Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy - CRISP

Nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting social workers with Congress.

Operating as usual


🔥🔥CONTEST ALERT!!!!🔥🔥Good morning everyone. We have started our morning program. Dr.Lewis announced a contest for the student/participant that has the most tags for today. Please use the and tags for the event today. The prize is free tuition to the CRISP Political Boot Camp!!!!!!!


Good morning!! Today CRISP will meet with all Lobby Day participants at the US Capitol Visitors Center - the CVC Auditorium located at 1 E Capitol St NE Washington, DC 2003 at 8:30am. We are excited to see everyone! After the morning program, we will head over to the Hill!!

S.3503 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2018 03/13/2019

The second bill that CRISP will be lobbying in support of will be the American Housing and Economic Stability Act of 2018 (S.3503) introduced by Senator and Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

The bill was introduced with the purpose of making housing more affordable, reversing the legacy of housing discrimination and removing barriers that isolate communities by expanding the rights under the Fair Housing Act. Senator Warren introduced this bill in September 2018.

To find out more about the American Housing and Economic Stability Act click here:

To find out more about Senator Elizabeth Warren click here:

CRISP is excited to host MSW students and macro oriented social workers next week on the Hill!

S.3503 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2018 Summary of S.3503 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2018

Text - H.R.1 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): For the People Act of 2019 03/13/2019

We are less than a week away from the 5th annual CRISP Advocacy Day!!!
CRISP will be lobbying in support of two bills the first is H.R 1 - For The People Act of 2019.

Critical elements of the For The People Act of 2019 include: addressing voter access barriers, election integrity, election security, political spending, ethics for the three branches of government, and the bill provides for states to establish independent, nonpartisan redistricting commissions.

The bill was introduced by Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) in January 2019. To find out more about H.R 1 click here:

To find out more about John Sarbanes click here:

See you on the Hill next week!!! The second bill will be up in a few short minutes!

Text - H.R.1 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): For the People Act of 2019 Text for H.R.1 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): For the People Act of 2019


Jennifer Ross was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. While attending John Jay College, she discovered her passion for helping people. Jennifer's first time in the helping role was as a Youth Ambassador with Coro: Exploring leadership. Jennifer completed Coro's ten month leadership program. The program equipped her with the skills to create change at her high school. With the skills she learned at Coro, Jennifer created and facilitated her own anti-conflict workshops in an attempt to decrease conflict in her high school.

In 2017 Jennifer started working as a Client Advocate at the Deaf Wellness and Recreation Center. There, she helped bridge the gap between the deaf and hearing world by helping deaf clients access resources. Since then, Jennifer has been passionate about advocating for the deaf community.
Jennifer is currently a Masters of Social Work student at the Catholic University of America and is an Intern at the Homeless Children's Playtime Project. Jennifer Ross is an aspiring Social Worker who hopes to work work directly with the deaf community, so that she can continue to advocate on behalf of the deaf community and assist the deaf community in accessing the all the resources they need.

The CRISP Team is pleased to have this social work student on the leadership team, as she is well on her way! Advocacy is an ethical standard for all social workers. Way to go Jen!


March is Social Work month.The theme for 2019 is: Elevate Social Work How do you think Social Work elevates individuals and communities? How are our skills useful to society? How will you elevate social work as a professional? In other words how do we "upgrade" society as social work professionals? Leave your insights in the comments! There are no wrong answers here!


La Shawn M. Paul, LCSW-R, ACSW is a CRISP nominee for Outstanding Individual in Business. La Shawn is the founder and lead clinician of She is licensed in NY State, and recognized by the National Association of Social Workers as an accredited social worker. Ms. Paul has a B.A. in Social Work and Political Science from Herbert H. Lehman College (City University of New York). She also holds a M.S. from Columbia University in Social Work with a clinical specialization in School-Based, School-Linked Services, and currently pursuing her Doctor of Social Work (DSW) from the University of Southern California.
In her senior year of high school, La Shawn lost a friend to su***de. In that moment, she decided to pursue social work, so that she could help women of all ages see their value and strength in times of turmoil and uncertainty. As a mother of a preschooler, wife, and clinician, she understands the various challenges that modern women face as they juggle a multitude of roles and expectations while simultaneously attempting to excel as their authentic selves. She is a firm believer that self-care is essential to holistic wellness, and she motivates her clients to practice self-care routinely to achieve work-life balance. La Shawn is a catalyst of change and Social Work Diva is her vision realized.
Throughout her academic and professional career, La Shawn has received a multitude of awards and honors including a NYS Proclamation from both the NYS Assembly and NYS Senate and the Emerging Leadership Award from the National Association of Social Workers- NYC Chapter. She has worked and provided consulting for an array of public and private healthcare and academic institutions in the NYC metropolitan area and remote locations throughout the United States.
As a mental health advocate, she works with local politicians to shape mental health policy and bring awareness to the need to eliminate mental illness stigma particularly within communities of color. Her work in mental health has landed her on the HuffPost's list of "10 Black Female Therapists to Know" and has been featured on various media outlets including Buzzfeed, Bustle, Fox5, Hot97, and USA Today. To find out more about La Shawn and join her her efforts, visit:


We are going to also highlight some of our CRISP Award Nominees. Today we will introduce Noni-Ife Taylor. She has been nominated for CRISP Outstanding Student of the Year. Noni- Ife is a Wilmington Delaware native. Noni-Ife is the creator and founder of the virtual community called The Social Work Student Connect (The SWSC) through social media handles, Facebook and Instagram. The SWSC is tailored to students, pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work. Virtual sessions are offered for students to receive suggestions and encouragement from seasoned Social Workers and students discussing topics, such as field practicums, licensure, professional development, ethics, employment, and how to earn a quality wage.
From a young age Noni wanted to be a helper. Starting at age 15, Noni- Ife had the opportunity to volunteer for the largest not for profit healthcare system in Delaware: Christiana Care. A four year volunteer commitment with Chiristiana Care developed into a paid employment opportunity, where she is currently employed today.Noni-Ife was awarded The President's Award signed by President Barack Obama and the Jefferson Award for her volunteer service. In 2016, Noni-Ife graduated Cum Laude from Delaware Technical Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Human Services. Currently, she attends West Chester University, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.
Noni-Ife plans to obtain her Master’s Degree in Social Work. Her goal is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Noni-Ife's professional interests include elders, medical social work, the effects of sexual trauma in African American women, and social work students. Noni- Ife is a part of Chi Gamma Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society, the 1st Vice President for Association of Black Social Workers West Chester Chapter for 2018-2019, and the Black Girls Social n Work's State Representative for Wilmington, Delaware.

Photos from Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy - CRISP's post 02/21/2019

In addition to being the moderator for the CRISP panel discussion, Daryl Campbell is an MSW graduate of the Ellen Whiteside McDonnell School of Social Work at Barry University. Daryl is Registered Clinical Social Worker Intern and Certified Addiction Professional. Daryl has a private practice in counseling that focuses on addictive behaviors and mental wellness in children and adults. In 2018, he was appointed to Broward County's Substance Abuse Advisory Board. Daryl attended the inaugural CRISP Political Boot Camp in 2017 and worked as a campaign organizer for Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and Senator Bill Nelson during the 2018 elections.


Starting this week will be highlighting members of the CRISP Leadership Team. Today we are highlighting Ben Koch!
Ben Koch is a Syracuse, NY native. Ben graduated from Onondaga Community College with an A.S in Human Services with a specialty in Social Work. During his time at Onondaga Community College he interned for The David Clark Learning Center (DCLC). The DCLC is a social rehabilitation program that works with individuals that have Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI). Ben is currently a student at The College at Brockport - State University of New York (SUNY). After completing his internship at the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP), Ben will graduate in May with a BSW, minoring in Pre-Professional Health. After graduation, Ben plans to further his academic studies by pursuing and obtaining a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) with an Emphasis in Public Safety. Ben hopes to pursue opportunities in event organizing, protecting human rights, and advocating for student rights. Ben plans to spend his retirement years in academia, as a professor at the Associate’s level to help others achieve their full academic and personal potential.
WAY TO GO BEN! We appreciate all that you do!


Did you save the dates??!!We have a little over a month to go before our Advocacy Events.
Did you know that CRISP is on Twitter and IG?
Please follow us!
🎉Join us in DC for our 5th annual event🎉
Twitter: CRISPontheHill

Photos from Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy - CRISP's post 01/24/2019

A message on the partial government shutdown from our president.


🎉 Social Workers and Social Work Students! Make sure you mark these dates down and plan to join us in DC, if you can. 🎉

Photos from Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy - CRISP's post 10/01/2018
Allison Berkowitz for the 7th 07/20/2018

Our Legislative Advocacy Manager, Allison Berkowitz, is running for Maryland House! If you feel like we do that more social workers should be running for office, will you help us get the word out about her candidacy?

Allison Berkowitz for the 7th

I'm supporting Allison Berkowitz for Delegate! 05/29/2018

By: Dr. Charles E. Lewis, Jr.

Allison Berkowitz has championed many causes and now social workers and others can support her efforts to win a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates representing the state’s 7th District. You can learn about her on her campaign website ( and donate to her campaign on her fundraising website ( Allison is a special breed of social worker—a political social worker who understands the need for more public officials with the values, skills and knowledge social workers bring to the political arena. She and her husband Steven moved to Harford County, Maryland after meeting in Anchorage, Alaska while Allison was plying her skills as a mental health therapist. They have grown to love their community and Allison wants to work on behalf of her neighbors and residents of Maryland.

Allison is pursuing her doctorate at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California in the DSW program fashioned to respond to the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work. She believes her political action fits precisely into the Grand Challenge to Achieve Equal Opportunity and Justice. She is also an adjunct instructor at Simmons School of Social Work where she teaches online courses in the MSW program. Allison led the team of volunteers for CRISP’s 2018 Student Advocacy Day on the Hill in March and she helped manage our social media platforms. Now she is leading a team of volunteers who she believes will help her win a seat in the Maryland General Assembly.

She is one of two Democrats who will be on the ballot in the June 26 primary. A total of 13 Republicans are vying for three places on the ballot in November’s general election, including two incumbents. The third incumbent Republican chose not to run. Allison is likely to be on the ballot with the three Republicans in November with a good chance of garnering enough votes to win one of the three seats in the 7th district—one of 47 districts in the state of Maryland. Districts will elect one, two, or three representatives to the House of Delegates—also known as the lower chamber—and one representative to the State Senate.

Allison’s fundraising efforts received a boost back in February as a result of her social action during the campaign. She led a protest against one of the Republican candidates vying to represent the 7th District when the would-be delegate raffled off AR-15 rifles as a campaign fundraiser shortly after the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Her demonstration drew media attention and campaign contributions started pouring in. Raising campaign funds was not her motivation. Allison often lends her voice to causes as she did in a recent op-ed piece advocating for more funding for tuberculosis research and treatment.

Social workers are running for elected offices. Kathy Tran who earned her MSW at the University of Michigan, became the first Asian American woman elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017. She was joined at the time by Elizabeth Guzman who became one of the first two Latina women to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. Guzman earned her MSW at the USC School of Social Work. Social worker Kara Eastman pulled a surprise by outpolling a former congressman to win the right to challenge the incumbent Republican congressman in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Peter Jacob, a 2010 graduate of the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis will be running in the New Jersey primary on June 5 for the Democratic nomination in the 7th Congressional District. I am certain there are many other social workers running for office at all levels.

On July 8 – 11, CRISP will host its second Political Boot Camp and Media Training designed for social workers and others who have a desire to participate in electoral politics or become a better spokesperson for a candidate or a cause. The idea of political social work as an accepted practice is taking hold now that a textbook has been published. Last year, Shannon Lane, an associate professor at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and Suzanne Pritzker, an associate professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, published Political Social Work: Using Power to Create Social Change. I had the honor of writing the forward. Former NASW president and University of Connecticut School of Social Work dean emeritus Nancy Humphreys is quick to say she did not create political social work, but she gave it meaning and worked diligently to promote it. Allison is carrying the torch this year.

I'm supporting Allison Berkowitz for Delegate! Join me in supporting Allison's people-powered campaign.

Untitled album 04/26/2018
CRISP Student Advocacy Day on the Hill, 2018 03/23/2018

It was a wonderful day full of comradery, learning, and of course, working for social change. Thanks for being a part of it! (And to those who couldn't make it but are intrigued? Please consider being a part of the leadership team for 2019!)


Love to see students advocating!

As proud graduates of SBU, we'd like to support our soon to be colleagues in the efforts. If you're in the Stony Brook area on the 31st, please swing by for an amazing event. For more information on how you can help donate if you can't attend, please reach out.

Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy - CRISP Stonybrook University School of Social Welfare Graduate Student GovernmentStony Brook University Alumni AssociationSocial Work TutorNASW NYS ChapterNASW PressHamilton: An American MusicalTeeRico_LinManuelPuerto RicoSocial Justice SolutionsNational Association of Social WorkersThe New Social Worker Magazine


This Congresswoman Barbara Lee National Association of Social Workers - NASW


In addition to our Student Advocacy Day on the Hill, we’ve also got the Social Work Day on the Hill, which you don’t want to miss. Details here and a link to register in the comments.


March is Social Work Month and the time CRISP holds its Student Advocacy Day and Social Work Day on the Hill events. On Wednesday, March 21st at 9:00 a.m. we will be back at the National Press Club for our annual Policy and Politics Forum that will feature the work of Dr. Michael Sherraden on child development accounts. That afternoon at 1:00 p.m., we will be at New York University’s Abramson Family Auditorium to discuss how social work can address threats to democracy as presented in Dr. Nancy MacLean’s latest book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

In her book—a finalist for the National Book Award—the Duke historian paints a gloomy picture of how a handful of libertarians largely financed by Charles and David Koch have exerted enormous influence on our nation’s electoral politics and governance to ensure that the propertied-class’ ability to enrich itself is not constrained by majority rule. In another book well worth reading, The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution Crisis: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic, author Ganesh Sitaraman makes the case for a more egalitarian society positing that majority-rule democracy can only exist in a society with a strong middle class. Activities within the networks of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work are by design generating research, innovation, and policies that will strengthen the middle class by promoting social justice, reducing economic inequality and decreasing poverty.

One of the most destabilizing forces threatening democracy in the United States and abroad is growing economic disparity that has many nations—including ours—on the brink of full-fledged plutocracy. Bloomberg News reported the world’s wealthiest added $1 trillion to their fortunes in 2017—four times more than 2016. In the U.S., 159 billionaires added $315 billion to their accounts in 2017 which gave them a collective net worth of $2 trillion. Nobel Prize-winning economists Richard Thaler and Joseph Stiglitz conclude the Republican-led tax cuts will only exacerbate the imbalance.

Dr. Sherraden’s efforts to enact federal legislation to provide universal child development accounts would go a long way in ensuring future generations could avoid widespread poverty. He has been meeting with Rep. Joe Crowley’s (D-NY-14) staff to discuss re-introduction of a bill he sponsored in 2015 with a few alterations that Sherraden believes will strengthen the bill. The George Warren Brown Distinguished Professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis put his ideas in play with the 1991 book, Assets and the Poor, that provided a framework for policies that would help people escape poverty by building assets rather than continue to subsist on residual handouts.

One Grand Challenge network, Build Financial Capabilities for All, is co-led by Dr. Sherraden’s wife Margaret—who he will tell you is the most brilliant of the two. Along with co-leads Jin Huang and Julie Birkenmaier, they have assembled a talented cadre of researchers, educators, practitioners, and students who are engaged in research and policy design to foster greater financial security across the lifespan. While the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work may not be the panacea for all of society’s ills, the initiative is making valuable contributions and holds promise as the networks evolve and develop interprofessional collaborations.

As I shared in a previous post, there is a growing list of social workers and social work educators who are expanding efforts to engage and empower voters led by the likes of Terry Mizrahi, Tanya Rhodes Smith, Suzanne Pritzker, Shannon Lane, Katherine Hill and Mary Hylton. CRISP is developing leaders who will spearhead plans for Student Advocacy Day who include Allison Berkowitz, Ashley Blanchard, Bi’Anncha Andrews, and Daryl Campbell, to name a few. There is much energy and passion in the profession that is determined to resist the status quo. Will it be enough to alter the trajectory of the current administration? Perhaps at the end of the day we will conclude there is not much social work can do stem the tide, but at least we will have had the conversation and are making the effort.


Where will you be on Tuesday, March 20th this year? If you're a social work student, the answer should be: with us in DC, advocating for more people-centered laws. More details and registration will follow shortly, but for now: save the date! We could also really use help planning the incredible event, so please e-mail us at [email protected] if you'd like to help. Thanks!


Social Justice Solutions

On we want to celebrate some of our favorite humanitarian professions. Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy - CRISP Kristie HolmesSocial Work TutorStony Brook School of Social Welfare Alumni


The SISGI Group : We love how Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy - CRISP is fighting for social justice through policy and advocacy. They will also be joining us for our on income inequality and the minimum wage on August 31st at 3pm EDT. đź“Ś Reminder: join the discussion on our "notenoughgood" twitter account.

Happy thank you for the love ❤ and


Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon fired

JUST IN: White House officials say Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was fired President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon has been fired, two White House officials told CNN Friday.


CSWC Member U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke


Happy thank you for the love ❤ and


BuzzFeed News on Twitter

Thousands of people sang "This Little Light of Mine" during a candlelight vigil last night in Charlottesville

“Thousands of people sang "This Little Light of Mine" during a candlelight vigil last night in Charlottesville”


LIVE NOW: We’re watching a memorial service for Heather Heyer, the woman killed in Charlottesville, Va. Watch on Facebook:



react to Trump's Charlottesville violence remarks: "I don't know what to say tonight... I'm just hurt"

See more at


Happy Birthday Congressional Social Work Caucus Member Representative Maxine Waters!

CRISP Social Work Day on the Hill 2017


Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness • CRISP

The hoard of white supremacists who invaded Charlottesville also believed they had the freedom to hate and that their right to freedom of speech allowed them to hurl slurs and invectives toward anyone they pleased. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Most of know these words from the Declaration of Independence. Words can be powerfu...


Click here to support Marcus Martin organized by Lah Rah

for Marcus Martin, who pushed his fiancee out of the way but was hit Marcus was severly injured when a terrorist drove through a crowd of peacful protestors on August 12th in Charlottesville, VA. Marcus heroically made a split second decision to save his fiance's life by moving her out of harm's way, and in the process suffered a broken ankle, broken tibia, and s...


Click here to support Natalie Romero medical fund organized by Ericka Chaves

Verified for counter-protester Natalie Romero, injured in the vehicular attack. At a counter-protest for the Charlottesville White Supremacy rally, a 20 year old (my daughter, a Houston native) was one of the people who got hit by a car. She's in the hospital and we really will appriecate any help for the hospitals expences. Natalie does not have health insurance at this tim...

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Videos (show all)

@SocialWorkItOut: Last #bus of @CRISPontheHill students are now heading to the Hill & getting #psyched :) Ain't no power...
"NOBODY is better trained for Congress, than Social Workers!" -@EdTowns đź‘Źđź‘Źđź‘Ź @CRISPontheHill's #AdvocacyDay
#WomensMarch Washington, DC
Watch #LavarYoumans (Howard University, School of Social Work Ph.D. Student) Explain YVOTE! Submit Your #Millennial 30 S...
Check out #BrendanYoung (University of Maryland Baltimore, MSW) as he explains #YVOTE. Submit your video at http://votin...
#Millennial Video Spotlight: Featuring Rep. Kylie Oversen #NorthDakota - Rep. Oversen Explains YVOTE
Watch CRISP's #Student Advisory Council President Bomaya Kamara, MSW (University of Maryland Baltimore) Explain YVOTE #M...
YVote #Millennial Spotlight! Check out Bomaya Kamara, President of CRISP Student Advisory Council & University of Maryla...
1st Millennial #YVOTE Leader SpotlightCheck out #CourtneyKidd, COO of Social Justice Solutions! We asked Courtney YVOTE ...





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