The 33rd National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS Pre-Conference $100

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Welcome to the 33rd National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS Pre-Conference! 

The National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS, founded in 1988, is an annual event that offers social workers, allied professionals, and people affected by HIV and AIDS, the connections, tools, learning opportunities, and strategies they need to understand and implement effective practices in their agencies and communities. Our goals for attendees of the 33rd National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS are to gain knowledge, be challenged, and be renewed.

The theme for the 2021 conference is Rise Up HIV & AIDS Social Work(ers)! Social workers know that HIV and AIDS is not merely a health issue but often a result of poverty, racism, homophobia, and stigma. We will not see an end to the HIV and AIDS epidemic without addressing the systems and policies that perpetuate social injustice and continue to contribute to health inequities.

The purpose of pre-conference sessions is to provide more intensive training that connects theory to practice than can be offered during a traditional conference breakout session. These sessions are designed to offer training on practical application of social work theories and best practices.


  • Keep It Simple: HIV 101 Facilitator: Cicely Richard, MSW
  • Building Racial Equity Organizations in Social Service Settings-Facilitator -Christine Campbell, MSOD
  • Best Practice: promoting ethical decision making-Facilitators: Evelyn Tomaszewski, MSW, and Jill Sabatine, MSW, MPH

Collaborative Solutions, Inc. (ACE Provider Approval #1548) is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Collaborative Solutions, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 05/16/2021 - 05/16/2024. Social workers participating in Pre- Conference will receive up to 3.5 continuing education credits.  

You will need to select the Pre-Conference Session you would like to attend at checkout. Upon registering, you will receive an email with login instructions for the session you choose on Monday, May 17, 2021. 

Cancellation Policy 2021: If you must cancel your conference registration, a written refund request must be received by May 7, 2021.  If a written refund request is received by this date, your conference registration fee will be refunded. Granted refunds will be processed no later than 3 weeks after the conference.  Cancellations received after May 7, 2021, and event no-shows will not be refunded.

Special Accommodations: Although all requests cannot be guaranteed, we strive to create an environment where each attendee has an opportunity to participate fully in the conference. For special accommodations (e.g., sign language interpreters, materials in alternative formats, additional directional guidance, etc.) please contact Valencia Moss, Organizational Learning & Events Specialist, at or 205-939-0411 as soon as possible.

Grievance Policy and Procedure: Your satisfaction is important to us. Therefore, complaints are taken seriously. Complaints might be generated by event attendees, regulatory boards, and/or sponsoring agencies and could involve refund requests, course content/materials, instructor qualifications, event facilities, completion certificates, or other matters. Collaborative Solutions, Inc. (CS) will respond to all complaints in a timely and ethical matter. The steps below describe the due process for complaint resolution.

Grievance Policy and Procedure

Grievance Form

Facilitator: Cicely Richard, MSW

In today's world, with so many things happening, it is essential to keep things simple. In HIV prevention and treatment, clients and patients must understand their diagnosis and risk factors to live a long healthy life. Medical jargon, public health acronyms, insurance lingo, and other healthcare frustrations can overwhelm a person seeking prevention services or treatment options. The client-centered approach focuses on genuine support and helping the client/patient reach a more congruent view of self. This workshop aims to keep the message simple for our patients and clients. During this 3-hour workshop, we will: 1. Focus on patient/client scenarios concerning how jargon (medical, social work, public health) can overwhelm the average client and demonstrate an empathetic understanding and remain non-judgmental to the client. 2. Provide awareness of resources concerning patient education and helpful educational tools. Overall, this workshop aims to provide real-world examples and practical tools to educate patients and clients in HIV 101. It is essential to understand the person, circumstances, all in their social or world context to provide helpful information to give a comprehensive overview of HIV 101 and treatment options. Engaging a patient/client to provide HIV/AIDS prevention/treatment education requires a multifaceted approach. We sometimes have to think outside of the box to reach those in need. This session will include videos, discussions, and interactive tools for participant input.

Learning Objectives:

  • To focus on patient/client scenarios concerning how jargon (medical, social work, public health) can overwhelm the average client.
  • Demonstrate an empathetic understanding and remain non-judgmental to the client.
  • Provide awareness of resources concerning Patient education and helpful educational tools.

Facilitators: Evelyn Tomaszewski, MSW and Jill Sabatine, MSW, MPH

HIV syndemics require our understanding of the intersectionality and impact of social, environmental, economic, and a myriad of systemic factors on clients and communities.  This is even more acute with the parallel public health pandemic of COVID19, as we find more communities, agencies, and individuals struggling for resources, clients concerned about confidentiality and equitable access to care and treatment, and the reality of stigma and discrimination.   The impact of growing health inequities, increased poverty, social isolation, xenophobia, and racism has led to decreased resources for providers and agencies and policy guidance that finds social workers faced with practice dilemmas. As professional social workers, we aspire to adhere to a practice rooted in the core values of commitment to service to others, promoting social justice, belief in the dignity and worth of the person and the importance of human relationships, and in our commitment to practice with integrity.  As professional social workers, we commit to upholding the ethical standards, as outlined in the Code of Ethics, to honor and act responsibly to clients, to communities, to our profession and as professionals, and to the broader society. The desire and commitment to translate these words into practice requires self-awareness, the ability to assess implicit and explicit biases, and to address ethical dilemmas that emerge at the individual, organizational, or systemic level. Workshop participants will use a  syndemics framework to understand the complexities of HIV/AIDS and take a holistic approach to identify and understand implicit and explicit bias and the connection to ethical dilemmas at the micro and macro levels of practice.  Participants will have the opportunity to explore our individual and institutional attitudes and bias,  the impact and role of professional values, and how the five guiding principles (of ethical decision making) and a decision-making framework can promote more mindfulness in ethical decision making.   Practitioners across all fields of practice – be it in direct services, pre-service, and/or administrative roles are welcome. Come prepared to work in small and large groups and to share resources.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Upon completion, using a syndemics framework, participants will review and discuss common ethical dilemmas that arise across diverse practice modalities. 
  • Upon completion, participants will understand implicit and explicit bias, the complexities of stigma, bias, and discrimination at the individual and systems levels, and the impact on clients and providers.
  • Upon completion, participants will review guiding principles to ethical decision-making and apply a guided framework to address and promote ethical decision-making across the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice.

Building Racial Equity Organizations in Social Service Settings

Facilitators: Christine Campbell, MSOD

There is nothing specific about Black bodies that make us more susceptible to HIV, and yet nearly half the new HIV diagnoses in the United States are among Black people. This is a result of systemic oppression often in the form of anti-Black racist policies and practices. The root of this oppression is white supremacy ideologies, policies, and practices that ultimately impact HIV service organizations’ culture and practices for Black communities. This white supremacy work culture, the norms adopted without being pro-actively named or chosen by the group, suppresses creative thinking, influences hiring practice, and creates a less effective environment for ending the HIV epidemic. We must identify and name the practices and standards that prevent forward movement, and begin to offer counternarratives and recommendations to dismantling this white supremacy work culture (WSWC). As stated by Ijeoma Oluo, “If you live in this system of white supremacy, you are either fighting the system or you are complicit. There is no neutrality to be had towards systems of injustice, it is not something you can just opt-out of.” This interactive workshop will provide capacity building on dismantling WSWC. We will support allied professional case managers to evaluate their individual ideologies and organizational cultures and structures. The overarching goal of this workshop is to support them in developing a culture of collective learning, support, and inclusion in the pursuit of their programmatic goals. The virtual space will be designed to be interactive through group discussions, reflective exercises, breakout sessions, etc. The workshop will begin with a collective establishment of ground rules in order to create a brave space for discussion and begin and end with a deep breathing exercise, which has been demonstrated by research to calm your body down and help you to clear your thoughts during heated and uncomfortable moments. We will review core concepts related to WSWC and anti-Blackness, discuss how they manifest in HIV service organizations, articulate strategies to resist them at various levels of the organization, and elicit on the ground examples from participants.  

Learning Objectives:

Identify elements of white supremacy work culture and anti-blackness that manifest in HIV/STD service organizations that impact clients/case management relationships.

Provide examples for dismantling white supremacy work culture within their organizations and provide personal recommendations of engagement.

Discuss the dismantling of white supremacy work culture and provide immediate steps and recommendations for individual and organizational growth to better serve their clients.