LAWRENCE — Columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. and clinical psychologist and author Harriet Lerner will offer keynote speeches at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare’s annual alumni event, Social Work Day, on Friday, April 11, at the Kansas Union. More than 350 social workers and KU alumni will gather to hear and learn about the latest developments and therapies in social work today. Social Work Day is a one-day conference featuring keynote speakers and eight workshops provided by KU faculty.
In a career spanning more than 35 years, Leonard Pitts Jr. is the author of one of the most popular newspaper columns in the country and of a series of critically acclaimed books, including his latest, a novel called "Freeman." And his lifelong devotion to the art and craft of words has yielded stellar results, chief among them the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
But that is only the capstone of a career filled with prizes for literary excellence. In 1997, Pitts took first place for commentary in division four (newspapers with a circulation of more than 300,000) in the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors’ Ninth Annual Writing Awards competition. He is a three-time recipient of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Award of Excellence and was chosen NABJ’s 2008 Journalist of the Year. Pitts is a five-time recipient of the Atlantic City Press Club’s National Headliners Award and a seven-time recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Award.
Lerner is one of the nation’s most respected voices on the psychology of women and the process of change in couples and families. For more than three decades, she was a staff psychologist at The Menninger Clinic in Topeka and a faculty member and supervisor in the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry. Currently in private practice in Lawrence, she is the author of numerous scholarly articles and 11 books, including The New York Times best-seller, “The Dance of Anger,” “Women in Therapy” and most recently, “Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up.” She is also, with her sister, an award-winning children’s book author, and she hosts a blog for Psychology Today.
Social Work Day is an annual event organized by the School of Social Welfare and The Social Work Alumni Society. The last day to register for the event is Friday, April 4. Registration and more information are available online.