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Powerful but Hidden Communities: Approaches in Innovative Community Engagement

Across the United States, there are diverse communities often deemed "hard to reach", such as immigrants and refugees, Muslims, indigenous peoples, urban youth, or undocumented workers. Consequently, their socioeconomic and mental health needs are inadequately addressed by social workers, researchers, and policymakers. Using real cases, "Powerful but Hidden Communities" explores practices of innovative community engagement that recognize these communities and harness their collective strength to address needs. This Community Conversation is part of NASW-NJ's Race, Responsibility, and Reconciliation Series. This program is not eligible for CEUs.

Presenter: Charles Chear, Assistant Director of Student Affairs and Teaching Instructor at Rutgers University School of Social Work. Chear's social work experiences include homeless services and community organizing in Boston, behavioral healthcare in Tucson, Arizona, and study abroad programs for American youth of color in Cambodia and Mali. Prior to social work, he was a Linux IT consultant for clients such as The Roots, and a street graffiti artist in Philadelphia. A 1st generation college student from Philadelphia's Cambodian refugee community, Chear earned his BA in Sociology and certificate in Asian American Studies at University of Massachusetts-Boston and MSW with a specialization in Trauma and Violence at Boston University. 

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