Student Advocacy Day
Virtual Event

Thursday, March 10 - 11:00 am until 6:00 pm EST

The pandemic prevented us from returning to Capitol Hill for another year but the gathering of social work students and recent graduates turned out to be a rewarding experience. More than 300 students register for the event. The program began with greetings from Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29) followed by poetry by Brandon Burke. Participants were treated with a superb keynote presentation by Dr. Shannon Lane, an Associate Professor at the Wurlitzer School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. Dr. Lane is co-author of the textbook: Political Social Work: Using Power to Create Social Change. Participants were treated to a dance recital by Michael Jackson, Jr. before moving on to scheduled Zoom meeting with Hill staffers and other political social workers. There were a dozen virtual information session during the after. You can view the recorded sessions below.

Meet the 2022 CRISP Leadership Team

Kenneth D. M. Hagler, ll

Lead Organizer
Johnson C. Smith University, BSW

Amani Desamours

CRISP Fellow
Howard University, MSW

Marissa Rodriguez

CRISP Fellow
Columbia University, MSW

Aaron Autler

Team Member
University of Pennsylvania, MSW

Devany Howard

Team Member
Columbia University, MSW

Grace Nielson

Team Member
University of Missouri, MSW

Jennifer Bulcock

Team Member
University of Pennsylvania, MSW

Kristine Paz

Team Member
Sacred Heart University, MSW

Nevo Polonsky

Team Member
University of Michigan, MSW

Sherie Turnage

Team Member
Coppin State University, BSW

Stephani Brodi

Team Member
University of Houston, MSW

Student Advocacy Day Program

Program will begin at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time/8:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Students may begin logging in 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Opening Remarks • Dr. Charles E. Lewis, Jr., CRISP Director

Welcome • Kenneth Hagler, II, Student Advocacy Day Lead Organizer

Greetings • Special Guests

Poetic Expression • Brandon Burke

Introduction of Keynote Speaker • Amani Desamours, CRISP Fellow

Keynote Speaker • Dr. Shannon Lane, Associate Professor and Author

Special Dance Performance • Michael Jackson, Jr.

Break Time • 12:30 – 1:00 PM

Meetings with Hill Staffers and Political Social Workers • 1:00 – 5:00 PM

Closing Session • 5:00 – 6:00 PM


Our Keynote Speaker

Dr. Shannon Lane, associate professor at the Wurlitzer School of Social Work at Yeshiva University will be the 2022 Student Advocacy Day keynote speaker. She is a co-auther of the textbook, Political Social Work: Using Power to Create Social Change. Dr. Lane began her career working for the United States Senate, where she was hired as a staff member for Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle while still an undergraduate at the George Washington University.  She received her MSW from the University of Michigan and returned to Capitol Hill to work for Senators Daschle, Pryor, and Nelson.  Since 2004, she has been affiliated with the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. At Wurzweiler, Dr. Lane teaches in the PhD and MSW programs.   

Featured Artists

Brandon Burke, LMSW, has been working in the field of social work since 2012. His skills range from conducting quantitative research to providing professional training on cultural issues. After graduating with his MSW from the University of Connecticut in 2015, Brandon went to work as a Therapeutic Foster Care Worker for the Village for Families and Children in Hartford, CT. He has been writing and reciting poetry since the age of 11 and in Connecticut has performed as part of the Journey Writers, a writer’s collective in Hartford. Mr. Burke has one public presentation, Community Support for Families: How A Different Response Can Help, in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families and the former UConn Performance Improvement Center and; one public article, How the Thought of Marriage Equality Made Us a Weaker, But Wiser, Generation: My generation opts to embrace change., published on

Michael Jackson, Jr. (New Orleans, LA) began his dance training at age 14 at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., under the direction of Charles Augins. He became a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem Dancing through Barriers Ensemble in 2005. In 2006, he joined Dallas Black Dance Theatre and in 2008 joined PHILADANCO!, where he also worked as Artistic Director of D3. Mr. Jackson joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in 2011 and rejoined in 2015.

Student Advocacy Day Opening Plenary

Student Advocacy Day Sessions

Featured Legislation

H.R. 5856 – 21st Century Children and Families Act

he 21st Century Children and Families Act would preserve the aspects of child welfare laws that have proven effective, while updating child welfare policy so more children can safely and expeditiously leave foster care for safe, stable, and permanent family. The bill would reduce the number of children in foster care without legal family and increase permanency options so fewer youth age out of foster care by:

  • Extending the timeline for modification of parental rights from 15 out of 22 months, to 24 months when the child is not in the care of a relative.
  • Exempting parents from the timeline when:
    • The parent is actively engaged in services, or
    • The modification of parental rights is based principally on parental incarceration or detention of the parent by the Department of Homeland Security
  • Requiring states to report on disproportionality and disparities in access to services in their child welfare system.
  • Requiring states to demonstrate that they provided the family services, support, and the time needed to address the reasons for the child’s placement in foster care, and link modification of parental rights to the child’s best interests.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887

Students will be encouraging Hill staffers to pay particular attention to this bill and ask that the Congressmember becomes a co-sponsor of the bill when it is introduced. The legislation would regulate the certification process of presidential elections and limit Congress power to overturn states reported electoral counts. It would also clearly state the Vice President’s role in the process and eliminate any possibility elections can be overturn by the Vice President. Seperate negotiations are occuring in the Senate and the House of Representaties.

Scenes from Previous Student Advocacy Days