DR. CHARLES E. LEWIS, JR.
Dr. Charles E. Lewis, Jr. is the Director of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy. He served as deputy chief of staff and communications director for former Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns and was the staff coordinator for the Congressional Social Work Caucus. As staff coordinator for the Social Work Caucus, Dr. Lewis helped to plan and to coordinate numerous briefings and events on the Hill and in the 10th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York. He founded CRISP to encourage social workers to engage Congress and be actively involved in the political arena.
Dr. Lewis is an adjunct professor at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California where he teaches communications courses in the Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program. He is also a lecturer at Columbia University's School of Social Work and supervises students in the MSW policy concentration. He was on the faculty of Howard University School of Social Work prior to going to the Hill to work with Mr. Towns.
A professional social worker, Dr. Lewis received his M.S.W. degree in clinical counseling at the Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University. He earned his Ph.D. in social policy analysis at the Columbia University School of Social Work in 2002. He strongly believes that social workers have much to bring to the policy discussion because of their hands-on knowledge about the real-world experiences of people in all walks of life. Dr. Lewis has been a strong advocate for children’s mental health as president of the Mental Health Association of the District of Columbia and has published extensively about the need for early detection and treatment as a means to reduce the overrepresentation of African Americans and Latinos in the criminal justice system.
Dr. Lewis co-edited a book in 2011 with former Philadelphia Mayor Dr. W. Wilson Goode and Howard School of Divinity professor Dr. Harold Dean Trulear entitled, Ministry with Prisoners and Families: The Way Forward, presenting ideas to reduce the constant flow of young people of color into the criminal justice system by addressing their psychological and behavioral needs at an early age. He is a strong proponent for increased mental health services in schools. Speaking at a forum at the Center for American Progress titled: “Everyone Isn’t Obama: Black Men and Social Policy,” Dr. Lewis stated the over-representation of young people of color in the criminal justice system is the number one civil rights issue today for African Americans because of the economic and relational penalties incurred by individuals, families and communities.