The National Association of Social Workers-Maryland Chapter (NASW-MD) has named UMSSW adjunct faculty member Eric Jackson, MSW, as its Social Worker of the Year for 2019. NASW-MD presents the Social Worker of the Year award to the individual who has made significant and outstanding contributions to the profession of social work, displayed leadership in the profession, earned the respect of fellow social workers, represented the professional ethics of social work, and practiced in the field for no less than five years.
Jackson was recognized for his tireless dedication to the profession as well as his accomplishments along the way. Jackson has worked diligently to create spaces and organizations that build power for those who have been and continue to be oppressed. This work includes his leadership in founding the Baltimore-based Black Yield Institute, which strives to cultivate self-determination through “Black Land and Food Sovereignty.” His research and action around food apartheid in Baltimore has led him to be honored industry wide, featured as a presenter at conferences and events, and published both academically and in news media. A part of this work is his production of the film documentary “Baltimore’s Strange Fruit,” which further highlights the issue of food apartheid. Beyond his exemplary work for social justice, Jackson also contributes to the education of emerging social workers as an adjunct professor and clinical instructor at the School. He has been recognized by students as the Teacher of the Year and by staff as a Social Work Community Outreach Service Hero at the 25th Anniversary of the program.