Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Faculty & Staff Profiles

Amy Krings, MSW, PhD

Title/s:  Associate Professor

Office #:  Maguire Hall 530

Phone: 312.915.7015


CV Link: Amy Krings CV

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, MSW, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. Her research focuses on how marginalized groups collectively advance social and environmental justice, and how social workers and community organizations can support individuals in becoming social change agents. She has published on the topics of environmental justice organizing, political engagement and participatory decision-making processes, youth participation, social welfare policies, gentrification and equitable development, and social justice education.

Dr. Krings earned her PhD in the Social Work and Political Science Joint Doctoral Program at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation research used participatory methods to examine how a Southwest Detroit community organized to secure a community benefits agreement that would protect community health and promote environmental justice. Her practice experience includes work as a community organizer, grant-writer, and director of a non-profit focused on violence reduction and police reform.

Dr. Krings is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Article of the Year Prize (2020) in International Social Work, the Marie O. Weil Award for Article of the Year (2019) in the Journal of Community Practice, the Faculty Member of the Year Award (2018) presented by the School of Social Work Student Organization at Loyola Chicago, and the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) Emerging Scholar Award (2014). She has guest-edited a special issue about social work and sustainability for the International Journal of Social Welfare and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Community Practice. She member of the Grand Challenge Advisory Council: Social Responses to a Changing Environment, a Board Member of ACOSA, and serves on the CSWE Environmental Curricular Guide Task Force. She is a 2021 Visiting Scholar through the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.


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

Research Interests

  • Community Organizing
  • Environmental Justice
  • Gentrification
  • Social Justice Education
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Theories of Social Change

Courses Taught

SOWK 507  - Social Welfare and Social Work

SOWK 509  - Policies and Strategies of Community Intervention 

SWFI 530S - Integrative Field Seminar

SOWK 714  - Philanthropy, Public Policy, and Community Change

SOWK 820  - Social Theory and Social Policy


2021    Visiting Fellowship at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

2020    Article of the Year in International Social Work. “Environmental social work in the disciplinary literature, 1991 – 2015”

2019    Marie O. Weil Award for Article of the Year in Journal of Community Practice. “Integrating youth participation and ecosocial work: new possibilities to advance environmental and social justice”

2018    Faculty Member of the Year Award. Presented by the School of Social Work Student Organization (SSWSO) Loyola University Chicago

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

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

Selected Publications

To access her most recent publications, please visit:

* denotes student co-author

BePress Page includes Open Access to Most Publications

Google Scholar Profile

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Publications – Other

Policy Briefs and Community Reports

Academic Podcasts