Members are welcome to browse bookshelves, join discussions, access bonus materials and submit book recommendations. There's even a shelf with books written by JACSW alumni!

Alumni Benefits & Services

As an alumnus of UIC, you have access to a variety of exclusive benefits, which you can begin taking advantage of immediately upon graduation. These benefits can include access to health care, libraries, fitness facilities and more!

Visit the Alumni Association Website »



Make Your Impact

Ways to Support the College

There are many ways you can support the college and its mission of social justice.

Learn More »


Connect and Engage

We are proud of our alumni and the important work they are doing!
Let us know what you've been up to, update your information and explore volunteering opportunities to engage with current JACSW students!

Stay Connected »


Contact Us

If you have general questions, concerns or feedback, please contact our director of advancement:

Jacquelyn M. Bonavia, MA, CFRE
Director of Advancement
Jane Addams College of Social Work, MC 309
1040 West Harrison Street, Room 4018
Chicago, IL 60607-7134
Telephone: (312) 413-2305
Fax: (312) 996-1802