Call for Papers

The Society for Social Work and Research

is pleased to anounce that its

24th Annual Conference

Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality

Will convene at the
Marriott Marquis Washington, DC
Washington, DC, USA
January 15-19, 2020

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, April 15, 2019, 11:59 pm, Pacific Time

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Steps and Instructions:

  1. Introduction

    The Conference Planning Committee of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) invites submissions for presentations within all content areas of social work, social welfare services, and social policy.

    The theme for the 2020 conference is "Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality." This theme expands one of the Grand Challenges for Social Work, reflecting the importance of simultaneously addressing these interrelated social justice issues that adversely affect people across the world, especially those most vulnerable and marginalized in our communities. Economic inequality and its inextricable link to racial inequality must be explicitly stated as a necessary step in moving forward towards both reconciliation and justice. Historically, racism has served as the basis for the creation of economic policies and systems that both excluded and penalized solely on the basis of race. In America, the oft touted system of meritocracy falls flat in the face of scholarship on the racial wealth gap that documents how race has determined economic outcomes for both marginalized and privileged communities. Two groundbreaking works, Ta-Nehisi Coates's seminal "The Case for Reparations" and Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow" helped propel these ideas into the modern consciousness and influenced modern activism. The Black Lives Matter movement addresses economic justice in its platform in ways reminiscent of Dr. Martin Luther King's visionary shift from a focus on civil rights to economic inequality. In his final speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop," Dr. King issued a rallying cry for people across the world to join together in pursuit of economic justice. Delivered one day before he was assassinated, his words serve as inspiration and aspiration for the next frontier of social justice. If we are to be effective leaders in Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality, it is imperative for researchers to build upon this groundwork and join modern activists in employing an intersectional approach in crafting solutions to move racial and economic justice forward.

    The conference will focus on original research that has implications for practice or policy. Research abstracts are encouraged in all substantive areas, using scientifically sound qualitative and/or quantitative methodology. The research may take place in any country and at the micro, macro, or policy level. We recognize that this year's conference theme is cross-cutting by population, problem and substantive areas, as well as methodological expertise and as a result, we encourage submissions across all Clusters as they pertain explicitly to innovations in research or related to the theme of the conference in the form of proposals for individual papers and poster presentations, symposia, roundtable discussions, and workshops. These may span various forms of research.

  2. Cluster Areas

    • Adolescent and Youth Development
    • Aging Services and Gerontology
    • American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Global Indigenous Populations (Indigenous Cluster)
    • Child Welfare
    • Communities and Neighborhoods
    • Crime and Criminal Justice
    • Disability
    • Gender
    • Health
    • Inequality, Poverty, and Social Welfare Policy
    • International Social Work and Global Issues
    • Immigrants and Refugees
    • Mental Health
    • Military Service Members, Veterans and Their Families
    • Organizations and Management
    • Race and Ethnicity
    • Research Design and Measurement
    • Research on Social Work Education
    • School Social Work
    • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
    • Social Work Practice
    • Substance Misuse and Addictive Behaviors
    • Sustainable Development, Urbanization, and Environmental Justice
    • Violence against Women and Children
    • Work and Work-Life Policies and Programs
  3. Helpful Links

  4. Submission Instructions

    Abstracts must be submitted in the following formats (see Author Submission Instructions document). Abstracts should be 500 words or less. References are not required, and if included count towards the 500 word limit. Image(s) and table(s) are not permitted in any abstract.

    1. Oral paper presentation
    2. Poster presentation
    3. Symposium of three or more papers on the same topic to be presented in the same session
    4. Roundtable
    5. Workshop

    Oral paper, poster, and symposium paper abstracts should be submitted in a structured format and include the following:

    • Background and Purpose: description of the problem, study objectives, research question(s) and/or hypothesis (es).
    • Methods: study design, including a description of participants and sampling methods, data collection procedures, measures, and appropriate analytic/ statistical approach.
    • Results: specific results in summary form.
    • Conclusions and Implications: description of the main outcome(s) of the study and implications for practice, policy, or further research.

    When submitting a symposium, please submit an abstract (500 words or less) for each symposium paper, along with an overall abstract (500 words or less) for the symposium session that describes the symposium theme and its importance. Preference will be given to symposia that demonstrate cohesiveness across presentations. Symposia will be accepted or rejected in total, i.e., abstracts will not be accepted independently.

    Roundtable and workshop session abstracts should:

    • add to the current knowledge base in social work practice, policy, theory, and research methodology, and,
    • offer clear meaningful implications for social work research, policy and practice.

    When submitting a roundtable or a workshop session, please submit an abstract of 500 words or less that describes the content and how it will be addressed. For roundtables, describe the topics that will be addressed elaborating on viewpoints and perspectives to be discussed. The workshop session should offer training opportunities for methodology (study design, sampling, data collection, measurement, and analysis) and describe the pedagogical techniques.

    Abstracts should not be based on research previously published elsewhere. Please note that only paper and poster abstracts reporting completed findings will be reviewed. We urge that studies with "findings pending" be submitted for future review after the study is complete. Peer reviews will be used to select submissions based upon technical merit and importance of findings. Please note that all abstracts are to be submitted online using the SSWR online abstract management system at

    SSWR seeks to optimize as many people participating in the conference as possible. SSWR, therefore, limits the number of roles that participants can play in the 2020 conference. There is a limit of two (2) presenting-author abstract submissions per person. This limit applies to these presentation formats: oral papers, both individual papers and papers within an organized symposium, posters, and workshops. It does not apply to co-authorship. Participants may, however, perform additional roles such as chairing an organized symposium, leading a special interest group, serving as moderator for a session of grouped oral papers, and a panelist in a round table session.

    You DO NOT need to be a SSWR member to submit an abstract. However, if your abstract is accepted for presentation the presenter/speaker MUST be a current 2020 member and register for the conference. This requirement is applicable to oral paper and poster presenters, symposium organizers, symposium paper presenters and symposium discussants, and workshop and roundtable speakers. Co-authors are not expected to comply with this policy. Co-authors attending the conference, however, are required to register for the conference.

    The functions that are available to you at any phase in the submittal process are shown as links on the Control Panel. These links let you easily return and make corrections at any step along the way. If, for example, you realize after entering a presenter that you made a mistake in the title, just click on the Title link and edit the title. To make sure the changes are saved, click the Submit button at the bottom of the corrected page. DO NOT use your Internet browser BACK button. You may lose the previously entered information. Use the links in the Control Panel.


    • Login above (top right corner of this page)
    • Enter the Application ID number and password in the login boxes, click View.
    • Use the Control Panel to view or modify the desired part of the submission. Then, click the Submit button to send your changes.


    • Select Withdraw from the Control Panel.
    • Under the Comments section, type in your reason for withdrawing your submission.
    • Click "Withdrawal". The link "Withdraw" will change to "Re-Submit" in the Control Panel and can be used to re-submit your session.

  5. Sample Abstracts

    Oral Papers (individual papers and papers within a symposium) and Posters:

    Please see the following links for examples of model Workshop and Roundtable abstracts. These examples are included to provide guidance to authors; however, there may be instances in which another format is preferable.

Begin a submission to the following:

We look forward to seeing you in Washington!

ePoster Presentations
New Submissions Closed

(500 word maximum)

Oral Presentations
New Submissions Closed

(502 word maximum)

New Submissions Closed

(500 word maximum)

New Submissions Closed

(500 word maximum)

New Submissions Closed

(500 word maximum)

If you have any question about the Call for Papers and/or abstract submission process, please contact DeeJay Garringo, CAE, program director, or 703-352-7797, ext. 2.

If you run into any technical problems, please email your questions or comments using the hyperlink to
"Report a Technical Problem" that appears in the Control Panel. Technical support may also be obtained by calling (401) 334-0220 between 8:30 a.m and 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.

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