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Building Healthy, Strong Communities

Building Healthy, Strong Communities is a professional development program presented by the School of Social Work's Office of Development and Alumni Relations and the Professional Development Committee of the Alumni Board.

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Virtual Conference Schedule

All sessions will take place via Zoom Webinar

Tuesday, May 7:

Restorative Practices in Social Work
10 - 11:30 a.m.

Barb Hiltz, LMSW, PhD

Restorative practices focus on fostering interpersonal and community trust, respect, and relationships. This workshop will explore restorative practices as they relate to social work practice. We will apply restorative conceptual frameworks and principles, while teaching applied restorative practice skills. Participants will learn to apply restorative practices to a number of social work settings and across client populations, and will be able to identify how restorative practices can impact those involved.

Get Out the Vote: A Social Work Call to Action
1 - 2:30 p.m.

Justin Hodge, LMSW

Social workers have an ethical obligation to engage in social and political action to advance social justice. This course will examine the ethical obligation of social workers to engage in political action, discuss ways social workers can advocate for voting rights, and explore strategies to mobilize voters in the communities in which they serve.

Centering Social Justice in Non-Public Behavioral Health Care Part 1: Foundations of Centering Social Justice
3 - 4:30 p.m.

Daicia Price, LMSW, PhD

This workshop is part of a series on social justice oriented approaches to offering private behavioral health services in a private practice setting. This section focuses on centering culturally-responsive and socially-just services in practices.

Wednesday, May 8:

Centering Social Justice in Non-Public Behavioral Health Care Part 2: Practice Strategies
10 - 11:30 a.m.

Daicia Price, LMSW, PhD

This workshop is part of a series on social justice oriented approaches to offering private behavioral health services in a private practice setting. This section focuses on practice strategies for delivering culturally-responsive and socially-just services.

Trauma-Informed Programs and Practices for Schools (TIPPS): A Research-Based Model for Systems Change
1 - 2:30 p.m.

Todd Herrenkohl, PhD and Allyson Andrews

This session will summarize research on trauma and its effects on children's school performance and healthy development. Presenters will discuss the need for trauma-informed programs and practices in schools and outline the TIPPS framework centered on systems change.

Generative AI in Social Work: Navigating New Frontiers
3 - 4:30 p.m.

Brian Perron, PhD

In the dynamic field of social work, generative AI technologies, such as GPT, present unparalleled prospects for innovation and efficiency. However, the rapid pace of these advancements has surpassed the capacity of academic programs to offer standardized training in the necessary competencies. Understanding the pressing need for professional development in this area, our workshop offers a unique opportunity to equip current practitioners with the skills and knowledge to effectively leverage generative AI. Through a comprehensive road map, participants will learn to maximize the benefits of these technologies for a variety of tasks relevant to social work while also navigating the ethical considerations and biases inherent in their use.


Barb HiltzBarb Hiltz


Barb Hiltz is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Hiltz is a licensed social worker (LMSW) and also holds a EdM in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership with a focus on diversity and equity in education. Hiltz’s work focuses on the sustainability of community-based organizations, including the role of innovation, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship in shaping social service delivery. Other areas of expertise include leadership, human resource management, fund and program development, and fiscal management.

For more than two decades, Hiltz has worked in interpersonal, community and administrative practice. Prior to joining the University of Michigan faculty, Hiltz served as executive director of a program for men who abuse their domestic partners in St. Louis, MO, and a cancer support organization in Ann Arbor, MI. In 2011, Hiltz co-founded The Brides Project, a social enterprise designed to raise money for cancer support services.

Justin HodgeJustin Hodge


Justin Hodge is a clinical assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan. He is the co-lead for the Policy & Political Social Work Pathway and the director of the Online Certificate in Political Social Work. Hodge is committed to increasing the presence of social workers in policy and political spaces. He teaches courses that provide students with the tools to engage in politics and approach policy work from a social justice perspective.

Hodge was elected to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in November 2020. As a county commissioner, he brings his social work perspective to addressing the most pressing problems facing Washtenaw County. Hodge has a particular focus on addressing inequities in the county and promoting economic opportunity. In 2021, Hodge was appointed by Governor Whitmer to the Commission on Community Action & Economic Opportunity, where he is able to lend his expertise at the state level.

Nationally, Hodge serves as board president of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy, which works to expand the participation of social workers in federal legislative and policy processes. He is also a founding board member of the Social Work Democracy Project, a charitable organization focused on providing resources to Schools of Social Work to advance knowledge of government and democracy.

Hodge is dedicated to mental health and public health on both a policy and individual level. He has provided therapy to children and families, case management to individuals with developmental disabilities and has coordinated clinics for children in crisis. By leveraging his experiences as both a clinical and macro social work practitioner, Hodge aims to bridge the gap between the two for students. He feels strongly that all social workers should be involved in our democracy and works individually with students to help them find how their desired career can align with that.

Daicia PriceDaicia Price


Dr. Daicia Price is a clinical assistant professor of social work at University of Michigan School of School Work. Prior to joining the faculty at U-M, Price served as Clinical Practice Improvement Specialist in Wayne County with a focus on workforce development and implementation of evidence-based, best and promising behavioral health practices.

She earned her BSW, MSW and PhD from Eastern Michigan University. Price has gained clinical and macro practice experience in juvenile justice, community mental health, housing, schools and foster care.

As a Mental Health First Aid and Question, Persuade, Refer Instructor, Price is committed to sharing her personal and professional experiences and knowledge to support others.

Price engages with the community to disrupt and dismantle racism and oppression using a bioecological system and African centered framework.

As a professional, Price is committed to incorporating various strategies that will aid to the mission of reaching out, raising hope and changing society.

Todd HerrenkohlTodd Herrenkohl


Dr. Herrenkohl’s primary research interests focus on the areas of child and family well-being, child maltreatment and the psychosocial and developmental underpinnings of health-risk behaviors in youth and adults; substance use, mental and physical health outcomes of adversity; and resilience. He has also worked to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of violence in children and families and to promote the use of public health models of primary prevention.

Allyson AndrewsAllyson Andrews

Allyson is a first-generation graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan with a double major in Welfare of Children & Families/ Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health, & Substance Abuse. Allyson has undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood and Psychology in addition to a graduate degree in Business Administration. Allyson currently works with Oakland County Economic Development as a Child Care Business Consultant and is also a Child Care business owner. Allyson is currently a part of the TIPPS team and serves as an educational consultant and content expert. She has served as a board representative for local charter schools and city committees. She is an AmeriCorps and NASW member and aids the Detroit Public School District in developing solutions to address chronic student absenteeism. Allyson has years of teaching experience and is passionate about early childhood education. Her research interests focus on alternatives to ABA Therapy, P-12 education models, social/emotional learning, and early intervention.

Brian PerronBrian Perron


Brian E. Perron, PhD, is a Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Perron’s recent work focuses on helping community-based organizations use data to improve service delivery and other business processes. This includes developing user-friendly and sustainable data management systems; creating interactive data visualizations to facilitate interpretation of data, especially for non-technical users; and building organizational capacity to promote data-driven decision making. Perron helped establish and works actively with the Child & Adolescent Data Lab, where he examines services for vulnerable youth and families in the child welfare system, with the ultimate goal of improving service outcomes. His research (NCBI, Google Scholar, ResearchGate) has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterans Affairs and the state of Michigan. Perron is also interested in the role, application and ethical use of artificial intelligence in social work and how tools like machine learning and natural language processing can be leveraged to improve our knowledge.

Perron is passionate about teaching students about research and data analysis, with a special interest in helping students who do not have a strong math background. Perron also has considerable experience teaching both the diagnosis and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. In addition to his research, service and teaching activities, Perron regularly participates as a student in MOOCs to ensure his skills and knowledge are current with the rapid developments of technology.

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