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2018 Annual Conference Keynotes
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Performance of Shenanigans and Talk Back
(3 General CE Credits)
Monday, May 1 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM




After her mother’s unexpected death, a devoted daughter struggles to adjust to her newfound matriarchal duties. An intimate, dramatic, and humorous look at family systems theory from a “menopause baby”; who embraces her inherent dysfunction to care for her eccentric 82 year-old father and Smokey, the affable family pet.

Following the play will be an interactive discussion on the play writing process and the use of dramatic arts to examine generational diversity, grief, loss, resiliency, and family life cycles.

About Helena:
Helena D. Lewis is an award winning actress, poet, and playwright. Her one-person show, “Call Me Crazy: Diary of A Mad Social Worker,” chronicles her work in the social service field, portraying twenty-five characters from pimps to menopausal women. Call Me Crazy has had over fifteen sold-out performances and was profiled on the National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW) Social Workers Speak website and Rutgers Alumni Magazine. Call Me Crazy is the winner of the AUDELCO 2014 Best Solo-Performance Award, Best Short at the Downtown Urban Theater Festival in NY, and was festival Pick at the inaugural DC Black Theater Festival. Helena has also performed Call Me Crazy at the NASW-NJ 2012 Annual Conference, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Kumble Theater at Long Island University, Rutgers University School of Social Work Field Day, and was produced by Urbintel, Inc. in conjunction with the New York Public Library at the Schomburg Center in NY. Lewis has performed at numerous universities and colleges across the country and has been featured in the Peabody Award Winning series, “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Lewis is currently a member of the performance troupe HERStory, the host of VERSES at the Nuyorican Poets Café in NY, and the host of the Midnight Poetry Jams at the National Black Theater Festival (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, NC. Lewis was a featured performer at the 2015 Mother Tongue Monologues produced by Black Women’s Blueprint, and can be seen in the television series, “The Cipher;” the Hip-Hop horror movie, “Golddigger Killer,” which won Best Short at the Odyssey Awards; “What Goes Around Comes Around;” Freshman Seminar; and is a featured artist in “Art of Love & Struggle: Women in Hip-Hop.” Her new one-person play, Shenanigans, debuted at the 2015 Downtown Urban Theater Festival in NY at the HERE Arts Center.

In addition to her career as a performer, Lewis obtained her MSW from Rutgers University. After obtaining her BA in Biology, Lewis became a certified HIV/AIDS health educator and developed, implemented and supervised a drop-in center for drug-addicted prostitutes for the Community At Risk Reduction (CARR) Program in Newark, New Jersey. She also spoke at the New Jersey Women and AIDS Network Annual HIV/AIDS Symposium and her work with prostitutes has been featured on New Jersey News Network. Ms. Lewis currently works in the prisoner re-entry field. She helped develop a vocational rehabilitation component for a Department of Corrections (DOC) Community Release Program for women. She also spent three years working on a CDC/HRSA Correctional Demonstration Project providing prevention case management to HIV positive male inmates. Lewis is the former program manager of three transitional housing programs for formally incarcerated men and women. She is currently the Sociology and Criminal Justice Internship Coordinator for William Patterson. She is also the Substance Abuse Treatment Director for a residential facility for women inmates. For additional information about Helena D. Lewis, please visit


Ethics and Trauma
(2 Clinical, Ethics CE Credits)
Tuesday, May 1 from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM


Social workers offer care and support to clients facing overwhelming hardships. Compound that with today's world of 24/7 news and the constant input from our Social Media feeds, trauma and news of traumatic events becomes like a wave we cannot escape. Events such as mass shootings, police violence, natural disasters, racial disharmony, abuse recorded on video and heated political debates can be crushing not only to our clients who are often dealing with the traumas of daily life, but to social workers as well. 


Dr. Perkins is a Diplomate of the Board, American College of Certified Forensic Counselors and credentialed as a Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor and Clinically Certified Juvenile Treatment Specialist with a specialty in youthful offender counseling. He is also certified by the NC DHHS as a Certified Forensic Screener and Evaluator. Dr. Perkins has extensive
experience working with the juvenile justice and court systems and has engaged in direct practice with high and at-risk children and families as well as service-members, veterans and their families. All of which are populations that struggle through trauma. He has served as consultant, collaborator, and trainer with local, state and national agencies such the National Resource Center for Children and Youth Services at the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa and the North Carolina Justice Academy. In addition, Dr. Perkins was selected to join the NASW and People to People as a delegate on the US-China Joint Social Work Delegation to Beijing China. He is frequently featured in the local media regarding mental health
issues and has served as host to "Focus on Mental Health," a public affairs television program. 

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