Laura Wernick

headshot of Laura Wernick

Associate Professor
Phone: 212-636-6650
Email: [email protected]
Office: Fordham Lincoln Center 723D


  • PhD, MA University of Michigan

    MSW, Columbia University

    MPA, Columbia University

    BA, University of California, Berkeley

  • Transformative Community Organizing Models

    Domestic Worker & Employer Movement for Dignified Care & Justice

    LGBTQ Youth Organizing & Empowerment

    Models for Organizing People with Power & Privilege

    Community-Based Participatory Action Research

  • Laura Wernick is an Assistant Professor at Fordham University School of Social Service. She completed her PhD in Social Work and Political Science, and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, where she was also a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Her research explores and examines innovative models of transformative community organizing. In particular, she examine how these models creatively address issues of power, privilege and oppression at multiple levels to impact social change while transforming people’s daily lives. This research agenda has been developed through and is grounded in her practice experience, which has focused on community organizing, organizational transformation and leadership, and participatory action research.

    Dr. Wernick’s current research includes:

    • Domestic Worker & Employer Movement for Dignified Care & Justice
    • Transformative LGBTQI Youth Leadership and Organizing 
    • Youth Leading Community Change: Exploring the Intersections between Community Organizing, Mental Health, and Wellness 
    • Leveraging Privilege: Organizing Young People with Wealth to Support Social Justice
  • Wernick, L. J. (In press). Critical Consciousness Development Impact on Social Justice Movement Giving among Wealthy Activists. Social Work Research.

    Wernick, L. J., Kulick, A., Dessel, A., Graham, L. F. (2016). Theater and dialogue to increase youth’s intentions to advocate for LGBTQQ people. Research on Social Work Practice, 26(2), 189-202.

    Wernick, L. J., Kulick, A. & Woodford, M. R. (2014). How theater within a transformative organizing framework cultivates individual and collective empowerment among LGBTQQ youth. Journal of Community Psychology, 42(7) 838-853.

    Wernick, L. J., Kulick, A., & Inglehart, M. H. (2014). Influence of peers, teachers, and climate on students’ willingness to intervene when witnessing anti-transgender harassment. Journal of Adolescence, 37(6), 927-935.

    Wernick, L. J., Woodford, M. R. & Kulick, A. (2014). LGBTQ youth using participatory action research and theater to effect change: Moving adult decision-makers to create youth-centered change. Journal of Community Practice, 22(1-2), 47-66.

    Wernick, L. J., Dessel, A., Kulick, A., & Graham, L. F. (2013). LGBTQQ youth creating change: Developing allies against bullying through performance and dialogue. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(9), 1576–1586.

    Wernick, L. J., Kulick, A., & Inglehart, M. H. (2013). Factors predicting student intervention when witnessing anti-LGBTQ harassment: Influence of peers, teachers and climate. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(2), 296-301.

    Wernick, L. J. (2012). Leveraging privilege: Organizing young people with wealth to support social justice. Social Service Review, 86 (2), 323-345.

    Meyerson, D. E., & Wernick, L. J. (2012). Power beyond the purse: Philanthropic institutions as agents of social change. In K. Golden-Biddle & J. Dutton (Eds.), Using a positive lens to explore social change and organizations: Building a theoretical and research foundation. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis Group, Routledge Publishing.

    Wernick, L. J., Woodford, M. R., & Siden, J. Y (2010). Youth-led participatory action research: Fostering effective youth-adult partnerships – A case study. In L. Harter, J. Hamel-Lambert, & J. Millesen (Eds.), Participatory partnerships for social action and research. (165-186) Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing.

    Meyerson, D. E., Ely, R., & Wernick, L. J. (2007). Disrupting gender, revising leadership. In D. Rhode, & B. Kellerman (Eds.), Women and leadership: The state of play and strategies for change. (453-473). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Gutiérrez, L., Lewis, E., Nagda, B., Wernick, L., & Shore, N. (2005). Multicultural community practice strategies and intergroup empowerment. In M. Weil (Ed.), Handbook on community practice. (341-359). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.