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Graduate Student Co-Authors Statements for UN

Monmouth University social work graduate student Sophia Caporusso, alongside social work associate professors Anne Deepak, Ph.D., and Michael Cronin, Ph.D., co-authored statements on behalf of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) that were submitted to and published by the United Nations (UN). The UN North American team submitted these statements to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and Commission for Social Development (CsocD).
The IFSW is a global body for the social work profession. The members of this group aim to expand social justice, human rights, and inclusive and sustainable social and economic development in countries all around the world through social work.

When Caporusso started the internship last year, she was excited to begin “macro work,” which is social work that overlooks large bodies and topics. Once she started at the IFSW, she began writing statements for them and other councils with the help of professors both from Monmouth and other schools. “This was a collaboration between Rachel Gentile of Fordham University, Elaine Congress (Associate Dean at Fordham University), Dr. Anne Deepak (supervisor, MU School of Social Work), and myself. This process was repeated for the CSocD statement which was completed in November,” said Caporusso.

Deepak, who has taught at Monmouth since 2014, has written several times for the IFSW including being a co-author on papers such as “New Policy: The Role of Social Workers In Advancing A New Eco-Social World” in 2022, and several others. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to represent IFSW at the UN. Through our work, we hope to influence UN policy and progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s an opportunity to highlight the goals of IFSW of co-building an eco-social world and the work that social workers are doing throughout the world to support communities and families, organize for change, and co-build an eco-social world,” said Deepak.

Deepak was initially appointed as a representative to the UN for the IFSW in 2019, and Cronin is the IFSW UN Commissioner for North America. Their team includes Caporusso as an intern as well as Gentile, Congress, Monmouth’s Robin Mama, George Mason University’s Evelyn Tomeszewski, and Shenae Osborn.

“As a social worker, to get to work on projects like this is motivating. Addressing human rights issues is something I have always had a passion for. Being able to work on and with those passions as a career is a dream come true and I could not imagine doing anything else,” Caporusso explained.

The work Caporusso, Deepak, and Cronin are doing is actively changing the way social work is seen and conducted, as well as helping to make policy changes with Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and large bodies for change such as the UN. “I hope that our partnership with the UN and other NGOs advances an understanding of the role of social workers and IFSW in co-building an eco-social world,” said Deepak.

The statement written for the CSW states the goal for the commission which is “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.” The introductory statement also addresses concerns, plans and other points of conversation for the commission to go over before the article goes over what the intended topics of discussion are.

Additionally, the three co-wrote a statement that was sent to the CsocD. The four-paragraph statement, which is similar to a written meeting agenda, talks about goals for the UN and recent past accomplishments. The statement, once read, is reminiscent of a call to arms for social workers, justice advocates, and other United Nations professionals who deal with the injustice and disparity seen in the everyday world. The article later covers issues and topics such as global poverty, the right to development, decent work and social protections, and having or not having a social solidarity economy.

Caporusso has also had previous achievements at Monmouth such as being on the IFSW Model UN Team in New York with several of her professors back in June of 2023. Caporusso, when interviewed about her work as a specialized intern on the Model United Nations team in October of 2023, stated that she hopes “to bring more attention and credibility to the profession as a way for improving our world.” Now, Caporusso is leading the way for social workers, and especially other young women in the field of social work to join her, both in positions in places like the UN and in the social work field.

“I hope that other social workers and social work students feel empowered to address the many issues currently at hand. Wherever your passion may fall, may you feel supported and empowered to continue the work,” concluded Caporusso.