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2022 Plenary Speakers

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

8:30 am – 10:00 am | Plenary I

Kevin Hines


Kevin Hines is a storyteller at heart. He is a best-selling author, global public speaker, and award-winning documentary filmmaker. In the Year 2000, Kevin attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Many factors contributed to his miraculous survival including a sea lion which kept him afloat until the Coast Guard arrived. Kevin now travels the world sharing his story of hope, healing, and recovery while teaching people of all ages the art of wellness & the ability to survive pain with true resilience.

Currently, Kevin is in pre-production of his new DocuSeries The Journey, and is working on a comic book version of his life in cosmic & supernatural form called Hope Dealers. His fight has been long and arduous, but he is determined to remain committed to life until its natural end.

His motto: #BeHereTomorrow and every day after that.

In 2016, Mental Health America awarded Kevin their highest honor, The Clifford W. Beers Award for his efforts to improve the lives of and attitudes toward people with mental illnesses. Previously, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Council of Behavioral Health in partnership with Eli Lilly. Kevin has also been awarded by SAMSHA as a Voice Awards Fellow and Award Winner, an Achievement Winner by the US Veterans Affairs and received over 30 U.S. military excellence medals as a civilian.

Kevin sits on the boards of the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), the Bridge Rail Foundation (BRF) and the Mental Health Association of San Francisco (MHASF) and on the Survivors Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Previously, he was a board member of the Northern California Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and was a two-term member of San Francisco’s Mental Health Board. He has spoken in congressional hearings alongside Patrick Kennedy in support of The Mental Health Parity Bill. He continues his policy work as an Ambassador to the National Council for Behavioral Health.

In the summer of 2013, Kevin released his bestselling memoir titled Cracked Not Broken, Surviving and Thriving After A Suicide Attempt. He is currently producing a documentary entitled Suicide: The Ripple Effect.

Kevin’s will to live and stay mentally well has inspired people worldwide. His compelling story has touched diverse, global audiences within colleges and universities, high schools, corporations, clergy, military, clinicians, health and medical communities, law enforcement organizations, and various industries. Thousands have communicated to Hines that his story helped save their lives. He has reached millions with his story.

His story was featured in the 2006 film The Bridge by the film director and producer Eric Steel.

Kevin believes in the power of the human spirit and in the fact that you can find the ability to live mentally well. His mantra: “Life is a gift, that is why they call it the present. Cherish it always.”

Thursday, March 24, 2022

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm | Plenary II

Caree A. Banton, PhD

Program: The Academy and the Ethos of Equity and Justice

In 2020, George Floyd’s murder inspired important dialogue about the ideologies and mythologies that have upheld systems of racial inequity and injustice. Since then, corporations, churches, schools, neighborhood groups, and individuals pledged to explore new ways of being centered on racial equity and justice. They, as James Baldwin wrote, decided that “They have been white…too long; they have been married to the lie of white supremacy too long.” Academia and its varied disciplines were no exception. Many had perhaps expected academia, and particularly those disciplines centered on care, to chart the path forward. Yet, in the two years since, rather than progress, there has been a retreat to the former places of comfort. This keynote poses this question: what is the place of justice and equity in academia, in general, and in your discipline, in particular? Marshalling the Black Studies approach, we will explore ways of moving beyond the false dichotomy of academia as centered on “the life of the mind” rather than matters of social justice.

Caree Banton is an Associate Professor of African Diaspora History and the Director of the African and African American Studies Program at the University of Arkansas. Banton earned a BPA in Public Administration and BA in History from Grambling State University in 2005. She received a MA in Development Studies from the University of Ghana in July 2012 and completed her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University in June 2013. Her research focuses on movements towards freedom, particularly abolition, emancipation, and colonization. Much of her work also explores ideas of citizenship, nationhood, and race. Her research has been supported by a number of fellowships and grants, including the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, the Andrew M. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, the Lapidus Center Fellowship at the Schomburg Center, the Nancy Weiss Malkiel Fellowship, and the National Endowment for the Humanities grant. Banton teaches classes in Caribbean History, African Diaspora History, and the History of Race. She is a member of the University of Arkansas Teaching Academy and has been named a Master Teacher in Fulbright College. Her book, More Auspicious Shores: Barbadian Migration to Liberia, Blackness, and the Making of the African Republic, explores continuities and mutabilities in Black experiences of freedom, citizenship, nationhood, and race across the Atlantic world was published by Cambridge University Press in May 2019.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm | 7th Annual Social Work Advocates’ Dinner

Amber Booth-McCoy

Program: We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Social Justice is the Work of Everyone

This will be a conversation on the state of social justice on a local and national stage. The journey from allyship to activism, and everyday actions for everyday citizens. This presentation includes a moderated discussion with Ms. Booth-McCoy and other panelists Osyrus Bolly, Tim Campbell, Isis Pettway, MS, LAC, and Dr. Shenea Nelson.

Amber Nicole Booth-McCoy is a proud Little Rock native and graduate of U of A Little Rock. Amber is a Senior Diversity Specialist & Manager of Intercultural Education, in the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity, and   Inclusion (DDEI). She spearheads the Office of Intercultural Education (OIE). In this role she creates/designs formal and informal learning opportunities, centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion, for the     institutions’ 11,000 employee workforce. She directs statewide, institution-wide training initiatives, and serves as an internal consultant, often lauded a thought-leader, and change agent for co-creating and sustaining a culture of inclusivity for Team UAMS. In 2021, UAMS was ranked seventh nationally on an annual list of Best Employers for Diversity created by Forbes magazine.

In addition, her duties at the largest academic health center in the state, she is to the CEO of The Diversity Booth, Inc (TDB). TDB is an innovative and intentional diversity and inclusion consulting firm experienced in co-creating equitable and inclusive cultures. TDB has worked with nationwide, international, and global organizations. In 2020, TDB was awarded The Social Justice Award by Ark-AHEAD for “contributions to raise awareness and advance social justice on    local, state, and national levels. TDB also received nominations for Little Rock’s Chamber of Commerce, 2020 Regional Emerging Business of the Year!

Amber travels the country delivering diversity, equity, and inclusive focused keynote addresses, motivational speeches, lectures, and more. In February 2020, she added TEDx speaker, to list her accomplished goals.

As of fall 2021, Amber is an adjunct faculty at the Clinton School of Public Service. She loves serving on DEI related boards and community service organizations. Of all her many roles and responsibilities, she maintains, Mama. is by far the most rewarding and her favorite title of all. She works zealously with the desire to see a world where her two sons, Kordae and Jaiden, and all individuals never encounter systemic barriers to the basic freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If you are not attending the conference, but wish to purchase tickets to the Social Work Advocates’ Dinner, you may do so here.

Student Poster Presentations

Join us at the 2022 NASW Arkansas Annual Conference and participate in the Student 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 24, 2022.

Presentation/Poster Categories

Category 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.

Category 2: Public policy that is current or relevant to social work practice. Public policy presentation submissions must include the following: presentation defines the social policy or issue clearly; presentation states the policy as it currently is and analyzes its strengths and limitations; presentation identifies vulnerable and at-risk populations and specific ways in which these groups are impacted by the current policy; presentation incorporates the six core values of the social work profession identified in the NASW Code of Ethics into the overall policy analysis; presentation states at least five recommendations to improve current policy. These recommendations should incorporate all levels of social work practice and may include examples of how other states have addressed this same policy issue.

Category 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)

Poster Presentation Proposal Requirements

Submit a poster presentation proposal by February 25, 2022.

You may submit it using the downloadable Student Poster Proposal Form or by the Google Form: Student Poster Proposal.

The proposal must include:


  • Your name and email address.
  • Whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student.
  • Presentation/Poster category (see above) and title of presentation.
  • 3 learning/educational objectives.
  • 100 word abstract of presentation.
  • You may download and use the Student Presentation Proposal Form for your submission.

Length of Presentation: Student presentations should be no more than 8-10 minutes in length and allow for 2-3 minutes of question and answer. A moderator will monitor each session and assist with questions and chats from the viewers.

Size of Poster: Poster should be no smaller than 2×3 and no larger than 3×4. Poster should be hard backed and appropriate for display on an easel. Tri-fold poster boards are acceptable but note that a tri-fold does not display as well as a flat poster on an easel.

Benefits of Presenting

  • Opportunity to show your work to peers and professional community. 
  • Opportunity to network with other social workers (students and professionals).
  • Potential recognition of high-quality work in presentation competition.


One winner will be selected from each category, in addition to an overall BSW winner and an overall MSW winner. Winners will be announced at the conference awards ceremony on Friday, March 25, 2022, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

Other items of note

  • Presentations should be creative and interesting.
  • Be prepared to discuss your poster presentation and answer questions.
  • You may submit proposals for team presentations. Please limit teams to 6 members or less.
  • Submit posters in Word format or Google Form only to Holly Barron at by February 25, 2022.

2022 NASW Arkansas Annual Awards Luncheon

Friday, March 25, 2022 | 12:00 – 2:00 pm

Join us in honoring leaders in the profession and community who fully embody social work values and in celebrating Social Work Month! We are proud to honor the following outstanding leaders!

If you are not attending the conference, but wish to purchase tickets to the 2022 Annual Awards Luncheon, you may do so here.

Casey Atwood, BSW, LSW

Social Worker of the Year

Kristen Dobbs

MSW Student of the Year

Raven Jackson

BSW Student of the Year

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Agency of the Year

Albious Latior

Citizen of the Year

Representative Nicole Clowney

Elected Official of the Year

Dr. Patricia Guy-Walls

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner