• department Clinical Practice
  • education BA (Legal Studies & Philosophy) University of Massachusetts
    MSW, Simmons College
    MTS (Theological Studies), Harvard University School of Divinity
    PhD (Social Work), Simmons College
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Clinical Assistant Professor
Charles River Campus Advisor

Areas of Expertise

Behavioral Health, Mental Health and Addictions; Racial Justice

Practice and scholarly focus

• Theories of Justice, Racial Justice
• #BlackLivesMatter
• Abolition of Mass Incarceration
• Adult Behavioral Health


WP901 Social Justice, Values and the Social Work Profession
CP799 Brief and Time Effective Treatment
CP770 Introduction to Clinical Practice with Individuals
HB735 Racial Justice and Cultural Oppression
HB 755 Ferguson is Everywhere: Lessons for Racial Justice


Copeland, P., Jacob, D., Young, D., Grier, A., Kennedy, S., & Tripodi, S. (2018). Smart Decarceration Practice Behaviors for Social Work Competencies: A Guide for Educators and Learners. Institute for Justice Research and Development.

Copeland, P. (2016). Let’s Get Free: Social Work and the Movement for Black Lives. Journal of Forensic Social Work, 5(1-3), pp. 3-19.

Copeland, P. (2015, January 16). An emerging movement reminds of us of the promise of MLK. BU Today. Retrieved from http://www.bu.edu/ssw/today/2015/pov-an-emerging-movement-reminds-us-of-the-promise-of-mlk/

Copeland, P. (2013, July 16). Why America needs another kind of justice. GOOD.is. Retrieved from http://www.good.is/posts/why-america-needs-another-kind-of-justice

Copeland, P. (2013, June 18). Juneteenth celebrates emancipation but more black men are incarcerated than were enslaved. GOOD.is. Retrieved from http://www.good.is/posts/juneteenth-celebrates-emancipation-but-more-black-men-are-incarcerated-than-were-enslaved

Copeland, P. (2012, October 24). The perils and possibilities of a world without affirmative action. GOOD.is. Retrieved from http://www.good.is/posts/the-perils-and-possibilities-of-an-america-without-affirmative-action

Copeland, P. (2012, October 15). Mixed Up about Racial politics and parenting. InCultureParent.com. Retrieved from http://www.incultureparent.com/2012/10/mixed-up-about-racial-politics-and-parenting/


Copeland, P. (2017, May). Social work at the edge of midnight: Practice in dark times. Lecture presented at the Boston University School of Social Work 8th Annual Field Educator Appreciation Breakfast, Boston, MA.

Copeland, P. (2017, April). Corpses while they live: The mind on mass incarceration. Lecture presented at Lasell College, Newton, MA.

Copeland, P. (2017, March). #Abolition4Eva. Lecture presented at Research on Tap, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Copeland, P. (2017, March). New abolitionists: The movement for black lives. Lecture presented at University of Connecticut School of Social Work, West Hartford, CT.

Copeland, P. (2016, November). #BlackLivesMatter: Across colorlines and countries. Workshop presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

Copeland, P. (2016, October). Free our minds: Mass incarceration and mental health. Lecture presented at the Center for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture Annual Diversity Challenge, Boston, MA.

Copeland, P. (2016, April). New abolitionists and reluctant emancipators: A presidency for black lives. Paper presented at the New England American Studies Association Annual Conference, Weston, MA.

Copeland, P. (2016, April). Anti-black policing and carceral practices. Panel presentation at the Students for Prison Education and Reform (SPEAR) 3rd Annual Conference, Princeton NJ.

Copeland, P. (2016, April). Mass incarceration and health equity. Lecture presented at the Health Equity and Leadership (HEAL) Annual Conference, Harvard School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

Copeland, P. (2016, March). The cost of caste. Lecture presented at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Professional Activities and Certifications

2015: Boston University School of Education Institute for Creative Educational Leadership Convening, May 11-12, Boston, MA.

2003: Certificate in Urban Leadership, Simmons College Graduate School of Social Work, Boston, MA.

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

Awards and Honors

2017: Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient, Boston University School of Social Work.

2007: Dean’s Leadership Award, Simmons College School of Social Work.

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