Social Work on the Frontiers of Change

March 28 – March 30, 2018 • Little Rock Marriot • Downtown Little Rock


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Welcome to the 39 th NASW Arkansas Annual Conference. This year’s theme recognizes that the social work profession is rapidly evolving. Social workers are quite literally on the “Frontiers of Change” happening at the local, state, and national level. Many of these changes are due to emerging policies and practices that threaten civil rights, advance structural racism, contribute to gender discrimination, and dismantle environmental protections currently in place. The changes to policies and practices play a significant role in exacerbating inequality among the most marginalized groups in our communities. As social workers we must work together to remain at the forefront of change, which means fighting for the rights of the individual, the well-being of communities, and addressing today’s discrimination and injustice. Invited sessions for the 2018 conference will address these challenges by offering information about current knowledge, skills, and practices being used to foster and advance change that coincides with the pillars of the social work profession.

Continuing Eduction and Conference Program will be available January 2018.

Conference Schedule

4:00pm – 6:00pm | Early Check-In/Registration/Exhibitor Set Up

7:00am – 8:00pm | Registration/Information Desk Open

7:00am – 6:00pm | Exhibits Open

8:30am – 10:00am | Plenary 1

10:00am – 10:30am | Morning Break with Exhibitors

10:30am – 12:00pm | Concurrent Workshops – Session 1

12:00pm – 1:30pm | Lunch on Your Own

1:30pm – 5:00pm | Concurrent Workshops – Session 2

3:00pm – 3:30pm | Afternoon Break with Exhibitors

6:30pm – 9:00pm | Concurrent Workshops – Session 3

7:00am – 5:00pm | Registration/Information Desk Open

7:00am | Exhibits Open

8:30am – 12:00pm | Concurrent Workshops – Session 4

10:00am – 10:30am | Morning Break with Exhibitors

12:00pm – 1:30pm | Student Poster Presentations

1:30pm – 3:00pm | Plenary II

3:00pm – 3:30pm | Afternoon Break

3:30pm – 5:00pm | Concurrent Workshops – Session 5

5:00pm – 6:30pm | Student Poster Presentation – Wine and Cheese Soiree

6:30pm – 9:00pm | 3rd Annual Social Work Advocates’ Dinner – 2 CEUs (pre-registration required)

7:30am – 4:00pm | Registration/Information Desk Open

8:30am – 12:00pm | Concurrent Workshops – Session 6

10:00am – 10:30am | Morning Break

12:00pm – 2:00pm | Annual Awards Luncheon (pre-registration required)

2:00pm – 4:00pm | Concurrent Workshops – Session 7


Student Poster Presentation

Join us at the NASW Conference and participate in the Student Poster Presentations and Competition! All BSW and MSW students are welcome to participate. This is a fun way to practice your presentation and networking skills in a supportive environment. This is also a good way for the social work programs around the state to highlight student accomplishments.

There will be designated times at the conference for you to present your work. The poster sessions will be held on Thursday, March 29, 2018. You will be asked to stand with your poster 2 times during the day for about 1 hour each time to discuss your poster with conference attendees as they walk through the poster session.

Poster Categories

1. Innovative programs or interventions from field placement (internship) experience. Innovative is defined as new ways to address old problems. Programs or interventions may include therapeutic models, funding sources, partnerships, or other cutting edge ideas for helping social work clients or the social work profession.

2. Public policy that is current or relevant to social work practice. Public policy poster submissions must follow the same guidelines as policy posters for Lobby Day. Posters whtat were presentated at Lobby Day may also be submitted for presentation at the conference.

3. Graduate research project or practice evaluation. This should be a completed project. This may be the student’s work OR something that a student worked on with a faculty member or community practitioner. (Masters students only)


Presentation Poposal Requirements

Submit a presentation proposal by February 23, 2018.

  1. The proposal must include:
    1. Your name and email address.
    2. Whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student.
    3. Poster category (see above) and title of presentation.
    4. Size of poster. Poster should be no smaller than 2x3 and no larger than 3x4.
    5. Three learning/educational objectives for people who view your poster and hear your…
    6. 100 word abstract of presentation.

Should be hard backed and appropriate for display on an easel. Tri-fold poster boards are acceptable as these will display on an easel but note that a tri-fold does not display as well as a flat poster.


Benefits of Presenting

  1. Opportunity to show your work to peers and professional community.
  2. Opportunity to network with other social workers (students and professionals).
  3. Potential recognition of high quality work in poster competition. One winner will be selected from each category, in addition to an overal BSW winner and an overall MSW winner. Winners will be announced at the conference awards ceremony on Friday.



An award will be given in each of the three categories. For categories one and two, there will be an award for a BSW and MSW student or team. For category three, there will be an award for an MSW student or team. There will also be an award for overall best poster. The awards will be presented at the awards luncheon on Friday.


Other Items of Note

  • Presentations should be creative and interesting.
  • Be prepared to discuss your poster.
  • Please put your name and the name of your school of the back of the poster.
  • You may submit proposals for team presentations. Please limit teams to six members or less.
  • Proposals should be submitted to Holly Barron, Executive Director of NASW-AR at by February 23, 2018.
  • Direct questions to Elizabeth Fowler at

Save Money on Registration!

It pays to be a member of NASW Arkansas! Not only will you save $120 on your full conference registration, but you’ll have access to the free workshops and mini-conferences that we host around the state, online CEUs, free ethics consultations and much more. Join or renew your membership online today then come back and register for the conference as a member.

And don’t forget to register for the annual conference event!

NASW Arkansas 3rd Annual Conference | Advocates’ Dinner

Join us for an evening of dinner and education at our 2 nd Annual Social Work Advocates’ Dinner. This event will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2017 at our conference location, the Little Rock Marriott. Social workers, exhibitors, sponsors, mental health professionals, mental health organizations and agencies, social work students, and leaders of the legislative community will enjoy cocktails, dinner, and a truly engaging program.

This year’s program features Dr. Terrence Roberts, who will continue his discussion from his keynote address and focus on Simple, Not Easy: Reflections on Community, Social Responsibility, and Tolerance. After his presentation, Dr. Roberts will join Dr. Erick Messias, Dr. John W. Miller, Jr., and Officer Tommy Norman for a moderated panel discussion. Social workers and mental health professionals will receive 2 hours of continuing education for their participation.


Terrence James Roberts was one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. On September 4, 1957, Roberts and eight other African American students (known as the Little Rock Nine) made an unsuccessful attempt to enter Little Rock Central High School. Despite the presence of the National Guard, an angry mob of about 400 surrounded the school. National Guard was removed, with the protection of the students left to the local police. On September 23, 1957, a mob of about 1000 people surrounded the school as the students attempted to enter, prompting President Eisenhower to send U.S. Army troops to accompany the students to school for protection. The troops were stationed at the school for the entirety of the school year, although they were unable to prevent incidents of violence inside.

Dr. Roberts and his fellow students received the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP in 1958, and the Congressional Gold Medal, the United States’ highest civilian honor, in 1999. Dr. Roberts is a frequent speaker on civil rights and diversity and is a regular speaker a the museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Dr. Roberts is CEO of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consultant firm devoted to fair and equitable practices. A graduate of California State University at Los Angeles (BA) and UCLA (MSW), Dr. Roberts obtained his Ph.D. In psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He has appeared on The Newshour, Tavis Smiley and the BBC, among others. A compelling study of institutional racism, his memoir Lessons from Little Rock (2009) details his childhood in the segregated South and is a testament to the personal resolve that he and each member of the Little Rock Nine used to survive their first days at Central High. He also the author of Simple, Not Easy: Reflections on Community, Social Responsibility, and Tolerance (2010).


Erick Messias, MD, MPH, PhD was born and raised in Brazil, where he completed medical school and practiced family medicine in rural areas, before moving to the US in 1997 and becoming an American citizen in 2014. Dr. Messias completed his residency training in psychiatry at the University of Maryland in 2001, and in preventive medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2003. While at Hopkins, he also received a master’s in public health and a PhD in psychiatric epidemiology. Since then, Dr. Messias has been practicing psychiatry in private practice and academic institutions in both Georgia and Arkansas. From 2010 to 2015, he was the medical director of the Walker Family Clinic and the House Staff Mental Health Service at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. He has also published several papers in scientific journals on risk factors for depression and suicide, as well as schizophrenia and psychiatric epidemiology. Dr. Messias joined Beacon Health Options as Medical Director for Arkansas in August of 2015.


Originally from Moncks Corner, SC, Dr. John W. Miller Jr. is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has been a member of the UALR School of Social Work faculty since 2007, and teaches graduate students in the Master of Social Work program where he leads courses that range from Diversity and Oppression to Advanced Direct Practice III (Group Psychotherapy). Dr. Miller received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Experimental Psychology and his Master of Social Work degrees from the University of South Carolina. He earned his PhD in Social Work from The University of Tennessee. During his time at UT he explored the role that historical US Census racial categories had on the racial identity development of whites and non-whites in America. He also critically examined the role that community socio-economic environments have on the self-importance of African American adolescents. Dr. Miller’s work has yielded several publications which can be found in the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Adult Development and Well-Being: The Impact of Institutional Environments, the School Community Journal, The School Community Journal, and Race, Gender, and Class.

Dr. Miller’s current research examines suicidal ideation among African American youth. Dr. Miller is co-chair of the UALR Diversity Council and serves as a board member of several non-profit organizations in the Central Arkansas area. In addition, he is President of the Greater Little Rock chapter of The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. The primary purpose of the 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock is to provide quality mentoring to young people. Their chapter motto is “real men giving real time!”


Police officer Tommy Norman, from North Little Rock, Arkansas, has been described as a blessing by many in the community he serves. Though the 18-year veteran officer’s social media pages attracts much attention over the past few months, the care and acts of kindness displayed by Norman have been going on for years.

Norman is known for positive community policing. Norman’s unorthodox approach to policing includes thousands of video posts, pictures and daily interactive engagement at the Boys & Girls Clubs and the Police Athletic League with those that he protects and serves. He is credited for doing things like presenting 50 NLRSD students with backpacks and gift cards from Shoe Carnival to purchase shoes, starting the “Shop with a Cop” program to help financially struggling students or just dancing with the children.

Norman has gained national and international attention for his unconventional methods of law enforcement. In videos and posts on Instagram and Facebook, Norman can be found with neighborhood kids performing the latest dance craze, taking a selfie or even playing in wigs. Yes, wigs — anything for the kids. The national and international expose of Tommy Norman came from a televised CNN News cable program on May 10, 2015 during an interview on Newsroom with its host Brooke Baldwin and her guest Atlanta activist and rapper Killer Mike. Killer Mike professed that Norman is doing something right and that is connecting with inner city youth, in particular minority communities of color.

“I want to inspire people,” Norman said in the CNN interview. “Not just other police officers, but people in the community. It’s a partnership between the police and the community. We have to work together to make our community a safer place and a more peaceful place to live, so I took it to the social networking sites — Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — to inspire other people to go out and make a difference in their corner of the world.”