Jennifer Jones Austin has been appointed a visiting scholar at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work.
Jones Austin, a leader in anti-poverty and social justice policy, advocacy, and law, will work to develop curricula, advance social work policy and poverty initiatives, and deepen the school’s community engagement.
“I’m trained in the law, but have worked throughout my career with social workers,” Jones Austin said. “That’s why I like to call myself a lawyer with a social worker’s heart. It’s also why I am excited for the opportunity to work with Dean Lindsey and his colleagues at NYU Silver during an inflection point for both the profession and society. Their vision for social work training recognizes that individuals, families and communities in need are best served when we are also prepared to move institutions and societal structures toward more equitable policies and practices.”
Jones Austin is CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA); chair of the NYC Racial Justice Commission; vice chair of the Board of National Action Network; member of the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior Advisory Board at Harvard University; and scholar-in-residence at Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary Center for Racial Reconciliation.
“Jennifer is a standard bearer for values that social workers hold dear: social justice, equity and inclusion,” said Dr. Michael A. Lindsey, dean of the NYU Silver School. “As the chair of the New York City Racial Justice Commission, this year she converted these values into action, ensuring the passage of three first-in-the nation racial justice ballot proposals. Our students and the rest of the Silver Community will benefit greatly from her wisdom and advocacy.”
Jones Austin holds a law degree from Fordham University School of Law, a master’s degree in management and policy from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.
She is the author of the book Consider it Pure Joy.