NASW Courage, Hope and Leadership Conference Brings Hundreds of Social Workers to Washington D.C.

Keynote speakers include economist Robert Reich, corporate diversity leader,
Steve Pemberton, and best-selling author and social worker Brené Brown

WASHINGTON—The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) will host social workers from across the United States and around the world at its “Social Work: Courage, Hope and Leadership” national conference on July 23-26 in Washington, D.C. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

The conference will feature more than 100 workshops and sessions that will help social workers address pressing social issues, including improving the delivery of health care and mental health care, helping families escape poverty, and assisting victims of human trafficking.

“Social workers are leaders of change who strengthen society’s safety net,” said NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW. “They bring hope and inspire people facing hardship to find their courage and fulfill their potential as dynamic citizens in their own right. That theme is reflected in this year’s conference.”

Keynote speakers are former labor secretary and economist Robert Reich, business leader and author Steve Pemberton, and social work researcher and New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown. Reich is a columnist and filmmaker who criticizes vast income inequality in the United States; Pemberton grew up in the foster care system and became a child welfare advocate and chief diversity officer and a divisional vice president Walgreens; and Brown has shared her message about the power of vulnerability and courage on the Oprah Winfrey Network, CNN and other major networks.

The conference, which brings together more than 1,500 social workers from around the United States and eight other nations, will also feature a Social Work Film Festival on July 24 and a red carpet “Night at the Awards” on July 25. The film festival will showcase three documentaries on issues related to social work and the awards show will honor recipients of this year’s national NASW and NASW Foundation awards.

The presenting sponsor for the conference is NASW Assurance Services, Inc. and the platinum sponsor is the USC School of Social Work. Additional sponsors include Case Western Reserve University—Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, Compassion and Choices, Foster Care Technologies, LLC, The John A. Hartford Foundation, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, University at Buffalo School of Social Work, University of Maryland School of Social Work, Tennessee College of Social Work, Columbia University School of Social Work, New York University Silver School of Social Work and the University of Washington School of Social Work.

Visit for event times. To schedule media interviews before or during the conference, please contact Greg Wright at and 202.336.8324 or Gail Woods Waller at and 202.336.8236.


The National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) is a charitable organization created to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through the advancement of social work practice.
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