Date & Time: April 4, 2023 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Virtual

Ecological Justice Champion Award for 2023.

Adelphi University’s School of Social Work Continuing Education and Professional Development and the Institute for Social Work and Ecological Justice (ISWEJ) are thrilled to celebrate Dr. Murali Nair as the Ecological Justice Champion for 2023. Dr. Nair was nominated by a member of the social work community through the call for an Ecological Justice Champion. The nominator noted Dr. Nair’s support of others, his role as a mentor and connector to countless students and early professionals, and his active engagement across social work education and scholarship production. Dr. Nair’s efforts to address environmental and social justice are greatly respected and appreciated by his students and colleagues.

As an authority on engaged learning, Dr. Nair combines traditional cross national value systems with evidence based knowledge in the classroom setting. Over his 45-year academic career, Dr. Nair has served in many capacities with areas of teaching expertise, including macro practice, social enterprise, social responsibility, wellbeing innovation, harnessing technology for social good, advancing long and productive lives, and social responses to changing environments.

Dr. Nair has published extensively in the area of social development, including 13 books, nine short documentaries, over 100 journal articles, and peer-reviewed paper presentations at national and international conferences. He is a CSWE member of the Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice and an Associate Editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work. He has also co-written a chapter, “Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment” in the newly published Social Work Education and the Grand Challenges.

The EJ Champion Award includes a donation of $250 to the organization of Dr. Nair’s choice. We are proud to share that Dr. Nair’s award will support the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.

We are grateful for Dr. Nair’s substantial efforts in supporting an inclusive and impactful community of social work practitioners, educators, and students interested in environmental justice and for the joy Dr. Nair spreads throughout our social work communities.

Thank you, Dr. Nair, for your decades of meaningful and inspiring endeavors!

Adelphi University School of Social Work Continuing Education and Professional Development and The Institute for Social Work and Ecological Justice (ISWEJ) invite practitioners, students, activists, educators, and scholars to submit proposals to participate in this entirely virtual Ecological Justice and Social Work Conference.

The 2023 EJSW Conference planners invite individuals to submit abstracts, not to exceed 250 words, related to ecological justice and social work. The conference planners are interested in abstracts for panel discussions, workshops, and training modules in all ecological justice and solution-focused social work-related areas. Individuals selected to present will serve voluntarily. All presenters must register for the conference, although registration fees will be complimentary.

CEs: 4


$150: Early Bird Registration (closes on February 15, 2023)
$175: General Registration
$125: Adelphi alumni, field instructors, faculty field liaisons, Adelphi School of Social Work adjunct
FREE for any student (must register online with a student email address)

Register Now

Conference Overview

Ecological justice is a critical component of social work practice with wide-reaching implications for well-being outcomes from the individual through the global level. As social workers, we are well prepared and positioned to work with people and communities, historically from a person-in-environment perspective, but often overlook the physical environment’s impact on people and communities. Evidence demonstrates climate instability threatens historic social justice and equality gains over the past half-century. Moreover, these negative impacts are accelerating with disproportionate effects on vulnerable populations, a reality that makes ecological justice significant to social work.

Adelphi University School of Social Work and the ISWEJ invite the social work community to invest time and expertise to engage with the pernicious problems associated with the climate crisis. Taking a justice-forward and solution-focused stance, the conference will explore pathways forward that center on equity and justice. The conference seeks to reduce siloing of environmental issues apart from examining other vulnerabilities and social injustices. To this aim, the conference will take an interdisciplinary approach and consider implications for a wider global community.

Our Ethical Mandate

Maintaining the highest ethical standards in our daily work is essential to our profession as social workers. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics establishes environmental justice as a core component of social work’s ethical responsibility. Several key features of the NASW Ethical Standards stand out regarding the call to ecosocial work.

Section 6.1 on Social Welfare states:

Social workers should promote the general welfare of society, from local to global levels, and the development of people, their communities, and their environments. Social workers should advocate for living conditions conducive to the fulfillment of basic human needs to promote social, economic, political, and cultural values and institutions that are compatible with the realization of social justice.

Furthermore, section 6.03 on Public Emergencies calls for social workers to “provide appropriate professional services in public emergencies to the greatest extent possible.” As previously stated, the level of emergencies emerging and compounding from the climate crisis is arguably the most significant challenge and threat to humanity and the achievement of social justice. (National Association of Social Workers (NASW), 2022)

The NASW Value of Social Justice outlines two specific ethical principles that correspond to ecosocial work practice:

Value of Social Justice

Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice.

Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts focus primarily on poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. In addition, social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources, equality of opportunity, and meaningful participation in decision-making for all people.

Value of Integrity

Ethical Principle: Social workers behave in a trustworthy manner.

Social workers are continually aware of the profession’s mission, values, ethical principles, and ethical standards and practices consistent with them. Social workers act honestly and responsibly and promote ethical practices on the part of the organizations with which they are affiliated. (National Association of Social Workers (NASW), 2022)

Together, we can recognize opportunities to simultaneously advance the traditional purposes of social work alongside positive environmental measures to multiply benefits in a solution-focused manner, improving the efficacy of the profession.


This conference aims to bring together voices across the discipline and beyond to elevate the research, practice, creative program, and problem-solving opportunities necessary to address climate change’s impacts on humanity. Proposals may explore areas of ecological justice and social work on the micro, mezzo, or macro level, and we encourage submissions that exemplify collaboration, community building, and interdisciplinary solution-focused opportunities for intervention.


The conference conveners acknowledge this is not an exhaustive list of topics related to the environment and social work and welcome proposals that may not be noted here.

  • Trends in Higher Education (including Social Work Field Education)
  • Community-Based Initiatives
  • Mental Health and Ecological Justice
  • Intersection with gender, age, socioeconomic status, race, culture, education, or private sector
  • Forced migration and social works role
  • Disasters
  • Political landscapes
  • Food
  • Resilience
  • Incarceration and decarceration
  • Housing
  • Health Care
  • Research
  • Interdisciplinary Projects

Possible Submission Formats

  • Speed session
  • 30-minute or 45-minute workshops
  • Panel discussions
  • Student poster presentations

Speed Session Abstract Submission

Speed sessions provide an opportunity for collaboration as our community shares insights on all things related to environmental justice, social work, social action, advocacy, and social justice in under 5 minutes! Proposals should address actionable skills, tools, or insights into the intersections of social work and environmentally just practice and scholarship.

  • Deadline for submission of proposal: January 6th, 2022
  • Acceptance Notification: February 15, 2022
  • Submission Deadline for accepted proposals: March 20, 2023
  • Conference date: April 4, 2023

Your presentation may include visuals, audio, PDF, or PowerPoint but please be aware you will only have 5 minutes to share your content. Please note you are only required to submit an abstract proposal at this time. Upon acceptance, you will receive further instructions for uploading your presentation.

Thank you for your interest in enhancing the environmental justice movement within social work and for sharing your ideas!

Student Poster Abstract Submission

(To view a compilation of the 2022 student poster submission, please follow this link).

This conference option is open to all undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates (2019-2023).

There are two components to the submission process:

  1. Abstract summarizing your work (please complete via this form.).
  2. Upon acceptance of the abstract, a Digital poster, submitted as a single landscape PowerPoint Slide, will be requested. More details will be forthcoming about the poster upon acceptance.

Please note there will be a one-hour time frame where student poster presentations will be shared. We anticipate this to be sometime during the eastern standard time lunchtime hours, but the exact timing will be shared with you upon acceptance.

Please adhere to the following extended deadlines:

  • Deadline for submission of proposal: January 6th, 2022
  • Acceptance Notification: Feb 15, 2022
  • Submission Deadline for accepted proposals: March 20, 2023
  • Conference date: April 4, 2023

We anticipate responding to submissions on a rolling basis.

For more information regarding research poster presentations, please consider reviewing this document compiled by ISWEJ intern, Kate Chaikovsky

Please reach out to Liz Breslin, MSW Candidate and Social Work Intern, with any questions at

Workshop Abstract Proposal

Workshops are lecture-style presentations (30 or 45 minutes or 5-minute speed session) on topics related to ecological justice, social work, social action, advocacy, and social justice.

Workshops provide opportunities for presenters to share actionable skills, tools, and/or insights, and be supported with published research into the intersections of social work and environmentally just practice and scholarship. While this presentation classification is a more traditional format, speakers are encouraged to be intentional regarding participant engagement, interactions, and audience discussions.

Workshop Abstract Proposals

  • 5 minute speed session
  • 30 minutes (25 minutes of speaking, with 5 minutes at the end for Q&A)
  • 45 minutes (35 minutes of speaking, with 10 minutes at the end for Q&A)

Single or multiple presenters are welcome and encouraged. The presentation may also include visuals, audio, PDF, or PowerPoint.

Please note you are only required to submit an abstract proposal at this time. Upon acceptance, you will receive further instructions for uploading your presentation.

  • Deadline for submission of proposal has been extended: January 20, 2023
  • Acceptance Notification: Feb 15, 2022
  • Submission Deadline for accepted proposals: March 20, 2023
  • Conference date: April 4, 2023

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