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Social Work Sustainability: Elaine Congress Presents at UN


As temperatures climb higher across the globe, climate change impacts everyone and threatens our way of life on this planet. If things don’t change soon, it will be too late to reverse the damage we’ve done to our home.

Social workers should consider it part of their advocacy work to promote climate responsibility. Sustainability is at the forefront of many United Nations discussions, and was one of the focuses of its recent High Level Political Forum of Sustainable Development. The Forum began on July 10 and continues until July 19.

The Forum’s central theme was “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.” It also held presentations and discussions on Goals 6 on clean water and sanitation, 7 on affordable and clean energy, 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure, 11 on sustainable cities and communities.

Fordham GSS Associate Dean and Professor Elaine Congress, D.S.W., presented on July 11. Her presentation was titled Co-building an Eco-Social World for Sustainable Development. The presentation was sponsored by the International Federation of Social Workers.

Congress’ affiliation with the UN manifests itself in her many presentations and the NGO partnership between Fordham and the UN. Students can complete policy-driven field placements through this partnership and experience the UN as social workers.

Additionally, Congress organized the 2022 Women and Girls Institute annual conference focusing on climate activism.

“As the threat of climate change has grown, women leaders have risen to the challenge and launched numerous new initiatives to help reduce our environmental impact,” the event’s program said. “Featuring an overview of the science of climate change and speakers from across the globe, we hope you will leave our meeting inspired, informed, and ready to join these fearless female leaders in standing up for our planet.”

Thank you for all the great work you do for our planet, Dr. Congress! You inspire other social workers to use their voices for a positive impact on the community and global levels.


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