Meredith C.F. Powers

Dr. Meredith C.F. Powers (she/her/hers) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at UNC Greensboro. She teaches, facilitates community-engaged, action research, and has co-authored and co-edited a growing body of open-access work on topics of climate justice, climate migration, ecosocial worldviews, eco-therapeutic practices for healing, and justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. She has presented her research nationally and internationally at professional conferences, including being invited as a keynote speaker at the United Nations for World Social Work Day (2018). Dr. Powers was recently a keynote speaker, presenting “Collaboration and Current Efforts for Climate Justice”, and was honored with the inaugural “Environmental Justice Champion Award” at the 2021 Virtual Conference on Environmental Justice, hosted by the Institute for Social Work and Environmental Justice in partnership with Adelphi University. Dr. Powers is the founding Director of the Climate Justice Program of the International Federation of Social Workers. She also established and co-administers the global Green / Environmental Social Work Collaborative Network. Nationally, Dr. Powers serves as a member of the Grand Challenges for Social Work committee, “Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment.” Locally, Dr. Powers is a founding board member of the “IDEAL League”, which has the mission to provide equitable access to inclusive literacy materials and educational activities that affirm, advocate for, and empower youth, including climate literacy. Additionally, Dr. Powers has initiated and/or co-led several community-engaged action research projects, such as, “Parks for All People”, for the extensive enhancement of Smith Active Adult Center’s outdoor recreation spaces; “Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice”, focused on global and local climate migration and resettlement; and, most recently, “All That We Share”, an inclusive community public art project that will serve to enhance our community as we advocate for inclusive excellence, celebrate our diversity, and strengthen our bonds to each other and our environment.

There are 26 included publications by Meredith C.F. Powers :

TitleDateViewsBrief Description
Anti-Racist Social Work: Transformative Change to Promote Climate Justice and Racial Equity 2020 150 The Chinese philosopher, Confucius once said, “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” In the context of the ongoing global climate crisis, and the recent global health pandemic due to COVID-19, we often speak of “risk factor...
Applying a Social Justice Framework to Photovoice Research on Environmental Issues: A Comprehensive Literature Review 2012 1046 The need to address the environmental crisis is becoming more urgent. The consequences of unsustainable environmental practices are detrimental to the wellbeing of people globally as well as the environment. This is of concern to social workers as th...
Climate Justice and Social Work 2019 172 While the global climate crisis impacts all of us, those who are marginalized or oppressed experience it to an even greater extent. Much of the burden of unsustainable consumption patterns has fallen on the most vulnerable people in the world, who ty...
Climate Justice Literacy [video recording] 2021 269 Video recording of a lecture given February 12, 2021 as part of the UNCG Sustainability Lecture & Dialogue Series.
Co-Creating a “Sustainable New Normal” for Social Work and Beyond: Embracing an Ecosocial Worldview 2021 271 We have an opportunity to help shape new systems and structures that redress injustices and course correct us for a trajectory that is infinitely better than the one on which we are now set. We can co-create a sustainable new normal, intentionally an...
Degrowth for transformational alternatives as radical social work practice 2019 540 Historically, and in modern times, social workers have been culpable in perpetuating the very systems of oppression that we seek to eliminate. This happens as we are part of cultures and economies that operate out of the growth ideology. Acting in ac...
Disaster, Environmental Justice, and Eco-Therapy: Social Work in the Face of Climate Change 2018 72 We live in a world plagued with environmental disasters and injustices of all kinds and we know the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters are due to climate change1-- which is directly exacerbated by global human behavior. Thankfull...
Ecosocial work and social change in community practice 2019 325 This special issue entitled, “Ecosocial Work and Social Change in Community Practice,” focuses on an array of contexts, policies, practices, and challenges as well as successes related to an emerging vision for ecosocial work. Ecosocial work is socia...
Embracing an ecosocial worldview for climate justice and collective healing 2021 380 We are faced with an ongoing global climate crisis, the more recent public health crisis brought on by COVID-19, increased racial and police violence, ableism, and the intersecting injustices surrounding gender and sexuality. From an autoethnographic...
Environmental Leadership through Campus Project Teams: Green Structures for Linking Students, Faculty, and Staff 2012 366 Traditional leadership models and organizational structures are an impediment to the full realization of the mission of most campus sustainability offices. At the University of South Carolina, applying green values across the campus has gone beyond t...
Environmental migration: Social work at the nexus of climate change and global migration 2018 585 Environmental migrants are caught at the nexus of the climate crisis and the global migrant crisis. The problems of the migrant crisis are recognized globally as they are linked to the complex issues being addressed by the United Nations’ Sustainable...
Establishing a professional career that addresses the environmental crisis 2017 82 Some of you may be wondering how you could focus your future social work career on environmental issues. Others may not yet see the connection between environmental issues and social work; I hope to clarify this for you in this essay. Wherever you ar...
From Snapshot to Civic Action: A Photovoice Facilitator’s Manual 2012 1292 This photovoice facilitator’s manual is a product developed to help research facilitators design and implement a comprehensive photovoice research project in collaboration with community stakeholders. Photovoice is a popular technique used for commun...
Green Social Work for Environmental Justice: Implications for International Social Workers 2018 2172 Green social work is a holistic perspective that seeks to secure the well-being of people and the planet through reforming socio-political power structures (Dominelli, 2012). It is an eco-centric perspective that respects not only humans, but also va...
International perspectives on eco-social work practice [Audio podcast episode] 2022 17 The Eco-Social Work in Australia podcast series has been expanded to include guest interviews with social work professionals who either practice outside of Australia or with individuals who work in closely allied fields, such as public health or psyc...
Preparing social workers for ecosocial work practice and community building 2019 901 In the context of the global ecological crisis, the profession of social work is increasingly shifting to embrace an ecosocial lens, recognizing the centrality of the ecological environment for human existence and the inextricable linkages of wellbei...
Radical Self-Care for Social Workers in the Global Climate Crisis 2020 351 Gradual environmental degradation, more extreme climate change events, and related environmental injustices affect individuals and communities every day. Social work entities around the world are increasingly highlighting professional responsibilitie...
Raising awareness of transformative ecosocial work: Participatory action research with Australian practitioners 2020 77 This article reports on Participatory Action Research with social work practitioners who collaboratively explored the effects on professional practice when practitioners raise their awareness of an ecosocial work approach. Although contemporary resea...
Seeing the Connections: Climate Change and Migration 2019 195 As social workers we are taught to see how things are interconnected-person in environment. We often work in situations to intervene with service users when the environment is no longer healthy or sustainable, such as in a case of domestic violence, ...
Social work promoting community and environmental sustainability: A workbook for global social workers and educators (Volume 2) 2018 2799 Incredible work is being done all over the world by social workers addressing issues at the nexus of community and environmental sustainability. We hope this book will inspire you, whether you have been involved with these issues for decades, or you ...
Social work promoting community and environmental sustainability: A workbook for global social workers and educators (Volume 3) 2019 3168 Around the world social workers are coming alongside communities that are unfairly impacted by climate injustices and helping to create solutions. In these roles, we must consider the opportunities of promoting community and environmental sustainabil...
Social Work Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability: A Workbook for Social Work Practitioners and Educators (Volume 1) 2017 15908 Incredible work is being done all over the world by social workers addressing issues at the nexusof community and environmental sustainability. Whether you are a longtime supporter of socialworkers investing in social and environmental sustainability...
Sustaining Climate Justice Work: Reflections on Being “Grounded” 2021 228 As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us all to take necessary and continuous measures for health precautions, at times it has felt a bit like “being grounded” - like when we were kids and suffered “grounding” as a punishment so we couldn’t go out and ...
Transforming the profession: Social workers’ expanding response to the environmental crisis 2016 248 With mounting scientific evidence about the global environmental crisis, an urgent call to action exists promoting sustainable environmental practices that enhance the wellbeing of humans and the ecological systems in which they live (Besthorn 2002, ...
The Urgent Need for Advocacy Work in Creating a “New Normal” for People and Planet 2020 96 Social workers are essential workers in all communities and across all levels of practice. Now, more than ever, we ALL need to urgently advocate as we create a “new normal” with justice for people and planet. In considering what our “new normal” shou...
Using Photovoice to Develop a Grounded Theory of Socio-Environmental Attributes Influencing the Health of Community Environments 2014 1424 In this study, we used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) method, ‘photovoice’, to engage eighteen residents living in public housing in an examination of person-in-environment factors perceived to facilitate or hinder health and well-be...