Longtime Kentucky state Rep. Jim Wayne will receive an honorary degree from the Spalding University School of Social Work on Friday, March 2, joining three other local social workers who will be honored during an on-campus event to celebrate Social Work Month in March.
The three others who will receive awards from the Spalding social work program for their outstanding contributions to the social work profession and their community: Judy Freundlich Tiell, executive director of Jewish Family and Career Services; Joqueline “Jackie” Stamps, staff assistant to the commissioner of Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services; and Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, director of the Louisville Metro Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.
The free, public event, which is themed “Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions,” will be 4-6 p.m. at the Republic Bank Academic Center, 981 S. Third Street.
At about 5 p.m. Spalding President Tori Murden-McClure will present Wayne with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. Wayne will retire this year after serving for 27 years in the Kentucky House of Representatives, representing the 35th District in Louisville. He is a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Wayne Corp., a practice that provides counseling and employee assistance to more than 80 corporations and unions. His work in the legislature and through Catholic organizations has made him a leading voice in Kentucky on social justice issues.
More information on the other awards and honorees
• Leader Award: Judy Freundlich Tiell – The Leader Award is presented to a transformational leader who has created an inspiring vision of the future, motivated others to engage with that vision and built a team to achieve the vision. Under the leadership of Tiell, who is a licensed clinical social worker, Jewish Family and Career Services (JFCS) provides family and career services, pre- and post-adoption services, senior home care and transportation assistance, a food pantry, a microenterprise lending program and assistance to refugees and immigrants. The agency serves more than 9,000 individuals each year.
• Advocate Award: Joqueline “Jackie” Stamps – The Advocate Award is presented to an individual who has represented a client or cause and systematically influenced decision-making in unjust or unresponsive systems. In her role with the Department for Community Based Services, which is within the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Stamps is responsible for coordinating efforts in the department to eliminate disproportionality and disparities in outcomes for children and families of color in the child welfare system and working with cross-system partners for improved outcomes for all families.
• Champion Award: Rashaad Abdur-Rahman – The Champion Award is presented to an individual whose work for social justice is passionate, innovative, collaborative, flexible and courageous. As director of the Louisville Metro Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Abdur-Rahman, who is a licensed clinical social worker, leads a department that was established by Mayor Greg Fischer in 2013 to help the city develop cross-sector and comprehensive violence prevention strategies aligned with a public health model. Its five key engagement areas are community building, education, employment/economic development, health and social wellness, and criminal/juvenile justice reform.
“These four individuals represent the best of our profession,” said Shannon Cambron, acting chair of the Spalding School of Social Work. “As leaders, advocates and champions, their tireless work at the local and statewide levels inspires us and makes our community a better place. They are outstanding role models for our students.”
Social work is a growing profession with more than 680,000 social work professionals in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS projects that overall employment of social workers will grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026. Clinical social workers are the largest group of mental health providers in the United States.
“The services of social workers are needed now more than ever before as the nation grapples with issues such as income inequality, the opioid addiction crisis, the environment and the continued struggle for equal rights for all,” McClure said. “During Social Work Month, we hope you will take time to learn more about the profession and support the work of social workers in improving the lives of individuals, families and our society.”
About the Spalding School of Social Work
The School of Social Work offers undergraduate- and graduate-level degrees in social work with concentrations in addictions and restorative practices. The School of Social Work is a leading provider in the region of continuing education for social work professionals. Social work faculty members also provide research and evaluation services and serve as consultants and advocates in the community. For more information, visit Spalding.edu/social-work.