The New Color is Green: Social Work Practice and Service-Learning


  • Emma T. Lucas-Darby Carlow University



Service-learning, environmental concerns, greening community practice


Attention to saving the environment is gaining momentum daily. Citizens have a fundamental right to protect the environment from harm due to human activities. The profession of social work has a role to play in greening and sustaining the environment. The inclusion of this content in social work courses is a natural fit given the profession’s person-in-environment perspective which emphasizes the relationship between individuals, their behavior and the environment and advocacy for preservation of human welfare and human rights. Participatory environmentalism considers the role of community members in demonstrating their civic responsibility toward preservation of the natural environment and resources. Social work students must be encouraged to accept vital leadership roles that address environmental concerns in addition to serving client populations. A community practice course which includes a service-learning requirement chose “greening” as a theme. Students worked with communities to identify and implement semester-long “green” projects.

Author Biography

Emma T. Lucas-Darby, Carlow University

Professor Department of Social Work Carlow University Pittsburgh, PA 15213