Meredith C.F. Powers

Dr. Meredith C.F. Powers (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at UNC Greensboro. She has served as a university Sustainability Faculty Fellow, is the Social Work faculty liaison for the International Programs Center, and serves on the School of Health and Human Sciences’ committee for internationalizing the curriculum. She has co-authored and co-edited a growing body of work on climate justice, climate migration, the ecosocial worldview, and eco-therapeutic practices for healing. 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). She is the Founder and Director of the International Federation of Social Workers Climate Justice Program. 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. Additionally, Dr. Powers has initiated and co-led several community-engaged action research projects, such as “Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice” about climate migration and resettlement, “Parks for All People”, for the extensive enhancement of Smith Active Adult Center’s outdoor recreation spaces, and most recently, a memorial garden project in Greensboro, "The Service and Bravery Commemorative Garden" (SBC Garden) to honor military service members and veterans who are transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary. Dr. Powers was recently a keynote speaker on “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.

There are 23 included publications by Meredith C.F. Powers :

TitleDateViewsBrief Description
Anti-Racist Social Work: Transformative Change to Promote Climate Justice and Racial Equity 2020 83 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 901 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 112 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 67 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 53 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 286 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 46 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 145 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 213 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 235 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 298 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 62 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 966 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 736 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...
Preparing social workers for ecosocial work practice and community building 2019 388 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...
Seeing the Connections: Climate Change and Migration 2019 85 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 1581 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 1633 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 10813 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 180 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 160 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 62 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 1181 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...