March 21, 2012: Social Problem and Social Policy Lecture Features CEO Jonah Edelman, Stand for Children

Dean Jack Otis Social Problem and Social Policy Lecture

Closing the Achievement Gap: What Caring Adults Can Do to Help All Children Succeed

Jonah Edelman, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO, Stand for Children

Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 10:00–11:30 a.m.

Free admission. Public Welcome. Reception immediately following.

Location: UTOPIA Theatre, School of Social Work.

CEUs: 1.5 CEU /1.5 contact hours. Approved for Social Workers • LPC • LMFT

An advocate for public education in America, Jonah Edelman is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stand for Children, a growing and influential voice for students. He is committed to mobilizing Americans around a common goal of changing the odds for our children.

As a second generation civil rights leader–his mother, Marian Wright Edelman, was the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi bar and his father, Peter Edelman, was a close aide to Robert F. Kennedy–Jonah helped organize Stand for Children’s historic founding rally in Washington, D.C.. The “Stand for Children Day” rally was attended by more than 300,000 people, and was the largest rally for children in American history.

Jonah Edelman was born and raised in Washington, D.C., graduated from Yale University in 1992, and attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, where in three years (1992-1995) he earned masters and doctor of philosophy degrees in politics. In 1996, Jonah moved from direct service to activism, helping to organize Stand for Children Day, Stand for Children’s founding rally.

In 1998, after closely studying the work of a range of organizations, Jonah conceptualized Stand for Children’s grassroots advocacy approach and then moved to Oregon to field-test it himself. From that point, Stand for Children has grown steadily. Stand for Children’s members have won 60 state and local successes, securing more than $500 million in funding for schools and other urgently needed children’s programs, and impacting the lives of more than one million children.

On March 21, Kathy Armenta, LCSW, a member of the School of Social Work clinical faculty and a former school social worker, will moderate a panel of community respondents. Panelists include: Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Stacey Borasky, Assistant Professor and Chair, Social Work Department, St. Edward’s University; and Dr. Ramona Treviño, Chief Academic Officer, Austin Independent School District.

The late Jack Otis, Ph.D., professor emeritus and a former School of Social Work dean, established the Dean Jack Otis Endowed Social Problem and Social Policy Lecture series to inspire more academic attention to current social problems. For more information about the lecture series, go to: