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SocialWorkersLead Too: Strategies for Leading at Any Level – Dr. Lakeya Cherry


As social workers, we play a critical role in supporting and improving the lives of individuals, families, and communities. In addition to direct service, many of us will be called to lead and inspire others through our work. This keynote presentation will provide practical strategies and insights to lead at any level whether you are a front-line worker, supervisor, manager, or executive. You will leave with a renewed appreciation for the versatility of the social work profession and the confidence and inspiration to embark on your own leadership journey.


As a result of attending this presentation, participants will be able to:

1. Understand the importance of leadership in social work practice and how it can positively impact their career;

2. Understand the importance of developing a growth mindset, which includes developing personal leadership skills and strengths; and

3. Learn how to build strong relationships inside and outside of the organization.


Dr. Lakeya Cherry, DSW, MSSW, ACC is an executive leadership coach who has dedicated her career to the growth and development of individuals and the organizations they are a part of. As an ICF Certified Coach, a StartingBloc Fellow, a Google #IamRemarkable Facilitator, and a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, she believes that when leaders are empowered to reach their fullest potential, they will be able to support those around them more effectively.

It was her own experience with coaching that ignited her passion to support individuals, teams, and organizations to lead more authentically and courageously. Her former clients include Headspace, Glassdoor, LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI), Snap, Cisco, The Salvation Army, The California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, California Mental Health Advocates for Children, Black Administrators of Child Welfare, and the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute.

Dr. Cherry is the former Chief Executive Officer of The Network for Social Work Management, an international organization dedicated to strengthening and mobilizing diverse social impact leaders through education, leadership development, networking, and community-building. Under her leadership, the Network has expanded globally and introduced transformative programming that not only produced better leaders but also enhanced organizational cultures.

She also serves as a Commissioner on San Diego’s Commission on the Status of Women, which helps to address the needs of women in San Diego in their social, economic, and vocational pursuits. Her approach is informed by her Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Southern California where she was honored with the coveted Order of Arête award, her M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University, and her B.A. in Psychology and Legal Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Additional qualifications: Psychological Safety, EQi 2.0 and EQ 360 certified, Diversity and Inclusion certification (eCornell), and Nonprofit Executive Leadership certificate (National Human Services Assembly).

Lakeya Cherry headshot