Keith A. Alford Honored for Activism and Service
Last fall, Social Work Degree Guide published a listing of its“30 Most Influential Social Workers Alive Today.” The magazine, which provides information and guidance on social work education and careers, described the honorees as “experts who instigate awareness and advocate for those affected by social disadvantage, such as poverty, abuse, illness, disability or social injustice.” Falk College Associate Professor of Social Work Keith A. Alford was listed ninth on this compilation that includes educators, activists, authors and public servants.
Alford teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses in human diversity, social work intervention, field instruction, family mental health and social work practice with black families. His students and colleagues also recognize him as a community advocate with leadership service to organizations that include board membership with the Onondaga County Public Library and AccessCNY (formerly Enable/TLS), which provides support for children and adults with disabilities. He facilitates the Community-Wide Dialogues on Race sponsored by InterFaith Works of Central New York, an organization that builds bridges of understanding among people of different religions and across racial divides, where he also sits on the board of directors.
In recognition of his ongoing community service and advocacy, he will receive the 2015 Harriet Tubman Spirit Award from the Bethany Baptist Church on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. at 149 Beattie St. The award presentation is part of the church’s annual Turning Another Page (TAP) Festival, taking place Feb. 26-28 in commemoration of Black History Month. On Feb. 28, Alford will be a featured panelist discussing the film “The House I Live In,” which will be shown that evening at 6 p.m. in the church sanctuary. The documentary offers a detailed look at the profound human rights implications of the war on drugs.
Earlier this year, Alford’s co-edited book, “Rural Families and Reshaping Human Services,” was released, providing essential strategies and programs to address the needs of families in rural communities in a time when services are being dismantled and diminished. Originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Family Social Work, the book organizes its chapters by identification of the needs of rural families, addressing disparities in rural areas, practice in rural communities and human service organizations and professionals. It includes a chapter by Falk College professor of social work Deborah Monahan titled “Family Caregivers for Seniors in Rural Areas.”
Alford’s areas of research specialization include mental health service delivery to children and families, culturally specific programming for children in out-of-home care, contemporary rites of passage programming and loss/grief reactions among African American families. He currently serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of Brief Therapy and the Journal of Family Social Work. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and is a licensed independent social worker for the state of Ohio. He is an active member of the Council on Social Work Education and the National Association of Social Workers as well as an affiliate member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.