Social Work Celebrates 20 Years of Community Engagement with Annual Forum

Community Forum in Schaeffer Auditorium

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – The Department of Social Work at Kutztown University is proud to announce the 20th Annual Community Forum, a pivotal event dedicated to fostering dialogue and solutions around reproductive rights, health and freedom 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 29, Schaeffer Auditorium. This gathering is a cornerstone event for social work professionals, university community members and community leaders.

This year’s forum is themed around reproductive rights, reflecting a commitment to addressing critical issues impacting families and communities. The event is open to the public, offering a platform for extensive discussion and collaborative solution-finding. Registration is available online at

Distinguished Keynote Speaker

Dr. Vijayan K. Pillai, a distinguished professor of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington and a renowned advocate for reproductive rights, will feature as the keynote speaker for this year's forum. Pillai's extensive body of work, notably his contributions to social development and abortion policies, highlights the forum's commitment to fostering meaningful dialogue on these essential topics.

Pillai, the author of "Social Development and Abortion Policies in the United States: State-Wise Variations," has dedicated his career to the field of reproductive rights. His appointment as a distinguished member of the National Council on Women’s Issues has been hailed as a pivotal moment for both the council and the broader social work profession. Renowned for his role as an advocate and his substantial research contributions, Pillai's expertise and dedication are evident in his work.

His co-authored texts, including "Women’s Reproductive Rights in Developing Countries," "Reproductive Health in Yemen," "Designing Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Programs" and "Communication and Education for Health Promotion and Population Regulation: A Global Perspective" further illustrate his commitment to advancing women's rights globally.

Featured Sessions and Speakers

The forum will also highlight a diverse lineup of speakers and sessions, including:

  • Adam Hosey on Reproductive Rights in Pennsylvania
  • Amber Brown from Planned Parenthood on Education and Training
  • Rachel Bernini with remarks from SAM
  • Ashley Sullivan on Perinatal Mental Health Disorders
  • Kahryn Brandt on justice for women and the LGBTQ+ community

In addition to these insightful presentations, the event will feature the Diversity Prize Scholarships and the Proclamation of Social Work Month, underscoring Kutztown University’s commitment to social work education and community service.

Continuing Education Credits

Attendees can earn up to six continuing education credits, including three ethics credits, applicable for licensed social workers, marriage and family therapists and professional counselors.

About Kutztown University Department of Social Work

The Department of Social Work at Kutztown University offers nationally accredited BSW, MSW and DSW programs, tailored to meet the diverse needs of rural, suburban and urban communities. Through high-quality curricula and program activities, the department is committed to preparing students for the challenges and opportunities in the field of social work.