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NYC Immigration and Global Social Work Committee
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NYC Immigration and Global
Social Work Committee

Co-Chairs:

Christiana Best-Giacomini, PhD, LMSW
Eric Levine, DSW, LMSW

Check our Calendar of Events for the most up-to-date meeting schedule.

For any questions or to RSVP, please email:
naswnycimmigration@gmail.com

 

The Immigration & Global Social Work Committee meets on the 4th Monday of each month from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Chapter office, located at 50 Broadway, Suite 1001, New York, NY 10004.

 

This newly formed committee consists of colleagues who have expressed concern for the needs and interests of immigrants here in the United States and for the issue of immigration and refugees globally.  We seek to sustain welcoming communities that embrace our immigrant neighbors and plan to demonstrate support and compassion and to advocate for human rights and justice on behalf of immigrant communities.  Our concern for immigrant communities reflects our commitment to the protection and expansion of civil and human rights for all.  At this early stage, the Committee is proposing to work in these areas of focus:

  • To provide support for colleagues working with immigrant communities through trainings, workshops
    and potentially an Immigration toolkit.
  • To educate the NASW community about diverse immigrant communities and organizations and the issues affecting them, by offering ongoing training, education and best practices: workshops, continuing education, practice advisories, community education, and resource sharing
  • To advocate on behalf of immigrants and our colleagues working with immigrant communities, including potentially advocacy for laws, policies and programs that lead to justice and opportunity for all immigrant groups.  Activities include: issue response and policy statements, issue alerts, protests and actions, coalition building and collaborations, joint events, working with PACE, public testimony

The Committee welcomes all inquiries and invites interested chapter members to join the effort to sustain a welcoming community that embraces our immigrant neighbors and advocates for civil and human rights and justice on their behalf.  For more information, please contact the co-conveners of the Committee: Shreya Mandal, Christiana Best and Eric Levine.


Meet the Chairs of the Committee

 

Christiana Best-Giacomini, Ph.D. LMSW is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Saint Joseph.  Dr. Best’s interest in immigration and global social work is both personal and professional.  She migrated to the United States at the age of 15 and her research, practice and advocacy have centered around and been in collaboration with immigrant populations.  Her autobiographic immigrant experience was published in the Ms. Magazine blog, msmagazineblog-my-story-our-story.

 

Professionally, Dr. Best retired from the NYC child welfare system after 30 years of service.  She was a manager at the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and was also a member of the ACS Racial Equity Cultural Competency Committee (RECCC) where she developed and facilitated workshops and courageous conversations on structural racism, implicit bias and collective trauma.  In addition, she co-chaired the Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) committee and produced the REIA tool, which is a systemic tool for identifying historical inequities and preventing structural racism.  Dr. Best also curated the Historical Child Welfare Timeline Exhibit – a national exhibit that chronicles the 200 years of legislative history shaping the U. S. child welfare system, highlighting structural racism.

 

Dr. Best has several publications including the book The Long Goodbye: Challenges of Transnational Parenting.  Most recently, she authored a chapter in the book, Narrative in Social Work Practice: The Power and Possibility of Story and co-authored a chapter in the book Strategies for Deconstructing Racism in the Health and Human Services.  At the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Dr. Best served as 3rd Vice President, while co-chairing the Recruitment and Retention and the Narrative Social Work Practice Committees.  Currently, she is the 1st Vice President and co-chairs the Immigration and Global Social Work Committee.

 

 

Eric Levine, DSW, LMSW is Director, Social Work Alumni Engagement, Continuing Education and Financial Resource Development, as well as a faculty member at the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work, teaching courses in social work values and ethics and social welfare policy.  He has had extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector with particular expertise in community organization, management, policy, fundraising, strategy, and change.  Eric is co-editor of a recently published two-volume book on social change, with a third coming out shortly, has authored some 60 other publications and is managing editor of the journal, Studies in Judaism, Humanities and the Social Sciences.  At NASW, in addition to the Committee on Immigration and Global Social Work, he is a member of CRDI.

 

 

Shreya Mandal JD, LCSW is a Co-Convener of the Immigration and Global Social Work Committee of NASW-NYC. She has also been serving as 3rd Vice President of NASW-NYC Chapter.

 

 In 2005, the American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program contacted Shreya to assist a Bangladeshi woman petitioning for asylum under the Violence Against Women Act. She was qualified in federal immigration court to offer expert witness testimony on trauma. Since then, Shreya has been called as an expert witness on behalf of hundreds of people seeking political asylum and cancellation of removal. She has evaluated families and children from South Asia, Latin America, Middle East, and African countries. Shreya also has considerable experience in working with people who face collateral immigration consequences as a result of criminal convictions. She continues to provide immigration hardship evaluations as the owner of her own consulting firm, One World Mitigation.

 

In 2015, Shreya completed post-graduate training at Harvard Medical School/Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma where she specialized in Global Mental Health & Trauma Recovery. She applies the international scope of this training to her clinical and forensic practice in New York City. Shreya speaks fluent Bengali, offers direct services to Bengali speaking communities, and also frequently assists Punjabi and Hindi speaking immigrants.

 

Shreya is the chapter author of Expert Witness Testimony in Forensic and Justice Systems in Forensic Social Work: Psychosocial and Legal Issues across Diverse Populations and Settings, Second Edition.

 

Call to Action:



 


 
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