Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Faculty & Staff Directory

Amy Krings, MSW, PhD

Title/s:  Associate Professor

Office #:  Maguire Hall 530

Phone: 312.915.7015


CV Link: CV_Amy_Krings_2020__LUC_SSW

Mission in Action

My research is about how members of marginalized communities come together, strategically and collaboratively, to advance social justice.  I have recently examined how residents in Chicago, Detroit, and Flint organized to advance environmental and educational justice.  My findings demonstrate that when local communities can access information and power, they can improve individual and community health – whether that means securing clean water and air or quality schools or safe, affordable housing.

 As an educator, I aim to support, guide, and mentor my students while they develop their capacity and confidence as social change agents. For many of my students, this is their first time thinking critically about how to promote structural solutions to systematic inequalities. I encourage them to interpret personal problems as political and to imagine community-driven solutions. It is my hope that my students will come to see that social work is, at its best, the practice of social justice.



Amy Krings earned her PhD in the Social Work and Political Science Joint Doctoral Program at the University of Michigan in 2015.  Prior to her doctoral work, Dr. Krings worked for six years as a community organizer, grant-writer, and interim Executive Director at a Cincinnati non-profit. Her work included the management of a community-based campaign to reduce street-level gun violence.  She also taught classes on Social Change, Macro Social Work, and Community and Political Organizing at her alma mater, Xavier University.  

Amy’s research interests include community organization, social movements, urban politics, and social justice education.  Her dissertation, Building Bridges Where There is Nothing Left to Burn: The Campaign for Environmental Justice within a Southwest Detroit Border Community, is an ethnographic account of a low-income community’s efforts to secure protections and investments in exchange for hosting a new international bridge crossing. Drawing from more than three years of participant observation (2010 – 2014), including seventy in-depth interviews and an analysis of media coverage, she examines why and how power dynamics influence this neighborhood group’s goal and tactical selection, ability to build alliances, and campaign outcomes.  She concludes by demonstrating how environmental injustices are reproduced at a local level, often in invisible ways.

Amy’s dissertation research is complimented by a number of collaborative projects that utilize qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to examine civic and political participation.  She enjoys mentoring students and is eager to develop new partnerships at Loyola.

Check out Amy's recent podcast interview with the University of Buffalo's School of Social Work:

Austerity Politics: What Social Workers Need to Know About Emergency Management Laws


PhD     The University of Michigan, 2015
MSW    The University of Michigan, 2003
BSW    Xavier University, 1998

Research Interests

  • Civic engagement and political participation
  • Community organization
  • Environmental justice​
  • Social justice education​
  • Urban politics

Recent Funded Research

Krings, A. & Schusler, T. 2017 - 2018. Youth and Environmental Justice Organizing. Faculty Fellow Award. Center for the Human Rights of Children. Loyola University Chicago. $5,000.

Krings, A. & Copic, C. 2017-2018. Effective Mobilization and Allyship in Environmental Community Organizing: Case Study of Pilsen, Chicago.Social Justice Research Fellowship. Loyola University Chicago. $2,000.    

Lee, S. & Krings, A. 2016. The Impact of Urban Austerity Reforms on Educational Access and Parent Participation.  The Learning Community on Poverty and Inequality. The University of Michigan. $3,000.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Society for Work and Research (SSWR)                                                  

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)                                     

Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA)                      

Urban Affairs Association (UAA) 

Courses Taught

Graduate Courses

SOWK 509    Policies and Strategies of Community Intervention     

SOWK 507    Social Welfare and Social Work

SOWK 714    Philanthropy, Public Policy, and Community Change


Association for Community Organization & Social Administration Emerging Scholar Annual Award (2014)

Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan (2014-2015)

Harold T. & Vivian B. Shapiro Prize, School of Social Work, University of Michigan (2014-2015)

Irene & William Gambrill Fellowship, University of Michigan School of Social Work (2014)

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Outstanding Research Mentor Award (2013)

Gerald R. Ford Fellowship, Department of Political Science (2012 – 2013)

Rosemary Sarri Scholarship in Management, Social Policy or Community Organization, University of Michigan School of Social Work (2011)

Margaret Dow Towsley Scholar Award, The Center for the Education of Women, The University of Michigan (2010)

Xavier University Service Fellowship (1998 – 2002)

Charlotte Trowle Social Work Student of the Year Award, Xavier University (2002)

Gudorf Women and Minority Studies Award, Xavier University (2002)

National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Region VI Student of the Year (2002)


Selected Publications

To access her most recent publications, please visit: Amy Krings BePress Page, ResearchGate, or GoogleScholar.

Here are the links for each:

•    Krings, A. & Copic, C. (2020). Environmental justice organizing in a gentrifying community: Navigating dilemmas of representation, recruitment, and issue selection. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. https://doi.org/10.1177/1044389420952247 
•    Markus G. B. & Krings, A. (2020). Planning, participation, and power in a ‘shrinking city’: The Detroit Works Project. Journal of Urban Affairs, 42(8), 1141-1163. https://doi.org/10.1080/07352166.2020.1779009 
•     Krings, A. & Schusler, T. (2020). Equity in sustainable development: Integrating social work and environmental justice to prevent environmental gentrification. International Journal of Social Welfare, 29(4), 321-334. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijsw.12425 
•    Matthies, A.-L., Krings, A., & Stamm, I. (2020). Guest Editorial. Special Issue on Research-based knowledge about social work and sustainability. International Journal of Social Welfare, 29(4), 297-299. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijsw.12462 
•    Copic, C., Schusler, T., & Krings, A. (2020). Environmental Gentrification in Chicago: Perceptions, Dilemmas and Paths Forward. 1-44. https://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1036&context=ies_facpubs 
•    Schusler, T., Krings, A. & Hernández, M. (2019). Integrating youth participation and ecosocial work: new possibilities to advance environmental and social justice. Journal of Community Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2019.1657537 
•    Bell, F. M., Dennis, M. K., & Krings, A. (2019). Collective survival strategies and anti-colonial practice in ecosocial work. Journal of Community Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2019.1652947
•    Teixeira, S., Mathias, J. & Krings, A. (2019). The future of environmental social work: Looking to community initiatives for models of prevention. Journal of Community Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2019.1648350 
•    Thurber, A., Krings, A., Sprague Martinez, L., & Ohmer, M. (2019). Resisting gentrification: The theoretical and practice contributions of social work. Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017319861500
•    Krings, A., Trubey-Hockman, C., Dentato, M. & Grossman, S. (2019). Recalibrating micro and macro social work: Student perceptions of social action. Social Work Education: The International Journal. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2019.1616686
•    Krings, A., Fusaro, V., Nicoll, K. L., & Lee, N. Y. (2019). Social Work, Politics, and Social Policy Education: Applying a Multidimensional Framework of Power. Journal of Social Work Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2018.1544519
•    Schusler, T., & Krings, A. (2018, November). Addressing Environmental Gentrification: Improving Environmental Health for Children and Youth without Displacement (Center for the Human Rights of Children-Loyola University Chicago Research Brief). https://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1019&context=chrc
•    Chin, M., Hawkins, J., Krings, A., Pegeuro-Spencer, C., & Gutiérrez, L. (2018). Investigating diversity in social work doctoral education in the United States. Journal of Social Work Education. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10437797.2018.1503127
•    Krings, A., Victor, B., Mathias, J, & Perron, B. (2018). Environmental social work in the disciplinary literature, 1991 – 2015. International Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872818788397
•    Krings, A., Kornberg, D., & Lane, E. (2018). Organizing under austerity: How residents’ concerns became the Flint water crisis. Critical Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920518757053
•    Krings, A., Thomas, H., Lee, S. J., Ali, A., & Miller, L. (2018.). Mothers’ perceptions of educational quality in a context of urban austerity. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.03.017
•    Krings, A. & Thomas, H. (2018). Integrating green social work and the U.S. environmental justice movement: An introduction to community benefits agreements. In Dominelli, L., Raju Nikku, B., & Bun Ku, H. (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Green Social Work. Routledge Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315183213
•    Lee, S. J., Krings, A., Rose, S., Dover, K., Ayoub, J., & Salman, F. (2016). Racial inequality and the implementation of emergency management laws in economically distressed urban areas. Children and Youth Services Review, 70, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.08.016
•    Krings, A., Gutiérrez, L. M., Austic, E., & Dirksen, K. (2015). The comparative impacts of social justice educational methods on political participation, civic engagement, and multicultural activism. Equity & Excellence in Education. 48(3), 403-417. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2015.1057087
•    Teixeira, S. & Krings, A. (2015). Sustainable social work: An environmental justice framework for social work education. Social Work Education: The International Journal. 34(5), 513-527. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2015.1063601
•    Krings, A., Spencer, M.S., & Jimenez, K. (2014). Organizing for environmental justice: From bridges to taro patches. In S. Dutta and C. Ramanathan (Eds.), Governance, Development, and Social Work. London: Rutledge Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203796009