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2023 Joint Annual Conference of the NASW Virginia and Metro DC Chapters


April 20-22, Virtual

April 23-June 20, On-Demand-Only/Virtual


Join hundreds of social workers from diverse specialties for an interactive virtual conference designed to provide practical information and skills that you can take back to your practice, staff, and clients. 

If you register to attend the live-virtual conference April 20-22, you can choose from 31 breakout sessions designed to serve your professional needs regardless of career level.


If you register for live-virtual attendance, plus 60-day access to all recorded sessions and keynotes, you can have it ALL—every breakout! Earn up to 63.5 CEs and view each breakout when it’s convenient for you (including from your phone via the conference app)!

Here are some of the topics covered, as chosen by an NASW Virginia/Metro DC Conference Review Committee of your peers:


  • Ethics

  • Trauma

  • Public Health Priority Issues such as Addiction

  • Racial Equity and Social Justice

  • LGBTQ Issues

  • Treatment Strategies and Approaches

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Leadership

  • Human Trafficking

  • Aging

  • Child and Adolescent Welfare and Treatment

  • Self-Care and MORE!


Plus, you’ll earn CEs by attending

  • Two keynote presentations: “Courageous Leadership,” Dr. Arthur Romano;  “Dialogues on Diversity: Putting the Civil Back in Civil Discourse,” Ron Jones   

  • An Awards Luncheon and leadership development presentation,

  • A Lunch and Learn on how you can boost your advocacy involvement in NASW’s policy work,

  • A Movie Night with Director’s Panel Discussion (“Mending Walls: A Documentary”), and

  • A Fireside Chat and Book Signing with Keynoter Romano


See Full Agenda


Click here to see the many registration options—live-virtual, live-virtual plus 60-day access, and on-demand-only. Students and retirees get special additional discounts. One of those options is sure to fit your budget, CE needs, and preferred time!


In-person attendees can earn more CEs by adding a 60-day-access pass to all recorded sessions (68.5 CEs available), which allows you to repeat or watch breakouts and keynotes as often as you want until June 20!


Group rates are available for more than three registrants from the same organization or company—contact to arrange.

Meet Your Keynoters and Special Speakers

Thursday, April 20, 2023

 Available on demand:

Mending Walls: The Documentary and a Film Discussion (2 CEs)

Speakers: Co-Producer Hamilton Glass, moderator John Richardson-Lauve

View the film "Mending Walls: The Documentary" via a link to the film at, then listen to the audio recording of the post-movie discussion with Mending Walls RVA founder Hamilton Glass. Glass developed the film, nonprofit, and other related public art and education projects in response to the unjust killing of George Floyd. The project has continued to beautify public spaces around Richmond, Va., with murals that spark conversation regarding social justice, human experience, and expression.



Thursday, April 20, 2023

 8-11:15 a.m.

KEYNOTE: “Courageous Leadership” (3 CEs)

Speaker: Dr. Arthur Romano

For our kickoff keynote presentation, Dr. Arthur Romano provides examples of courageous leadership from around the world and highlights the role that young people are playing in building a more positive future. You’ll enjoy opportunities to clarify your own unique life purpose and to consider how compassion, self-reflection, connection to community, and excellent communication can lead to greater success.


Who is Dr. Arthur Romano?

Arthur Romano, PhD, is assistant professor at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.


His book, Racial Justice and Nonviolence Education: Building the Beloved Community, One Block at a Time, advocates for “the beloved community” as the “framework for the future.” It examines key concepts from the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., such as making nonviolence a way of life for courageous people, attacking forces—not people—doing evil, accepting suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve the goal, and avoiding “internal violence of the spirit” as well as external physical violence.


1:20 a.m.-2:20 p.m.

LUNCH AND LEARN: “Fighting for You: An NASW Advocacy Update” (1 CE)

Speaker: Sarah Butts, NASW Director of Public Policy

Eat your own lunch while listening to NASW Director of Public Policy Sarah Butts serve up a platter of insider news on the interstate compact, racial disparities revealed in the Association of Social Work Boards’ report on licensure exam pass rates, and other critical professional and social justice issues. Hear how your professional association is responding to proposed legislation and policies that directly affect you and your clients!


Who is Sarah Butts?

Sarah Butts is the NASW director of public policy, responsible for leading the association’s public policy, political and legislative affairs agenda, overseeing field organizing, working at both the national level and with NASW chapters, fundraising for political candidates, managing endorsement efforts, and developing and advancing the association’s strategic goals and objectives in Congress and the White House.


Prior to joining NASW, Butts was executive director of the Grand Challenges for Social Work at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. A macro social worker with experience in management, community organizing, and public policy, she is a founding administrator of the American Academy of Social Welfare and Social Work, which sets a research-informed social policy agenda for the profession.


Friday, April 21, 2023

9-10 a.m.

KEYNOTE: “Dialogues on Diversity: Putting the Civil Back in Civil Discourse” (1 CEs)

Speaker: Ron Jones

More people need to critically think about the way they digest media and political messages, as well as the outcomes and risks of not doing so, according to Keynoter Ron Jones. Our current political and media ecosystem can be defined as an “all-against-all” enterprise--a kind of segmented, self-perpetuating machine that does a poor job of giving context across ideological points of view. This gap is then used to divide us even further.


In this short, engaging workshop, Jones explores the topic of civil discourse and gives you practical tools and context for approaching potentially difficult social conversations from a space more informed by compassion and contextual learning. You will either learn to more deeply understand the concepts that define us all as a nation or be taken down by them.


BONUS! This one-hour, thought-provoking workshop will be followed at 11:20 a.m. Saturday, April 22 with an interactive breakout by Jones titled “Hellfighter.” Through discussion and video-based activities, you’ll develop a more-layered understanding of the deep systemic nature of American’s racial biases, thanks to an overview of more than 100 years of societal and institutional bigotry and racism.


This historical review will explain the roots of those systems and their ongoing impacts on contemporary governmental policy, banking, education, law enforcement, and generational wealth acquisition.


Afterwards, you’ll be able to build a narrative for the deeper, shared understanding necessary for sustained social change and equity.


This Dialogues on Diversity approach of radical compassion is not the only model for social change. Nor is it a model suited for everyone all the time. But the speaker’s approach is based on one simple question, “What kind of world do you want?” That answer should inform your approach to change. Let’s learn more together.


Who is Ron Jones?

Ron Jones is an Emmy-Award-winning actor, writer, educator, and social activist whose work spans 25 years. As the current executive director of Dialogues on Diversity, Jones oversees the nation’s premier social justice, diversity awareness theater company, leading more than 100 performances, lectures, and workshops in North America annually.


His humor and talent for innovation have launched a range of performance, lecture, game, and workshop platforms that help individuals and organizations address issues of cultural difference in more open, healthy, and respectful ways. Programs by Jones have been profiled by major media outlets such as CNN, The Washington Post, and Fox News.


Jones is committed to using creative ways to bring “Compassionate Activism” into America’s discussions and actions around social change. He believes that only through understanding the mechanisms of bias and oppression can we work to dismantle them. Also driving his approach is his belief that too few Americans know the stories and complexities of sometimes-shameful stories that make us all a “beautiful experiment.” Jones will explain why he believes learning our collective stories is the only way to change hearts and bring lasting change to lives.


Available On-Demand: 

Leadership in a Diverse and Fast-Paced World (.5 CEs) 

Speaker: Robert McCartney, MSW

What makes a leader successful in today’s wildly disrupted, pandemic-era world? CEO Robert McCartney, MSW, of The Barry Robinson Center, serves up a better understanding of what constitutes good leadership today.


Who is Robert McCartney?

Robert (“Rob”) McCartney, MSW, is the CEO of The Barry Robinson Center, a behavioral health system in Norfolk, Va., anchored by a 72-bed residential treatment center. In the past six years, McCartney has led the transition of the center’s residential program from a typical residential treatment center to a premier program whose primary mission is to help military-connected children and their families heal. Since 2013, The Barry Robinson Center has provided care to 500-plus military children, adolescents, and their families from 35 states and four countries.

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