Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Lecture and Distinguished Alumni Award Celebration

Honoring our Common Humanity: Overcoming Anti-Black Racism in Social Work Education

Monday, February 1, 2021
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Lecture is one in a series of events offered each year by the School of Social Work. In 2021, Dexter R. Voisin, PhD, dean of the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash School of Social Work and the Sandra Rotman Chair in Social Work, delievered the keynote address. His remarks aligned with the school’s 2020–21 equity, justice, and inclusion theme of “Good Trouble: Disrupting White Supremacy in Social Work.”

Following his lecture, the school honored the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards, which recognize BCSSW MSW or PhD alumni who have made significant contributions to the social work profession. This year's winners were Charlene Luma, BA ’03, MSW ’05, and Charu Stokes-Williams, PhD ’11.

About the Keynote Speaker


Dexter R. Voisin

Dexter R. Voisin, PhD, is the dean of the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash School of Social Work and the Sandra Rotman Chair in Social Work. Prior to his appointment at U of T, he was Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago for two decades. During this time, he was a Faculty affiliate at both the Center for the Study of Race, Culture, and Politics and the Center for Health and the Social Sciences. He was also the Director of the STI/HIV Intervention Network and the Co-Director of the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination. Full biography »

A photo of Dexter R. Voisin

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners


Distinguished Alumni Award Winner: Charlene Luma, BA ’03, MSW ’05

Charlene Luma is a native a Boston with over 15 years’ experience as a clinical social worker working with high-risk individuals and families. Ms. Luma has committed her career to serving individuals impacted by trauma, violence, and the criminal justice system. She currently serves as the Chief of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. In her previous role, she launched and served as Director at the Boston Trauma Response Team, a program of the Justice Resource Institute, providing trauma response services to those impacted by homicides and violent crimes in Boston.

Ms. Luma has committed her career to serving individuals impacted by trauma, violence, and the criminal justice system. Her past experiences include managing a program that providing clinical services to court involved youth and adults, providing therapeutic services to victims of domestic violence in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and working as a clinician alongside police officers to provide services to the most high-risk youth in the Boston community.

A photo of Charlene Luma


Distinguished Recent Alumni Award Winner: Charu Stokes-Williams, PhD ’11

A photo of Charu Stokes-Williams

Charu Stokes-Williams, PhD '11, is a Major in the United States Air Force currently serving as the Flight Commander for the Mental Health Clinic at the 39th Medical Group at Incirlik Air Base in Adana, Turkey. She overseas the Mental Health, Alcohol, and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment, Family Advocacy, and Outreach programs of military members, retirees, contractors, and Turkish host nationals. Her previous military positions include being stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska, Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kunsan Air Base in Kunsan, South Korea, and Minot Air Force Base in Minot, North Dakota. She is deeply committed to her career in the military and thrives in her role as officer and mentor to airmen.

She has a global perspective in her passion for social work education, justice, research, and policy. This goes beyond her unique role as a military officer and into her previous practice experience working in South Africa and Malawi. She continues to teach graduate social work students as an adjunct faculty member and continues to publish articles with her academic colleagues. She has a genuine commitment to educating the next generation of social workers.

She earned her BS from Liberty University,  MSW from the University of Michigan, and PhD from the Boston College School of Social Work. She has her independent clinical social work license, is board certified, and has specialized clinical training in Trauma therapies and Primary Care Behavioral Health. She is a board member for the American Board of Clinical Social Work and serves on the Exam Development Committee for the Association of Social Work Boards. In her spare time, she loves traveling with her husband Kevin to exotic places around the world.