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A Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture

Program Flyer


This is a moderated discussion with legal leaders from the Triangle Area, NC who are engaged in improving the lives of individuals and communities using the levers of power, privilege and positionality. The seminar will provide tangible takeaways, including the ability to identify and apply strategies using power, privilege, and positionality as social workers to impact and drive ethical policy changes. The discussion will also focus on near-term actions that social workers can take that demonstrate leadership and promote the values and ethics of social work.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

1. Identify and apply at least 2 strategies, using our power, privilege, and positionality as social workers, to impact and drive, ethical policy changes.
2. Name and describe at least 2 near-term actions that social workers can take that demonstrate leadership and promote the values and ethics of social work.
3. Identify at least 2 roles or positions that are not viewed as “traditional social work”, and are improving the lives or individuals and communities, using the levers of power, privilege, and positionality.


Senator Sydney Batch, MSW/JD ’06 is a family law attorney, child welfare advocate, social worker, small business owner, and mother to two children in Wake County’s public schools. Sydney Batch grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As a triple tar heel, Sydney received her Bachelor of Arts in English, a Master of Social Work, and a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The combination of her dual degree in law and social work provides her with a unique understanding of the often-intersecting worlds of law and social work. Her primary practice areas are family law and child protective services. Sydney is certified as a Child Welfare Law Specialist. In 2018 Sydney was elected to the NC House of Representatives and was appointed to the NC Senate in 2020.

Annie Kouba, MSW/JD ’16 represents public clients and government entities. She also advocates for survivors of childhood sexual abuse who wish to seek justice through the civil court system. Annie is a part of Motley Rice’s team of attorneys who represent dozens of cities, towns, counties and townships in the National Prescription Opiate MDL. She is also part of the trial team representing the State of Washington in an ongoing trial seeking to hold pharmaceutical distributors responsible for their part in causing the opioid epidemic. As a dual degree JD/MSW student, Annie concentrated in macro practice at the UNC School of Social Work. While at UNC School of Law, Annie served as a published staff member on the First Amendment Law Review, member of the Civil Rights moot court team, and as vice-president of the Carolina Public Interest Law Organization.

Angenette (Angie) Stephenson MSW/JD ’03 practices in the areas of agency social services (child welfare, adult services, child support, and appeals) and adoptions. She is one of the first ten Board Certified Child Welfare Specialists through the North Carolina State Bar. She previously served as a child welfare attorney for 10 years in the North Carolina Attorney General’s office and has also served as a parent attorney and volunteer Guardian ad Litem. Before practicing law, Angie gained several years of experience as a foster care social worker in Mecklenburg County and Wailuku, Hawaii. Her experience working closely with children, foster parents, adoptive parents, and relatives, along with experience in mediation and adult mental health, allows her to bring an individualized approach to her work with families of every kind. Angie earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Eastern Mennonite University, and her law degree and MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Lisa Stifler, MSW/JD ’08 currently serves as deputy chief of staff & general counsel to the NC Senate Democratic Leader where she provides legal counsel and strategic support to the Senate Democratic Leader and NC Senate Democratic Caucus while also working with the Governor’s office, state agencies, and diverse community stakeholders and coalitions across a range of issues affecting the state of North Carolina. Prior to that, Lisa worked for almost 10 years at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), the policy affiliate of Self-Help, the nation’s largest community development lender. Most recently, Lisa served as CRL’s director of state policy, leading the organization’s efforts in the states. Prior to her tenure at CRL, Lisa worked in the civil rights, community economic development, and bankruptcy fields. She also worked for more than six years as an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Lisa received her JD and Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina and her BA from Middlebury College.

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