Social Work in the Global Environment

The 11th Annual Conference on Social Work in the Global Environment 

Conflict, War and Peace

Date: Friday, November 4, 2022

Format: Virtual

Thank you for attending.  CE requests will be processed and emailed approximately two to three weeks after the event.  

Global poster

This year’s conference on Social Work in the Global Environment aims to contribute to the local-global perspective in social work, utilizing the strategy: Thinking globally and acting locally.

The focus of the 2022 Social Work in the Global Environment conference is Conflict, War and Peace, and the implications for social work profession and social workers locally and globally.

Conference Overview

Presenters and discussants will address the Local-Global impacts of conflicts, war and peace, and focus on specific the roles of social work and helping professions.

The 2022 Conference shall seek to cover the following topics:

  • Conflicts: A Historical Review
  • Preview the potential threats to world peace
  • War, Peace and Socio-economic Instability
  • Social Work in the Global Environment: War and Peace
  • Resource Wars and Social Justice
  • Victims of War: Victimology of War
  • War Crimes and Internally Displaced People
  • Diplomacy and International Laws
  • War-Time Migrations
  • Ethical challenges to helping professionals
  • Gender, Conflicts and Wars

Andrea Harrison headshot

Conflict, War and Peace: The Role of the Red Cross in Armed Conflict 

Andrea Harrison, LLM, JD, Deputy Head of Delegation/Head of Operations International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

  • Presentation Description

    This presentation will discuss the history of the Red Cross movement as it relates to situations of armed conflict and violence and will focus on the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross as the guardians of the Law of Armed Conflict/International Humanitarian Law and its role in providing protection and assistance in armed conflict. We will also discuss some of the current trends in the Law of armed Conflict and how those relate to current conflicts today, including Ukraine and Syria.

  • Presenter Biography

    Andrea Harrison serves as the Deputy Head of Delegation/Head of Operations for the Washington Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross. From 2012-2019, Andrea served as a Legal Advisor and Deputy Head of Legal Department, after which she took on the role of Head of Movement Relations.  

    Prior to being posted in Washington, Andrea served at ICRC's headquarters in Geneva as Legal Advisor to Operations for the Near and Middle East and Central and Southern Africa. Before this, she was a legal associate in the ICRC's Legal Division in Geneva.  

    In addition to work at the ICRC, Andrea has taught International Humanitarian Law (IHL) as an adjunct professor at American University School of International Service, UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Texas A&M Bush School of Public Policy. She has chaired the American Society of International Law Lieber Society for Armed Conflict, the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) IHL Committee and served on the board of ABILA.  

    Andrea earned her J.D. at the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island and is a member of the Texas bar. She also holds an LLM from The Geneva Academy of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Law at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom

Kate Paarlberg-Kvam headshot

Refugees Won't Redeem Us: Resettlement, Recuperation, and the War on Terror

Kate Paarlberg-Kvam, MA, Ph.D. (she/they), Executive Director at the Community Asylum Seekers Project

  • Presentation Description

    The mobilization of community groups, houses of worship, charitable foundations, and small nonprofits over the fifteen months that have passed since the U.S. departure from Kabul has resulted in the coalescence of a fairly unified language about what Afghan resettlement signifies for U.S. communities. This resettlement raises unsettling questions for supporters of refugees and asylum seekers in the United States, from social workers to community volunteers. Which wars do we pay attention to, and why? What story does "post-war" refugee resettlement attempt to tell about the U.S. as a nation? What does the local civilian narrative about Afghan resettlement illuminate about the status, the history, and the recuperation of a faltering U.S. empire? In what ways is resettlement a key moment in the history - and the maintenance - of the Global War on Terror?

    This presentation will reflect on a year of Afghan resettlement in a small town in New England, link to key questions in peace and conflict studies, and raise critical questions for social workers and community advocates about how to support those dispossessed by U.S. wars.

  • Presenter Biography

    Kate Paarlberg-Kvam (she/they) is Executive Director at the Community Asylum Seekers Project, a Vermont nonprofit that sponsors, serves, and advocates for asylum-seekers by providing legal aid, housing, financial assistance, and community support. Kate also helps to coordinate a statewide network of asylum support organizations and is co-founder of a statewide pro bono legal services center for asylum seekers. Kate holds a PhD in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and is a former postdoctoral fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, where she conducted research on gender, displacement, and postwar reconciliation efforts in Colombia.

Marika Lotko headshot

Humanitarian Praxis with Ukrainian Refugees in Latvia

Marika Lotko, MSW, Lecturer, Department of Social Welfare and Social Work, Riga Staradins University

  • Presentation Description

    The war in Ukraine has created one of the largest forced migrations of people in Europe in recent times, where 7,646,595 (October 4th, 2022) people were forced to leave their homes to seek refuge in other countries. The European Union since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 expressed a clear position on extending solidarity and providing support to refugees from Ukraine. People who have taken refuge in one of the EU countries receive housing, financial, social, health, education, employment, and other aid. Presentation aims to give insight on how the support system in Latvia for refugees from Ukraine is organized at state, municipality, NGO, and voluntary sectors.

  • Presenter Biography

    Marika Lotko holds a master's degree in social work and is currently completing a PhD program. Her dissertation is on animal-assisted interventions in social work. Since 2008, Marika Lotko works at Rīga Stradiņš University, Department of Welfare and Social Work as lecturer and since 2018 is head of a bachelor study program Social Work. She has several teaching courses, such as Social Work, Outreach Work, Social Work theories and methods, Social Work with Community and Macro Social Work. Executive Committee member of European Association of Schools of Social Work.

Pietro S Toggia headshot

"Forever Wars:" The Continuation of Global and Local Politics by Other Means and the United Nations

Pietro S. Toggia, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

  • Presentation Description

    This presentation frames the discussion of war and its lethal consequences with the intersectionality of politics and war. The arguments presented here are neither pacifist nor utopian in seeking war-free societies. The political and military conflicts in modern times are invariably centered around states (with Weberian ‘monopoly of violence’) often justified as defending national security interests. Civil societies are marginalized in partaking in the resolution of local conflicts, let alone at regional and global levels. 


  • Presenter Biography

    Pietro Toggia has been a professor of Criminal Justice at Kutztown University of            Pennsylvania since fall 1998. He completed his graduate studies in justice studies at Arizona State University in United States. He has also been teaching and advising graduate students in Law Schools and in Sociology Departments at various Universities in Ethiopia since 2011. He co-edited three books as a primary editor (with his own book chapters and introductions in each edition), as well as published peer reviewed articles, and presented numerous international conference papers with a primary focus on Africa. He serves as editorial advisory board member on African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies, Bahir Dar University Law Journal, University of Gondar Law Journal, and Addis Ababa University Law Journal. 



The global impacts of conflict, war, and peace

  • Andrea Harrison, LLM
  • Kate Paarlberg-Kvam, MA, Ph.D.
  • Pietro S. Toggia, Ph.D.

Global Thinking and Local Efforts

  • Jeanne Martin, BSW
  • Ivonne Smith-Tapia
  • Christina Taylor, BSW

Ethical Perspectives on War & Peace: Humanity and Media Narratives

  • Mohammad Adeel, Ph.D.
  • Pietro Toggia, Ph.D.
  • Marco Ehrl, Ph.D.

    20 years of Conflict: The American Veteran and Their Families. What are the impacts of military life on veterans and their families?

    • Katelyn Scott, BSW, Master of Social Work student
    • Cory Mays, BS, Master of Social Work student
    • Mitchell Stokes, BA, Master of Social Work student