keynoters and special speakers

Meet Your Keynoters and Special Speakers

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Available On Demand

“Mending Walls: The Documentary and a Director’s Panel Discussion” (2 CEs)

Mending Walls RVA

Thursday, April 20, 2023

8-11 a.m.

OPENING KEYNOTE: “Courageous Leadership” (3 CEs)

For our kickoff keynote presentation, Dr. Arthur Romano provides examples of courageous leadership from around the world and highlights the role that young people are playing in building a more positive future. You’ll enjoy opportunities to clarify your own unique life purpose and to consider how compassion, self-reflection, connection to community, and excellent communication can lead to greater success.

Dr. Arthur Romano

Available On Demand

AWARDS LUNCHEON SPEAKER: “Leadership in a Diverse and Fast-Paced World” (.5 CE)

What makes a leader successful in today’s wildly disrupted, pandemic-era world? The winners of the 2023 Annual Awards of the NASW Virginia and Metro DC chapters have taken different approaches and used a variety of leadership skills to excel as individuals and in their organizations. In this lunch-and-learn session, CEO Robert McCartney, MSW, of The Barry Robinson Center, serves up a better understanding of what constitutes good leadership today.

Robert McCartney, MSW

Friday, April 21, 2023

8-9 a.m.

KEYNOTE: “Dialogues on Diversity: Putting the Civil Back in Civil Discourse” (1 CEs)

More people need to critically think about the way they digest media and political messages, as well as the outcomes and risks of not doing so, according to Keynoter Ron Jones. Our current political and media ecosystem can be defined as an “all-against-all” enterprise--a kind of segmented, self-perpetuating machine that does a poor job of giving context across ideological points of view. This gap is then used to divide us even further.

In this short, engaging workshop, Jones explores the topic of civil discourse and gives you practical tools and context for approaching potentially difficult social conversations from a space more informed by compassion and contextual learning. You will either learn to more deeply understand the concepts that define us all as a nation or be taken down by them.

BONUS! This one-hour, thought-provoking workshop will be followed from 3:10 to 5:10 p.m. with an interactive breakout by Jones titled “Hellfighter.” Through discussion and video-based activities, you’ll develop a more-layered understanding of the deep systemic nature of American’s racial biases, thanks to an overview of more than 100 years of societal and institutional bigotry and racism.

This historical review will explain the roots of those systems and their ongoing impacts on contemporary governmental policy, banking, education, law enforcement, and generational wealth acquisition.

Bring your own personal family and experiential context into this discussion. You’ll be building a narrative and toolkit for the deeper, shared understanding necessary for sustained social change and equity.

This Dialogues on Diversity approach of radical compassion is not the only model for social change. Nor is it a model suited for everyone all the time. But the speaker’s approach is based on one simple question, “What kind of world do you want?” That answer should inform your approach to change. Let’s learn more together.

Ron Jones

Thursday, April 20, 2023

1:40-2:40 p.m.

LUNCH AND LEARN: “Fighting for You: An NASW Advocacy Update” (1 CE)

Dine with new and old friends while NASW Director of Public Policy Sarah Butts serves up a platter of insider news on the interstate compact, racial disparities revealed in the Association of Social Work Boards’ report on licensure exam pass rates, and other critical professional and social justice issues. Hear how your professional association is responding to proposed legislation and policies that directly affect you and your clients!

Sarah Butts, NASW Director of Public Policy