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Community Partnership Action Award

The CSWE Commission for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice is proud to announce the Community Partnership Action (CPA) Award to honor the contributions of schools and departments of social work and social work students (BSW, MSW, PhD) in advancing community partnership action. The CPA Award will be presented at the Carl A. Scott Memorial Lecture given annually at the CSWE Annual Program Meeting.  "Community" is broadly defined as a self-organized network of people with a common agenda, cause, or interest and is not limited by physical locality.

The 2020 nomination period is now closed; winners will be annouced Summer 2020.
Community partnership actions are central to the advancement of social and economic justice, which is intrinsic to social work education. Historically, dating back to the settlement houses, our profession is rooted in working with the community to solve social problems and issues.  Community partnerships enhance social justice work by promoting meaningful reciprocal collaboration. These activities also develop connections between theory and practice in real-life contexts toward promoting social, economic, and environmental justice competencies.

Two awards will be given annually, one for each of the following categories.

  1. Social Work Program Award. Recognizes a CSWE-accredited social work program that encourages its faculty, students, and staff members to engage in community-based social, economic, or environmental justice activities. Some examples might be particular classes, advocacy activities, field assignments or projects, interprofessional collaboration, and culturally based interventions.
  2. Student Project Award. Recognizes a student (BSW, MSW, or PhD) who has engaged in a community partnership activity that successfully promoted social, economic, or environmental justice.

Selection Criteria

All submissions will be blind peer-reviewed by the CPA Award subcommittee of the Commission for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice using the following criteria:

  • The extent to which the educational efforts or the community partnership action project effectively address social, economic, or environmental social justice issues
  • The extent to which the educational efforts or the community partnership action project empowers the community or the community leaders
  • The extent to which the educational efforts or community partnership action project are evaluated and disseminated

2019 Winners

The Social Work Program Award was awarded to Age-Friendly/Ohio State University.

CSWE-Community-Award-Photo.jpgAge-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County entered the World Health Organization and AARP's International Network of Age-Friendly Communities in 2016. Working with an advisory council, older adults, and individuals with disabilities, the organization had a year-long research and assessment phase followed by a year-long strategic planning phase, which resulted in two publications: The Age-Friendly Columbus Findings Report and The Age-Friendly Columbus Strategic Plan. (Find both documents at

In late 2017, Age-Friendly moved to The Ohio State University College of Social Work. Aligning with the college’s strategic plan, the Age-Friendly initiative builds on the values of engaging with community partners to bring evidence-informed interventions to local neighborhoods. Age-Friendly and the College of Social Work are committed to supporting diversity, innovation, collaboration, and to raising the voices of vulnerable populations, including older persons. Through engagement and educational and research opportunities, the college leads interdisciplinary efforts to improve the well-being of people of all ages living in the community. Age-Friendly has had great success in collaborating with organizations, government, and corporations to improve the built and social environments. Partners in this effort include Area Agencies on Aging, County Offices on Aging, AARP, City Council, the mayor’s office, Ohio Department of Transportation, Honda, Lyft, Settlement Houses, Villages, Recreation and Parks, foundations, public service and housing professionals, and advocacy groups and committees. Age-Friendly has engaged with more than 4,000 older adults in the past 3 years and is committed to following the “nothing for us without us” planning model.

The 2019 Student Project Award recipient was Suk-hee Kim, PhD, COI, MSW.

Dr_Suk_hee-Kim-Profile-Photo_CSWE_CDSEJ-Award-2019.jpgDr. Kim is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work and a faculty fellow of the Institute for Health Innovation at Northern Kentucky University. She serves on the CSWE Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity and is a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Social Work Education, a certified CSWE accreditation site visitor, and recipient of the Korean American Social Work Educators Association’s Junior Career Achievement Award in 2016 and Faculty Research Seed Grant Award in 2019. Dr. Kim is currently funded by the U.S. Department of Justice for her comprehensive site-based opioid research with Kenton County Detention Center and is an investigator for the Rural Community Collaborative Addiction Treatment Initiative funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. She received her MSW from Boston University. Dr. Kim also earned a joint doctorate from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky in social work. She was the first social work doctoral research fellow of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville.