Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Faculty & Staff Directory

Amy Krings, MSW, PhD

Title/s:  Assistant 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.  The purpose of her research agenda is to develop knowledge relating to the advancement of social justice through the leadership development and civic participation of marginalized groups. This agenda has manifested in two complementary lines of research. The first line focuses upon leadership development among young people, particularly their growth as social change agents. The second line is focused on the study of community-based organizations and their strategic campaigns to advance environmental and / or educational justice. Her goal is to disseminate knowledge that has the potential to inform policies that reduce systemic inequalities. Prior to entering her doctoral program, Dr. Krings worked for six years as a community organizer, grant-writer, and interim Executive Director at a Cincinnati non-profit where her responsibilities included the management of a community-based campaign to reduce street-level gun violence.

Research Interests

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

Courses Taught


  • SOWK 201 - Social Welfare Policy and Social Work


  • SOWK 507 – Social Welfare Policy and Social Work
  • SOWK 509 - Policies and Strategies for Community Intervention
  • SWFI 530S - Integrative Field Seminar
  • SOWK 714 - Philanthropy, Public Policy, and Social Change


  • SOWK 820 – Social Theory and Social Policy

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