On October 6th, the School of Social Work held a school-wide event, co-sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers—New Jersey (NASW-NJ) and the School’s Social Policy Network. The event, organized by Lenna Nepomnyaschy, associate professor at the school, was a screening ofAmerican Winter, a documentary film following the personal stories of formerly middle class families struggling in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The film puts a face on the economic challenges in the country to break down stereotypes of poverty and illustrate the need for access to social services.
The film screening was followed by a panel discussion with, Harry Gantz, the film producer and director, and several leaders of local policy and advocacy organizations: Cecilia Zalkind, Executive Director of Advocates for Children of NJ; Serena Rice, Executive Director of the NJ Anti-Poverty Network; and Walter Kalman, Executive Director of NASW-NJ. The event was attended by over 300 students, faculty, and alumni,
“This event was an important opportunity for the School of Social Work to highlight our commitment to the areas of economic and social justice and to start a university-wide conversation about poverty, inequality, the struggles of middle class families, and the inadequacy of the social safety net in our country,” says Nepomnyaschy.