Brown School Students Visit the United Nations

Community Engagement; Policy; Public Health; Social Work; Students

Two Brown School students were awarded the chance to join social work students, educators and practitioners from around the world at the United Nations for Social Work Day. 

This year’s theme addressed sustainable development goals, climate change and social work practice, focusing both on global issues that affect social work practice and how social workers can be a part of global solutions.  

“Working alongside students, educators and innovators in pursuit of international social, economic, and environmental development is the reason why I chose to pursue international social work at the Brown School,” stated attendee Cat Nguyen, a second-year MSW in International Social and Economic Development. “Being able to participate at the United Nations was an enlightening experience and was a perfect opportunity to bridge my interests in sustainable development with environmental justice. My dream career is to be able to relate social work’s core values with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to advance gender and environmental equity.” 

Social Work Day at the UN has been a tradition for 35 years. The event allows social work students, practitioners and educators to learn about UN projects and issues that are related to international social work—and hear from leading experts.  

“Our professors commonly reference their involvement across the globe. So to sit in the UN conference room and listen to professionals who are implementing the values and global efforts we learn about was really wonderful,” said MSW attendee Brynn Kizer, also a second-year International Social and Economic Development student. 

“Mark Chambers, an urbanist, architect, and the current director of sustainability for New York City, was my favorite speaker at the event,” Kizer continued. “His current efforts directly appeal to my interests in reduce, reuse and recycle programming. Recognizing that the United States is a leading global polluter, it was encouraging to learn more about the strategies being implemented by large U.S. cities to catalyze sustainable change in current consumer habits.” 

Nguyen and Kizer were selected to attend the event by the Brown School’s Global Programs Office after writing winning essays on their passion for being a part of the collaborative event. Hundreds of students from around the world attended.