Community Engagement and Social Justice is the theme of the 2022 convening of the International Summer University in Social Work, a two-week academic program that enriches the professional experiences, knowledge and skills of participants from all over the world.

Hosted by UCLA Luskin Social Welfare, this year’s ISUSW features lectures from top scholars, dynamic workshops, site visits and cultural outings with the aim of creating a space of collective inquiry and community-engaged scholarship, advocacy and activism.

Featured Lectures

JULY 12, 2022

Young Black Changemakers and the Road to Racial Justice

Laura Wray-Lake, UCLA Luskin Social Welfare

JULY 13, 2022

Lessons Learned from Critical Pedagogy for Continuous Learning in Social Work

Antoine Coulombe, University of British Columbia, Canada

JULY 14, 2022

Community-Engaged Approaches to Social Work Practice

Shinto Joseph, Ragagiri College of Social Sciences, India

JULY 15, 2022

Why Do Social Workers Choose Community Work (or Not)?

David Pichonnaz, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Western Switzerland

JULY 18, 2022

The Role of Social Workers in Promoting Children’s Right to Participation

Hanita Kosher, School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

JULY 19, 2022

Transnational Later-Life Migration and Anomic Elder Abuse: A Social Justice Perspective

Hong-Jae Park, Western Sydney University, Australia

JULY 21, 2022

The (Good) Trouble With Black Boys: Race, Gender and Reimagining Youth Power in the Carceral State

David C. Turner III, University of California, Los Angeles

JULY 22, 2022

A Study of Self-Help Organizations in Hong Kong

Steven Sek-yum Ngai, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China


The L.A. of my dreams had luxury and wealth and the ability to mesmerise whoever comes to it. The City of Angles – as they say – was the land of great opportunity and freedom.

The L.A. of my dreams greeted me with the best that the world could offer and had me believing that it could never disappoint me. The L.A. of my dreams had towering buildings and skyscrapers. The L.A. of my dreams was decked up with glimmering lights and fancy cars. The L.A. of my dreams showed me what life could be when lived to the best. The L.A. of my dreams had whatever I asked for and more.

But, it was when I woke up in L.A. that I realised it was not all glimmer and shine. When I woke up in L.A. I realised those skyscrapers were acting as a source of shade for the people who were forgotten in the City of Angels. When I woke up in L.A. I realised how an abundance of resources did not translate into equal access to resources. When I woke up in L.A. I realised that the gap between justice and despair was widened by the day. When I woke up in L.A. I realised how institutions of power felt vigours when power was taken away from the poor and the needy. When I woke up in L.A. I realised how individuals accepted their state of being as their fate. It was when I woke up in L.A. that I realised, that not everyone in this city is treated as an Angel.

I still love the L.A. in my dreams as it showed me what Los Angeles could be. And I am hopeful that the next time I wake up in L.A. I would feel like I’m still dreaming but that won’t be true.

— Bobby Benny, student at Rajagiri College of Social Science in India