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Gina Miranda Samuels, PhD, MSW.


Gina E. Miranda Samuels is an Associate Professor at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and a Faculty Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. Her scholarly interests include transracial adoption, mixed race and multiethnic identity formation, critical and interpretive research methods, and the development of relational, kinship, and cultural ties among young adults whose childhoods are shaped by displacements caused by foster care, adoption, and home loss. Professor Miranda Samuels' scholarship situates these lived experiences in a broader historical, cultural, theoretical and policy context to critically explore how personal identity and well-being are constrained and promoted by policy, practice, and by societal and personal constructions of kinship, family, race and belonging.

Professor Miranda Samuels’ published scholarship appears widely in professional journals, academic books, and within numerous policy and practice-focused papers, monographs and policy briefs. Her work has been cited and used within federal government agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Children’s Bureau, and the Administration on Children Youth and Families, as well as state-wide child welfare agencies across the U.S. She serves as a consulting editor for some of the most rigorous journals in her field including Social Service Review, Children Youth Services Review, Social Problems, Family Process, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Family Relations, and Race and Ethnic Studies. Miranda Samuels is an active Board Member of Creating a Family, a national nonprofit that hosts the longest running and top rated low-to no-cost training for adoptive parents. Over the past 25 years Miranda Samuels has herself delivered training, podcasts, keynote addresses and expert consultation to agencies, organizations, and individuals within and beyond the U.S. She has been the recipient of several teaching and student mentorship awards, and in a 2014 study was named “One of Fourteen Top African American Scholars in Top US Schools of Social Work.” Most recently she and co-author Dr. Kelly F. Jackson were awarded the 2019 “Researcher of the Year Award” by the Multiracial Research Network, ACPA College Student Educators International. At the Crown Family School, she teaches courses on anti-oppressive social work practice, critical and interpretive research methods, family systems theory, and offers continuing education courses in the Professional Development Program on contemporary transracial adoption practice and family systems theory. Since arriving at SSA in 2002, she has remained a practicing advocate of social justice in higher education and is regularly involved in, and  led, SSA (now the Crown Family School) and campus-wide social justice reform efforts in partnership with faculty, staff and student colleagues.

Professor Miranda Samuels received her M.S.S.W and Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a Council on Social Work Education Minority research fellowship funded through the National Institute of Mental Health. She has practiced in the areas of child welfare, juvenile probation, Afrocentric community- and school-based social work, and family-based group therapy with youth and young adults.

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Associate Professor Faculty Affiliate, Center for the Study of Race Politics and Culture University of Chicago

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