Keynote Speakers for The 18th Annual Fall Social Work Conference
Teresa Costanzo received her Master of Social Work from The University of Alabama. She has been working in this field for over 40 years. Most recently with the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention where she works with grantees to help ensure compliance with service delivery and grant stipulations. She is also an Adjunct Professor at The University of Alabama School of Social Work. She has served on numerous Boards and Committees during her career.
Christa Doty’s energy comes from interacting with people and systems to help them realize their full potential. By connecting the dots and building relationships, she supports finding new ways to solve old challenges. Her work here centers on building knowledge and skills for child- and family-serving agencies. Christa applies her relationship skills to coaching, supervision, and training for both individuals and systems. She helps them use their strengths to generate exciting ideas that will move organizations and missions forward. Whether in person or through the curricula she designs, she excels at creating environments where courageous conversations can occur. She likes to inspire growth by helping people achieve “lightbulb” moments that help them create a better future. When not at work, you can find Christa in her garden pulling weeds, taking her aunt duties seriously, or traveling to some exotic locale. Recent favorites include New York City, Nepal, and the coast of Oregon.
After starring on the hot tv show, The Glee Project, Harper Grae has found solid footing as an artist and songwriter in Nashville, TN. Her last single, “Monster,” is included on her critically acclaimed EP Buck Moon Medleys, which features two music videos that received special attention from CMT. The first, “Bloodline,” scored the artist a spot in CMT’s Artist Development program. When the follow up single and companion video to “Bloodline” was released, CMT made the unprecedented move for an indie artist by airing the videos back to back for the premiere of “Monster.” Rollingstone named her one of the artists you need to watch and later this year, Harper will be performing during the halftime show at the Iron Bowl. She is currently working on new music which is set to be released in late 2019, early 2020.
Terricka Hardy is a proud Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed School Social Worker, therapist, speaker, trainer, and published author. With a vast array of experience, Terricka’s love for children has seen her channel her expertise to helping children with mental illness while promoting mental health recovery. Terricka specializes in assisting adults who battle a wide range of mental health issues, alongside crisis management for high risk suicide patients, therapy for individuals who have attempted or contemplated suicide, clinical assessment of domestic violence offenders and psycho educational classes for divorcing parents to name a few. She also owned and operated her own private mental health practice that provided extensive mental health assessments, treatment plans, and therapy. Terricka has trained numerous of professional and community groups about mental health recovery, burnout, and self care. Currently, she serves in the capacity of Chair of a Mental Health Recovery and Rehabilitation Training Committee; a committee whose purpose is to create and implement training to mental health professionals. She also sits on a national mental health training workgroup. In step with the overarching mission of the Social Work profession, Terricka is devoted to the to enhancing the human well-being not only for clients but also for Social Workers and other allied professionals (counselors, psychologist, psychiatrists, nurses, etc.). Terricka firmly believes that in order to best service our clients and uphold ethical standards, we must invest in self care. “Self care is the best care.”-Terricka Hardy, LCSW, ACSW
Brenda Lockwood encourages individuals and agencies to achieve their best for the children and families they serve. As a former child protection worker, she knows that a solution-oriented approach to child welfare accomplishes the goals of safety, permanency, and wellbeing for all children and families. Brenda understands that the best protection for children happens when child welfare agencies help parents and families strengthen their capacity to adequately care for their children, and she endeavors to make this a reality across the child welfare system. Her work here includes strengthening supervision and casework practice by providing skills coaching, training, and curriculum development and consulting with states. Brenda is a native of Minnesota and takes pride in having survived Minnesota’s harsh winters. Her true passion is for international travel, and so far, she has traveled to five continents and more than 20 countries. She stays active by participating in triathlons during the summer. During the long winter months, she enjoys skiing, snowshoeing, and staying warm by a fire.
Johnnetta Mcswain, Ph.D., MSW, from the mean streets of Birmingham, Alabama to the halls of academia, and from GED to Ph.D., Johnnetta Mcswain, beat the odds. She is the recipient of the prestigious Ruby award and The EMMY Award winning documentary, “The Road Beyond Abuse”, which depicts her triumphant journey through unforeseeable child sexual, physical and emotional abuse, trauma and self-destruction. The documentary, produced and directed by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) and narrated by Jane Fonda aired April 2009. In addition, she is the best-selling author of her compelling autobiography, Rising Above the Scars. Dr. Mcswain, is an expert in Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)/Trauma, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Sexual Violence (SV). She is a sought ought international speaker extraordinaire who tells it like it is with wit, charm, and wisdom. Wearing her fabulous stilettos, she aids to empower and inspire individuals to move from hopelessness to hope by sharing her enthralling journey of overcoming and triumphing brutal childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and escaping a life of self-destruction that included, unwanted pregnancy, high school drop-out, poverty, prison, drugs, promiscuity/self-trafficking and death. She is the true meaning that you too can Rise Above the Scars. She was awarded her Ph.D. in Social Work Policy and Administration from Clark Atlanta University December 2015. Making her the first doctor in her family’s generation. She passionately continues to travel globally sharing her story of how she broke the chains of abuse, trauma and self-destruction.
Dr. Williamson is a Professor in the Social Work department at The University of Toledo and Executive Director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. Dr. Williamson’s research focus has been in the area of human trafficking, with particular attention to domestic minor sex trafficking. She has published numerous articles, has delivered over 200 presentations and been the keynote speaker at more than 20 conferences. She also studies prostitution, vulnerable women, and drug abuse. She founded the first anti-trafficking program in Ohio in 1993. She has completed nine studies, 19 articles/reports, and edited two books on sex trafficking; and she has received federal funding from 2002 to 2012 to conduct research in this area. Additional accomplishments include: founding the annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference in Toledo; founding the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition; she sits as chair of the Research & Analysis Subcommittee for the Ohio Attorney General's Human Trafficking Commission; and is an Editorial Manager for the Journal of Human Trafficking. Through her work at the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute she combats human trafficking & supports victims through research, education, and engagement, including through the PATH project and a new youth prevention protocol.