Council on Global Social Issues

Council on Global Social Issues

The Council on Global Social Issues (CGSI) is a council of the Commission on Global Social Work Education of CSWE. The specific charges of the council are outlined below:

  • To educate CSWE membership on emerging and existing global and international social issues and their relevance to social work practice through CSWE newsletters and other publications
  • Explore policy implications and identifying teaching issues
  • To contextualize global macro issues, guidelines for local communities, promotion of community guidelines, nontraditional issues
  • Contextualizing global and international issues for global practice and their relevance for local practice


2021–2022 Student Competition

CGSI will award two $500 grants to encourage social work students to use their macro social work skills. The two winning projects will detail ways to disseminate global social work content. In their project submissions, students should develop brief proposals based on either of the following options: 

  • Option 1: Design a strategy to collate an innovative teaching curriculum with content on global social issues/social work. This should be an existing curriculum, syllabi, set of teaching tools, or journal articles on global social work. It may be available from universities, CSWE, or other platforms. Students may focus on specific topics such as immigration or climate change among others.
  • Option 2: Design a strategy using social marketing or other tools to disseminate content on global social issues/social work among social work programs. This strategy proposal may use information technology tools, such as app development, blogs, Instagram posts, social media platforms, or other innovative methods. This is an opportunity for students to share their ideas and inform social work programs about emerging and existing global and international social issues and their relevance to social work practice.

This is an opportunity for students to share their ideas and educate social work programs on emerging and existing global and international social issues and their relevance to social work practice.

As part of this effort, CGSI is looking for faculty members to mentor students who enter the competition. The mentorship is open to social work faculty members who are interested in incorporating global social work into their curricula, have demonstrated teaching or research experience in global social work, or would like to mentor or advise the student or team applicants. Interested faculty members should complete this interest form.

  1. Announcement: October 7, 2021
  2. Question-and-Answer Session on the Grant: October 19, 2021, 4-5 PM EST; register here.
  3. Submission of Application: November 15, 2021
  4. Announcement of Results: December 20, 2021
  5. Final submission of the projects by selected team/individual: June 15, 2022 

Applicants must currently be BSW, MSW, PhD, or DSW students in the United States.

Application Process 
To apply, students must complete the application form with their personal information, résumé/CV, and project proposal. Students may apply individually or in teams of two to three people. Two finalists (an individual or a team) will each be awarded a $500 competition prize.

The finalists will be selected based on their innovative ideas; feasibility and timeline of implementation; incorporation of equity, justice, and inclusion; and the possible impact of the idea. 

Please direct questions to Dr. Lalit Khandare at [email protected], Dr. Kala Chakradhar at [email protected], or Dr. Abha Rai at [email protected]


2018–2019 Joint Special Project

The Global Commission and the Council on Global Social Issues received CSWE special project funding to support the development of Transforming Community, an online educational platform for social workers, policy makers, and community-based service providers about the relevance of social work practice in working with refugees. Using a human rights perspective and a relational-cultural lens, the website offers 12 curriculum modules, videos, photographs, and classroom activities focused on current refugee resettlement practices in Germany.
Visit Transforming Community.

Refugee Summit (2017)

Through CSWE special project funding, the Council on Global Social Issues organized a meeting to enhance social workers’ understanding of the ongoing refugee crisis and strategies to prevent such crises from occurring. Project activities included creating a video and organizing a meeting involving leading experts in the field. The meeting, titled Seeking a Safe Haven: Refugee Summit, was held October 2, 2017, at the University of North Texas. The event brought together refugee-assisting agencies, individuals with refugee experience, student organizations, and prominent scholars from various disciplines to develop a critical understanding of the conditions of global refugee populations. The Refugee Summit is an exemplary model of community organizing for refugees, and the video can be used to explore themes such as school social work’s role in the integration of refugee children, sustainable resettlement, and factors that contribute to cultural humility and community receptibility to refugees. Click here to view the video on the forum.

Informational Briefs

International Post Disaster Recovery and Relief: Why Social Work Matters (2016)

In 2016 the Council on Global Social Issues organized a forum on international postdisaster recovery and relief, held at the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to the United Nations. The forum, titled International Post Disaster Recovery and Relief: Why Social Work Matters, brought together not only leading policy experts on disaster management, but also social work educators and practitioners who were specialized in disaster risk reduction measures. The forum provided participants opportunities for in-depth discussions. These discussions helped social work students understand international disaster recovery and relief management and why social work response is vital to long-term efforts to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity. Click here to view the video from the forum.

Nepal Earthquake Video (2015)

CGSI received special project funding from CSWE to create a video on social work response to the Nepal earthquake of 2015. This collaborative project with the Nepal School of Social Work aimed at educating the CSWE membership about disaster management in post-conflict transition countries such as Nepal. Best practice approaches from Nepal are presented through case studies, digital videos based on narratives of survivors, and social work faculty presentations. Click here to view the video. 



  • Mashkhura Akilova


    Columbia University

  • Robert Barney

    Associate Professor & MSW Program Director

    Stockton University

  • Ciji Blue


    University of Pennsylvania

  • Kala Chakradhar

    Associate Professor

    Murray State University

  • Caleb Kim

    MSW Director & Associate Professor

    Loyola University Chicago

  • Abha Rai

    Assistant Professor & Associate Director, Center for Immigrant and Refugee Accompaniment (CIRA)

    Loyola University Chicago

  • Soonhee Roh


    University of South Dakota

  • Bonita Sharma

    Doctoral Student

    University of Texas at San Antonio

  • Vivien Villaverde

    Assistant Clinical Professor

    University of Southern California