Areas of Interest
- Systems and organizations
- Child welfare and criminal justice policy
- Ethics of technology and data use
- Black feminist epistemology
- Economic and racial justice
- Abolitionist praxis
- Macro Social work practice
- Social policy
- Community-driven methodologies
- Black studies
- Qualitative and CBPAR methods
- Systems and organizations
- Ph.D, Social Welfare, UCLA. May 2022, Expected.
- Dissertation: Dismantling the Carceral Ecosystem, Investigating the Role of Child Protection & Family Policing in Los Angeles.
- Committee: Todd Franke, Safiya Noble, Amy Ritterbusch, Dorothy Roberts
- Master of Social Welfare, UCLA. June 2019.
- Concentration: Child & Family Well-Being
- B.A., Psychology, UNLV. May, 2016.
- Minor: Neuroscience
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
- Copeland, V. A. (2021). “It’s the Only System We’ve Got”: Exploring Emergency Response Decision-Making in Child Welfare. Columbia Journal of Race and Law, 11(3), 43–74. https://doi.org/10.52214/cjrl.v11i3.8740
- Copeland, V. (2021). Centering Unacknowledged Histories: Revisiting NABSW Demands to Repeal ASFA. Journal of Public Child Welfare. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15548732.2021.1976349
- Copeland, V. (2021). Book Review: The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped A Nation. Affilia. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/08861099211025585
- Copeland, V. (2021). Paradoxes & Possibilities: Reflecting on Abolitionist Praxis and the “Counter-Hegemonic” Struggles in Social Work. In Tuck, E., Yang, K.W., Williams, J., Hurd, N., & Doane, L. (Eds.), Theories of Blackness, Indigeneity, and Racialization in Research to Reduce Inequality in the Lives of Young People.
- Copeland, V. (under review). Self-Determination, ethical standard or false promise? Addressing Tensions within Child Welfare Services.
- Allmang, S., Plummer, J., Copeland, V., Riascos, M. (under review). Addressing Economic Inequities and Uncertainty Magnified by COVID-19: A Commentary on Directions for Social Work Research.
Policy Research Reports
- Koonse, T., Herrera, L., & Copeland, V. (in preparation). A Blueprint for Transforming Court-Ordered Community Service in Los Angeles County.
- Koonse, T., Herrera, L., & Copeland, V. (in preparation). Court-Ordered Community Service and Targeted-Hiring Programs in California.
- Copeland, V. (2021, June). Preliminary thoughts about Child Protection and the Commodification of Black Family Separation. Medium.
- Copeland, V. (2020, Oct). The Complicity of Academia in Policing of Families. The Imprint:Youth & Family News.
- Policy Analyst, Upturn: Toward Justice in Technology, Washington DC.
- Summer Fellow, Upturn: Toward Justice in Technology, Washington DC.
- Graduate Student Researcher, UCLA Labor Center, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.
- Graduate Researcher Intern, WISE & Healthy Aging, Los Angeles CA.
- Summer Research Fellow, McNair Scholar Summer Research Institute, UNLV, Las Vegas, NV.
- How Victim-Survivors of Sexual Violence Access Support: A Research Advocacy Project. Bruin Advocacy Grant & Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. Award.
- Impact of COVID-19 on Young People’s Labor Market Participation, Political Engagement, & Well-Being. UNAM/Alianza UCMX Binational Committee Covid-19 Funding.
- Co-Founding Member, University of California Survivors + Allies, California
- Campaigns: Increased transparency in reporting, trauma-informed syllabi language shifts, improved training on reporting.
- Member, Let’s Get Free LA Coalition, Los Angeles, CA.
- Campaigns: Eliminating criminal justice administrative and program fees, elimination of fees for phone calls and commissary for incarcerated individuals and families, SB71 Support for Expanding Community Service Options.
- Teaching Assistant, Social Problems and Social Change. UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs-Undergrad. Spring 2020 & 2021.
- Teaching Assistant, People, Organizations, & Systems. UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs-Undergrad. Winter 2020.
- Copeland, V. (2021, May). Abolitionist Praxis is for Collective Liberation. Gerontology Cluster, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs-Undergrad, Virtual.
- Copeland, V. (2021, May). Care of Coercion? Questioning Care Ethics of Child Welfare. CHDV Family Stress and Resilience: Cultural Considerations, California State University Long Beach-Undergrad, Virtual.
- Copeland, V. (2021, Feb). Surveillance and Data Proliferation in Child Welfare. People, Organizations, and Systems, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs-Undergrad Virtual.
- Copeland, V. (2021, Feb). Developing Theory. The Craft of Social Welfare Scholarship. UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs-Ph.D. Virtual.
- Copeland, V., Jordan, S., & Mickell, D. (2021, Feb). PAR Methods. Qualitative Methods, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs-Ph.D, Virtual.
- Copeland, V., Speaker, F., Excell, K., Gormley, E., McMillan, J. (2021, June). Child Welfare Justice Panel: A Public Health Abolitionist Approach. University of Chicago—Illinois. Radical Public Health, Virtual.
- Copeland, V. & Pendleton, M. (2021, May). Black Feminism & Child Welfare Abolition. The upEND Movement.
- Copeland, V., Rodriguez, D., Smythe, S. (2021, May). What does re-imagining community safety mean to me?, Social Justice Seminar Series, UCLA UAW5810, Virtual
- Copeland, V., James, K., Kim, M. (2021, Mar). Are Social Workers Abolitionist?, Townhall on Racial Equity, National Association of Social Workers, Virtual.
- Copeland, V., Aten, E., Cantu, A., Yeo, V. (2021, Feb). Power, Privilege, & Oppression, “DICE”: Discussions in Culture & Experiences. Pacific Psychology and Comprehensive Clinic, Portland OR, Virtual.
- Copeland, V., McMillan, J., Ortiz, D., Gasser-Ordaz, L., Lemmons, J. (2020, Dec). Spotlight on the Foster System Series: “The Carceral Web: How the Foster and Criminal Legal Systems Perpetuate Injustice”. Shriver Center on Policy and Law, Chicago IL, Virtual.
- Copeland, V. (2019, May). Youth Advice & Support App. Public Policy Leadership and Management of Non-Profits, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Los Angeles CA.
Invited Training Presentations
- Copeland, V. & Mueller-Williams, A. (2021, Jan). Preparing for and Passing your Written Comprehensive Exam. Second-Year Ph.D Students, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs-Ph.D, Virtual
- Copeland, V., Kwan Jin Yao, Brock-Petroshius, K., Jordan, S. (2021, May). Advancing to Candidacy. Professional Development Series, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs-Ph.D, Virtual.
- Copeland, V., Abdurahman, J.K., Baughman, C., Ismail, T. (2021, June). Family Surveillance. Panel presentation at the Strengthened Bonds: Abolishing the Child Welfare System and Re-Envisioning Child Well-Being Columbia Law School Volume 11 Symposium, Virtual*
- Harvey, B. & Copeland, V. (2021, April). Co-Conspirators: Interrogating the Role of Schools within the Foster Care Industrial Complex. Paper presentation at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Virtual*
- Allmang, S., Plummer, J., Copeland, V. (2021, Jan). Covid 19 and Youth Engagement in Politics: An Intersectional Approach. Roundtable at the Society for Social Work Research Annual Conference, Virtual*
- Tulley, B., Copeland, V., Mickell, D. (2021, Jan). “I Wanna Give Her Her Space”: An exploration of how young adults exiting foster care navigate living with family after foster care. Paper presentation at the Society for Social Work Research Annual Conference, Virtual*
- Zink, D., Barchard, K., San Miguel, L., Copeland, V., Allen, D. (2016, Nov). Factor Structure of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition Spanish in a Clinical Sample of Puerto Rican Children. Poster presentation at the National Academy of Neuropsychology Conference, Seattle WA
- Lee, B., Copeland, V., Allen, D. (2015, Nov). Meta-Analytic Investigation of Neuropsychological Performance in persons with Schizophrenia and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders. Poster presentation at the National Academy of Neuropsychology Conference, Austin TX
Accepted Peer-Reviewed Presentations
- Copeland V., Edwards, F., Fong, K., Raz, M., Dettlaff, A., (2021, Feb). Administrative Burdens in Child Welfare. Russell Sage Foundation Conference: Administrative Burdens as a Mechanism of Inequality in Policy Implementation. New York City, NY.
- Copeland, V. (2021, Sept). The Commodification of Black Family Separation. Panel at the IAMAS 2021 Conference: Building Racial Equality In and Across Motherhood, Virtual.
- Tulley, B., Copeland, V., Mickell, D. (2021, Sept). “I Wanna Give Her Her Space”: How Young Adults Exiting Foster Care Navigate Living with Family After Foster Care’. Presentation at the European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents Conference, Virtual*
- Copeland, V. (2021, Aug). Countering Carceral Data Infrastructures through a Praxis of Dark Sousveillance. Poster Presentation at the CURIS Conference: Stanford University, Virtual.
- Community Organizer and South Central Youth Empowered thru Action (SCYEA) Wellness Intern, Community Coalition, Los Angeles CA.
- Care Management Intern, WISE & Healthy Aging, Los Angeles CA.
- Juvenile Justice Advocate, Youth Advocate Programs, Las Vegas NV
- Guest Peer Reviewer, Special Issue of Child Welfare: Transforming Child Welfare through Anti-Racist Approaches in Child Welfare
- Founding Member, SPACE: Survivor Photos: A Collaboration for Empowerment.
- Founding Member, Social Work Anti-Racism Committee, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs-Department of Social Welfare.
- Panelist & Mentor, Luskin Diversity Fair.
- Lobby Days Leader, NASW Lobby Days.
- Bills included: SB10 (Bail Reform), AB186 (Harm Reduction), SB982 (CalWORKs Grants Amounts), AB163 (Group homes), SB568 (Postsecondary Education)
- Inaugural Member, NASW 23-Strong Council
- Conference Session Chair, The National Academy of Neuropsychology Annual Conference.
- Research Consultant, UpEND, The Center for the Study of Social Policy and the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.
FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS
- 2021 — William T. Grant Foundation, Theories of Blackness, Indigeneity, and Racialization in Research to Reduce Inequality in the Lives of Young People Writing Fellowship ($2,000)
- 2021 — UpTurn: Toward Justice in Technology, Washington DC. Summer Fellowship ($10,200)
- 2021 — Black in Artificial Intelligence Grant Program, Black in AI, ($1,500)
- 2021 — Alisa Bierria Graduate Fellowship in Black Feminist Research, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Black Feminist Initiative ($1,000)
- 2021 — Bruin Advocacy Grant ($1250)
- 2020 — UCLA/Alianza UCMX Binational Committee Covid-19 Funding ($5,000)
- 2020 — UCLA Graduate Council Diversity Summer Fellowship ($8,000)
- 2018 — Renee & Meyer Luskin Summer Funding ($5,000)
HONORS AND AWARDS
- 2021 – Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. Social Justice Awards
- 2019 – UCLA MSW Thesis Award for Outstanding Research
- 2019 – UCLA Public Policy Leadership and Management of Nonprofits Competition Winner
- 2017 – UCLA Senior Fellows. Mentor: Judge Nash, Office of Child Protection
- 2016 – UNLV Research Showcase Outstanding Presentation Award, 3rd Place
- 2016 – UNLV Psi Chi International Honors Society Poster Competition Outstanding Presentation, 2nd place
- 2016 – UNLV Roosevelt Fitzgerald Outstanding Scholar and Leadership Award
- 2016 – UNLV Alliance of Professionals of African Heritage Outstanding Student Award
2021 American Educational Research Association
2021 Society for Social Work and Research
2017 – 2019 National Association of Social Workers
2013 – 2016 National Academy of Neuropsychology
2014 – 2016 Psi Chi International Honor Society
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBTWeb2.0) Certification
- MANDT Certification