A Rich History of Black Leaders Often Overlooked in Social Work Education

Published on : February 22, 2021

In a new video, Iris Carlton-LaNey, professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work and social welfare historian, and Tanya Smith Brice, CSWE vice president of education, highlight iconic Black leaders in history who dedicated their efforts to improving the quality of life for others. These men and women left a profound “legacy of leadership and change” that is not often taught in social work programs. This informative interview draws attention to the contributions of Black leaders such as Lugenia Burns Hope, Eugene Kinckle Jones, Jane Edna Hunter, among others.

“[These Black leaders] organized individually but also through groups for planned change. They established agencies, they established orphanages, group homes, old folks’ homes, settlement houses, national organizations that survive today.… Any mechanisms that they could get their hands on to address the needs of their community is what these leaders did.”
—Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey

“I’m hopeful that the audience will take some time to go and find out more about each of these wonderful folks and the work that they’ve done and ways in which it can inform their practice and inform the curriculum in particular.”
—Dr. Tanya Smith Brice