Inspired by a large gift from New York University alumni Constance and Martin Silver, NYU Silver School of Social Work will launch the McSilver Institute of Poverty Policy, Practice, and Research - a major new initiative - with a public conference on Saturday, October 3, 2009. The event, which begins at 2:30 p.m., will take place at NYUs Schimmel Auditorium (40 West 4th Street, New York, N.Y.). The keynote speaker will be Geoffrey Canada, CEO of the Harlem Childrens Zone, who will illuminate his acclaimed approaches to reducing poverty in Harlem and the United States.
The McSilver Institute will partner with social service agencies in the New York City area to undertake the broad, complex, and in-depth efforts needed to meet the challenge of widespread poverty in the United States. While the Institute will concentrate on the consequences of poverty as they affect children, families, the elderly, the homeless, domestic violence victims, the disabled, and others, the major effort will be to use the knowledge gained through current and planned research work to achieve a direct impact on these constituencies.
The value of the work will be directly connected to the more than 600 not-for-profit social service agencies with which the Silver School of Social Work maintains ongoing relationships. Many of these agencies train NYU graduate social work students and constitute the Citys social service network and safety net.
Following the October 3 conference featuring Geoffrey Canada, a second conference introducing the Institute will take place on Friday, October 16, with Linda Gibbs, New York Citys deputy mayor for human services, and a panel of experts. In all, the two-phase launch will bring together more than 100 invited agency heads to explore the multiple opportunities presented by the McSilver Institute.
Growing from the conferences will be a process to select up to 10 pilot projects across agency service lines (the elderly, children, the disabled, etc.) to enable the agencies to advance their practice and enhance their staffs capacity to serve clients suffering the consequences of poverty. In addition, the Institute will engage other programs and faculty within NYU as well as experts in the field who can be helpful with both the formation and direction of the program. An interactive Web site will be established to enable all participants to share information on practices and outcomes and to serve as a significant instrument of information dissemination. The leadership team for this undertaking consists of Lynn Videka, dean of the Silver School of School Work, Professor Robert Hawkins, and Executive-in-Residence and Professor Phil Coltoff.
For more information, contact NYU press officer Robert Polner at the email address or phone numbers listed with this release.