Updated: Apr 26

Meet the 2022 Strengthening Connections Speakers and Key Noters:

**This is a brief overview of what the 2022 Annual Conference will offer. To view the full agenda view the NASWVA 2022 conference page on our website or go to the conference site.**

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.

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.

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.

Friday, March 25

US United

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

Keynoters: Ken Nwadike and Michigan Sheriff Chris Swanson

Lunch and Learn: Embodying a Coaching Mindset for Social Workers

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

Presenter: Liz Lasky

Film Premiere with Director Discussion: “The Last Drop”

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

Presenter: Film producer/director Adam Joel, J. Gina Manlove, Brooks Zitzmann, Katie Moffitt

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

Cousins: Connected Through Slavery

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

Keynoter: Phoebe Kilby and Betty Kilby Baldwin

We look forward to seeing you March 24-26!

Kudos from past attendees….

“In all honesty, this year’s conference was one of the best I’ve experienced in nearly 40 years of being a clinician social worker. The quality of the presenters and range of content. You and your committee knocked it out of the park.”

“Excellent opportunity! I felt much SAFER at home. Just as educational. In fact, due to being at home, I felt more attentive to the presenters! GREAT JOB, everyone!”

“It was lovely and just wonderful…. This pandemic has been stressful on a personal and professional level, so being able to complete my CEUs as planned went a long way toward decreasing that stress.”