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About Us

Strengthening, Empowering, & Uplifting the pipeline of Latino and bilingual social workers


To increase the number of culturally and linguistically competent Latino and bilingual social workers serving low income and underserved communities. We support social work students and professionals in achieving their academic and professional goals by providing:

  • Scholarships

  • Community Outreach and Networking Opportunities

  • Mentorship

  • Continuing Education and Professional Development Opportunities

Our Story

In 2000, the Puerto Rican Family Institute (PRFI), and the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NYC) began a collaboration to address the shortage of Latino social workers in New York City. Both organizations had become aware that more culturally and linguistically competent professionals were urgently needed to address the complex needs of New York’s diverse, largely immigrant, low-income, and rapidly-growing Latino community.


As part of that collaboration, in 2002, the two organizations convened a well-attended public policy forum entitled “Pa’lante” (Moving Forward) which identified key issues including the service needs of Latino community, social policy and social action issues, and the components of social work training and education. The forum led to the formation of the Latino Social Work Task Force (and now the Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund -LSWC). 

Luisa Lopez, MSW

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President, Board of Directors

Ruby Burdiez, MA, PMP

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Vice President, Board of Directors

Yurilka Hernandez, LCSW

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Secretary, Board of Directors

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