2017 Plenary Panels

Plenary Day 1: Thursday June 15 @ 11:55am - 1:00pm | Pope Auditorium

Topic | The Business of Social Work and Social Work in Business: Walls and Bridges

There is potentially strong congruence between social work management skills and practices applied in the context of human service organizations and those practices applied in the context of business organizations. This plenary panel, comprised of social workers who work in business, will address the conference theme: The Business of Social Work, core pillars 4Ms: Mission, Morals, Morale and Money. The speakers will discuss the transferability of skills from one context to the other with an emphasis on implications for human service management competencies.


Michàlle Mor Barak, Ph.D.
Dean’s Professor of Social Work & Business
Chair, Department of Social Change and Innovation
USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and USC Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

Dnika J. Travis, MSW, PhD
Vice President, Women of Color Research & Leader, Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice

Florence Chung, MSW
CEO, Hetty Group

Wendell Knight, LMSW, CSWM
CEO, MTI Integrated Business Development, Inc.

Plenary Day 2: Friday June 16 @ 11:55am - 1:00pm | Pope Auditorium

Topic | Troubled Waters: Foundations, Nonprofits and Trumpism

While still evolving, foundation leaders, across the country are engaged in deliberations, internally and collectively, on how best to response to the changing policy landscape and its implications of those changes for the work of their grantees and the communities they serve. From all indications, issues of concern to the human service sector and philanthropy– social and racial justice, income equality, equal employment and education, clean air and water, smart decarceration, immigration, universal health care, and affordable housing—are  all rapidly moving toward a profoundly different policy ideology—one that demands new, and different, responses.

Foundations are among the most influential and powerful of all civil society institutions.  And their voices and grant making carry weight in policy-making arenas.  In this conversational plenary, representatives from three leading membership and/or issue-oriented organizations in philanthropy will share insights from their membership about grant making in these troubled times. Examples of grant making by top foundations as well as clusters of funders will be highlighted.


Eric Weingartner
CEO of University Settlement and The Door, former managing director Robin Hood Foundation


This Plenary is Sponsored by The Fund for Social Policy Education and Practice, with support from the Silberman Grant Fund at The NY Community Trust


Jeff Poulos, BA
CEO, Associated Grant Makers

Shawn Morehead, MSW
Board Member, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees and the Program Director, Promising Futures: Education and Human Justice, at The New York Community Trust

Susan Taylor Batten, JD
President and CEO, Association of Black Foundation Executives