The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


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The University of Tennessee College of Social Work:

Mission: Grounded in social justice, we equip professional social workers with the skills needed to serve diverse and vulnerable populations. We build knowledge by conducting groundbreaking research that focuses on solving social problems. We engage with our communities through meaningful service.

Vision: We envision a socially just world that prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable.

Statement on DACA: A process has been set in motion that could end the highly successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has given 800,000 young people, 13,600 of whom live in Tennessee, the opportunity to obtain driver's licenses, to get an education, and to hold renewable work permits. The ability to legally participate in American society has had a transformative effect on their lives and on ours as a nation. If Congress does not develop a legislative solution to save the program, deportations of DACA participants will begin in March 2018. We join with the National Association of Social Workers in expressing opposition to ending DACA.

Spotlight on Kristen Keely-Dinger and the Grand Challenges for Social Work

In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the UT College of Social Work, we are honoring 75 social workers—alums, faculty, staff, and others—whose work and lives exemplify the 12 Grand Challenges that have been identified by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Christine Risley-CurtissKristen Keely-Dinger is an MSSW graduate of the UT College of Social Work and is the current President and CEO of The Healing Trust, a health legacy foundation committed to fostering access to compassionate health care for vulnerable populations in Middle Tennessee. She joined the Trust in 2003 as the first Program Officer. She has also served The Trust as VP of Programs and Grants and Executive Vice President. Since Kristen joined The Trust in 2003, the Foundation has awarded over $80 million in grants. In that time, the Foundation's grant making has grown from $350,000 to almost $5 million per year. Her work fulfills the goal of Grand Challenge #2, Closing the Health Gap.

Kristen was selected as a 2007 Southeastern Council of Foundations Hull Fellow and is a graduate of the 2011 Nashville Emerging Leaders Class.



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