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NASW Virginia Annual Conference Information Page

Thank you for your interest in NASW Virginia conferences.

Below are the last updates for the 2023 conference. 

Online registration for the in-person 2023 Annual Conference March 23-25 is now closedVirtual and on-demand-only registration remains open.

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


CLOSED: March 23-25, In Person, Williamsburg, Va.

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 65.5 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.


Register me!

Learn More

2023 Conference Articles


“I have attended the Annual Conference for many years and have been on the Conference Committee for many years as well. The conference consistently provides high-quality trainings representing many practice areas. The trainings address relevant social issues central to our work and do not shy away from difficult topics.


The conference brings together social workers from across the Commonwealth and Metro DC to network and engage in collaborative learning. I enjoy interacting with my peers from across the state and DC, and look forward to seeing them each year at the conference!” 

--Donilee Alexander-Goldsmith, MSW, LCSW

2022 NASW Virginia and Metro DC Annual Conference

The 2022 conference ended May 31, 2022.

In case you missed it...

2022 Joint Annual Conference of NASW Virginia and Metro DC Chapters

Attracts Nearly 400 Social Workers, Generates High Satisfaction Ratings


That's a wrap! Thank you to each of the nearly 400 attendees, as well as the outstanding speakers and keynoters, for playing such important roles in the overall success of the 2022 Joint Annual Conference of the NASW Virginia and Metro DC chapters. The conference was held virtually March 24-26, and its extended on-demand recording access is now closed.


Select recorded sessions, including bundled related topical sessions, soon will be available on-demand 24/7 on the NASW CE Institute learning portal.


NASW members can enjoy a members-only discounted rate; nonmembers will pay a higher, but still reasonable, price. Join NASW to earn CEs at the lowest rate!


The CE-qualified conference session recordings cover a wide range of topics for every social work specialty, including  

  • Ethics

  • Race and social work

  • Trauma

  • Aging

  • Addiction

  • Human trafficking

  • Leadership

  • Child and adolescent mental health

  • Ecotherapy

  • LGBTQ+ issues

  • Private practice development

  • International social work, and more.


What attendees say about the quality of these sessions and the overall conference:


“Outstanding speakers, cutting-edge clinical approaches, highly relevant social topics.”


“This was an amazing conference! Such a great choice of workshops. Having the ability to go back and watch sessions was so helpful.”


“Exceptional conference with dynamic speakers and choice of topics!”


“Overall, I think it was one of the best conferences in recent years. Very interesting content and dynamic presenters…”


“It was interesting. I learned some new things.”

“The conference provided great information about topics that were relevant and timely.”

“I am impressed with all that’s offered for the price and over the number of days. Great value and opportunity to learn more in your own practice area or to expand your knowledge to new areas.”

“This was my first NASW conference, and I feel empowered in my profession after the conference.”


Mark your calendars now for March 23-25, 2023, for the next NASW Virginia and Metro DC Joint Annual Conference, which will be held in person in Williamsburg, Va., and repeated virtually with select recordings at a later date.

Past Speakers


Thursday, March 24

Earth Prayer and Discussion of Historical Perspectives of Virginia Indigenous People

8:30-9 a.m., .5 CE.

Presenter: Nottoway Tribe Chief Lynette Allston


Earth prayers or “Land Prayers” recognize that we all walk on originally tribal lands and that

environmental sustainability is critical to long-term survival of the human species.

Lynette will lead us in such a prayer and then discuss the history and modern condition

of her Nottoway Tribe, calling on social workers to become more aware of

indigenous peoples in the state.


Lynette Allston is chief and chair of the Tribal Council of the Nottoway Indian Tribe,

one of 11 Virginia indigenous tribes. She resides in Drewryville, Va., and is a graduate of Duke University and the public schools of Southampton County. Lynette returned to Virginia after retiring from two decades of business ownership in South Carolina. During her business and civic career, Lynette served on the corporate board of the Palmetto Health Hospital System, the largest hospital system in South Carolina. She also chaired the Palmetto Health Children's Hospital Board, Palmetto Health Hospital System Foundation Board, and Columbia Museum of Art Commission.


The Bridge Project: Finding Connection in a Time of Division

9:10 a.m.-Noon. Opening Session, 2.5 CEs.

Keynoters: CJ Suitt and Kane Smego


Life-long friends with over a decade of collaboration in the fields of youth engagement,

creative arts, and community building, poets CJ Suitt and Kane Smego explore what it

means to nurture cross-cultural relationships. In this captivating performance and

workshop, the duo reimagine healthy masculinity and celebrate the unique

perspectives that we all carry, sharing their stories in verse, hip hop, and poetry,

as well as guiding participants in telling their own through writing exercises.

Beyond the poetry, this program is an invitation to dialogue,

fostering social-emotional learning and leading participants in building a more connected community.

Kane Smego is an internationally touring spoken-word poet and hip-hop artist, educator, and National Poetry Slam finalist. He is the associate director and an artist alumnus of Next Level, a cultural diplomacy program that sends American hip-hop artists around the world to use music and dance in promoting cultural exchange, artistic collaboration, and community building. His pre-COVID hip-hop show, “Temples of Lung and Air,” was featured at the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City and elsewhere. Kane has released multiple albums of poetry and hip-hop music, and he also was featured on Grammy Award-winner King Mez’s debut album, My Everlasting Zeal, and topped the Spotify Viral 50 billboard in May 2017 on the song North Cack with G Yamazawa. The music video for the song appeared on BET Jams and won Best Music Video at the Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem. Watch the performance at is a regular keynote speaker at conferences and a TEDx presenter.


CJ Suitt is the poet laureate of Chapel Hill, NC. He also is a performance poet, arts educator, and community organizer whose work is rooted in storytelling and social justice. He is committed to speaking truth to power and aims to be a bridge for communities that can't always see themselves in each other. CJ is moving toward full-time artistry to facilitate dialogue in spaces often dominated by fear-driven stereotypes. He is the co-creator of the podcast “Sitting in the Intersection,” which explores the radical nature of relationships across differences. His career as an educator enables him to work with young people awaiting trial at the Durham Youth Home, older inmates whose voices have been silenced within the Orange County Correctional Facility, and high school and college-aged men pushing to redefine masculinity in their schools and communities. Watch a video of CJ at


Cultivate Your Superpowers!

5:15-6:15 p.m., 1 CE.

Presenter: Salome Raheim


As findings from neuroscience and quantum physics converge with ancient wisdom, the understanding of our capacities and connections as humans is expanding. This interactive session explores some of these findings and their applications to social work. Participants will be invited to engage in practices that tap into the wisdom of the body, ways of knowing, and ways of being that go beyond the limits of intellect.


Salome Raheim, PhD, ACSW, is a professor at the University at Albany-SUNY School of Social Welfare and dean emeritus at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Her scholarship, teaching, and academic leadership focus on promoting equity in organizations and communities, as well as integrative mind-body-spirit social work practice. While dean at UConn, Salome initiated and co-led a schoolwide, multi-year change initiative to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion. She led a similar effort at the University of Iowa School of Social Work while serving as its director. A native of Baltimore, Salome holds a PhD in communication studies from the University of Iowa, an MSW from Catholic University of America, an MA in integrative health and healing from the Graduate Institute, and a BSW from Bowie State University.


Friday, March 25

US United

8-11:20 a.m., 3 CEs

Keynoters: Ken Nwadike and Michigan Sheriff Chris Swanson


Ken Nwadike, Jr., (the Free Hugs Project) and Sheriff

Chris Swanson (Flint/Genesee County, Mich.) bring their authentic,

fun and at times intense conversations on unity and social justice from the

Black and Blue Podcast to live audiences. Over the past 10 years, Ken and Chris

have literally risked their lives to create UNITY and peace. You’ll hear Ken share

his personal story of overcoming homelessness and developing his work on the

frontlines of social justice. Chris will follow with his own experiences as a police officer for 29 years and as a uniter of protesters and officers in Flint, Mich., during a time of volatile protests in response to the killing of George Floyd. Their powerful personal stories inform their creation of US United, the real dialogue that emphasizes the importance of unity.


In addition, Chris will also break down the “truth about human trafficking,” addressing the difference between prostitution and human trafficking, and explaining how victims are hooked through grooming. He delves inside the mind of the predator and helps us understand if we are personally safe. Finally, he explains how participants can be helpful in crushing this human trafficking pandemic.


The duo love audience questions and interactive discussion, so be prepared to participate in real-time polling and live Q&A. To extend their message beyond the event, the discussion will be recorded and shared on the Black and Blue Podcast and other social media channels.


Ken Nwadike, Jr., is an American documentary filmmaker, motivational speaker, and peace activist popularly known as the Free Hugs Guy. Ken is the founder of the Free Hugs Project, which gained popularity as he made major news headlines for his peacekeeping efforts and de-escalation of violence during protests, riots, and political rallies. Ken was featured in Google’s 2016 Year in Search video as a highlight among some of the year’s most defining moments and he has made many appearances on news programs, including CNN, USA Today, Good Morning Britain, and BBC News.


Sheriff Christopher Swanson is a career police officer with experiences spanning more than two decades. He has served in a variety of positions, including corrections, patrol, narcotics, criminal investigation, death investigation, and command operations. Some of his most notable assignments have been part of the executive protection for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and Vice Presidents Gore, Cheney, and Biden. Chris commands the police honor guard and is a licensed paramedic and certified Medical Examiner Investigator. This training has led him to witness to some of the most heinous crimes and acts of violence one can imagine, including homicides, suicides, felonies, and drug overdoses. He shares these experiences with audiences to make a positive impact on their lives using lessons from the living and the dead. Christopher Swanson holds both a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, along with numerous national and state certifications.  Submit a question anonymously ahead of their presentation here


Lunch and Learn: Embodying a Coaching Mindset for Social Workers

11:40 a.m.-1:40 p.m., 2 CE

Presenter: Liz Lasky


Coaching is one of the fastest ways to improve client-centered care. Are you interested in coaching

but want to do it ethically? Are you ready to expand your skills and keep up with current trends to meet

client needs? A foundation for good coaching skills is the ability to embody a coaching mindset.


This workshop will teach you how to cultivate a coaching mindset through instruction about what coaching is,

how it differs from therapy, and how to bridge coaching and social work.     


Liz Lasky, PhD, LCSW, ACC, is the founder and CEO of The Lasky Institute of Coaching, The Coach Training Program for Helping Professionals, and An adjunct professor at Fordham University, she is an expert for Bravo TV and presents her research on coaching single women internationally, most notably at Harvard University. She is also a proud Fellow of The Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard University. Liz is committed to helping people get what they want in business, life, and love. The author of the book Get What You Want, as well as several peer-reviewed journal articles, Liz has spent 15 years counseling, coaching, and mentoring thousands of people. She holds an MSW and a PhD from Yeshiva University in social welfare. She is also a New York University Certified Coach and earned the International Coach Federation credential of Associate Certified Coach (ACC).


“The Last Drop” Film and Discussion

5:45-6:30 p.m., .75 CEs

Presenter: Film producer/director Adam Joel, J. Gina Manlove,

Brooks Zitzmann, Katie Moffitt   


Get out the popcorn! You have all day to watch “The Last Drop,” a short sci-fi film about

relationship abuse, inspired by the memories of real survivors. Once viewed, tune in to

hear director and producer Adam Joel discuss the film’s key messages. Here’s more about

the film: A young woman links minds with her boyfriend using a device that lets couples

relive shared memories—but when she spots overlooked signs of abuse, she must wake

herself up to escape before he can manipulate her memories in his favor. This project is designed to help young people, experts, and policymakers spot the early signs of relationship abuse before it turns violent. The film is supported by executive producer The One Love Foundation, and an exciting Advisory Board of experts, including Leslie Morgan Steiner, The Safe & Together Institute, The National Network to End Domestic Violence, and more.


Adam Joel loves finding creative ways to make social issue films more exciting! He’s been making videos for nonprofits since he was 14. As the impact manager for Kindling Group, he booked over 1,300 community screenings of “No Small Matter,” a documentary about the importance of early childhood education. He also performs as a professional improv comedian at theaters such as iO and Second City.


J. Gina Manlove, ACSW, LCSW, LICSW, LCSW-C, is a private practitioner in Arlington, Va., who provided psychotherapy, mental health, and forensic services for 40 years. Gina continues to work clinically with individuals and in family/relational systems, as well as consulting in school, medical, mental health/private practice, and legal settings. Gina has been adjunct faculty at George Mason University and frequently presents at health care conferences. She is a past board member of NASWVA, Minnesota Society for Clinical Hypnosis, and Project Awareness-Fairfax County School System.


Brooks Zitzmann, Ph.D., LCSW, is an assistant professor at NCSSS with direct micro practice experience in young adult mental health counseling. Licensed in Louisiana, she gained more community practice experience as chair of Take Back the Night New Orleans, organizing university and city constituents to address sexual violence. Brooks also holds degrees in biology, religious studies, and the philosophical intersections of science and religion.


Katie Moffitt, MSW, has been involved in the movement to end sexual and intimate partner violence for close to 15 years. She's worked as a volunteer, advocate, shelter manager, preventionist, and technical assistance provider and has worked with survivors across the lifespan.


Saturday, March 26


Love and Presence: A Modern-Day Map for Living an Extraordinary Life

9-10:30 a.m., 1.5 CEs

Keynoter: Dr. Harry Pepper


We have been taught to believe that living the life we desire for ourselves and our

loved ones involves challenge, struggle, effort, and an experience of striving in order

to be successful.  Our growing, collective wisdom is providing us a new map for

success that involves a radical and new relationship with ourselves, a life of

embodied presence and self-love. In this interactive and experience-based session,

you will learn some simple and accessible states of awareness that contribute to our

capacity for love and presence and create opportunities to unlock our innate potential.


Through deep personal insights and discovering creative solutions to old problems, we evolve in our capacity to fully accept and embrace ourselves. In learning to accept and love ourselves fully and completely, as we are in this moment, we begin to experience an extraordinary life, a life beyond the limits of our imagination. 


Harry Pepper, PhD, is a psychologist with more than 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and groups of diverse client populations in private practice and college counseling center environments. He has served for over 15 years as an international coach and facilitator of leadership and organizational development work across a wide range of settings and industries. Harry’s early career highlights include his time as a staff psychologist at Oberlin College and as director of adult programs at Common Ground, a nonprofit committed to mindfulness, conscious living, and leadership development. He currently is a senior consultant and coach at the Telos Institute, a global organizational development firm, where he supports world leaders and organizations by designing, supporting, and facilitating liminal space opportunities to catalyze disproportionate transformational change.


Cousins: Connected Through Slavery

2:45-4:15 p.m., 1.5 CEs

Keynoter: Phoebe Kilby and Betty Kilby Baldwin


What happens when a White woman, Phoebe Kilby, contacts a Black woman, Betty Kilby Baldwin, saying she suspects they are connected through slavery? A surprise. Betty responds, “Hello, cousin.” Open to exploring difficult truths and sharing an admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, they embark on a path towards reconciliation. Each tells her dramatic story--from Betty’s experience desegregating her county’s only high school to Phoebe’s eventual question to Betty: “How do I begin to repair the harms?” Be part of this “piercingly honest” conversation, which offers examples of reparations on a personal level. Based on their 2020 book, COUSINS: Connected Through Slavery, a Black Woman and a White Woman Discover Their Past--and Each Other. All authors' proceeds from sales of the book are donated to the Kilby Family Scholarship Fund, which offers college scholarships to descendants of the people Phoebe's family enslaved, including Betty's grandchildren. Betty’s granddaughter is studying to be a social worker in Texas! Betty and Phoebe will inspire others to sit down at the table of sisterhood and brotherhood to promote racial healing."


Betty Kilby Baldwin entered and graduated from Warren County, Va., High School after suing in the landmark integration Supreme Court case, Betty Ann Kilby et al. vs. Warren County Board of Education, in 1958, changing the course of her life and countless others. She started working as a factory worker, eventually achieving executive management positions after earning her A.A.S. in business management; a B.S. in business administration; and an MBA. She also has an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Shenandoah University. She is the author of Wit, Will & Walls and is the main character of a documentary film with the same title. Betty also co-authored a second book, Cousins, released in March 2021.


Phoebe Kilby, a descendant of enslavers, was inspired by the "Coming to the Table" movement to connect with descendants of persons her family enslaved. She is trained in environmental management and conflict transformation, beginning her peace and justice journey in 2003 when she started classes at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peace Building. In 2006, she became the fundraiser for CJP, working for racial justice, healing, and reconciliation between European Americans and African Americans in the U.S. She began her work in racial reconciliation in 2007, when she first contacted Betty Kilby Baldwin on Martin Luther King Day. Since connecting with Betty, Phoebe has become a leader in the Coming to the Table organization, which seeks to fulfill Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream “that the sons of former slave owners and sons of former slaves will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” Phoebe leads workshops and dialogues on racial reconciliation across the country and now lives in Asheville, NC.


Email Debra Riggs, CAE, at with any questions.


A huge THANK YOU! to our Year-Round Partners and 2022 Conference Sponsors