Illinois State University
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Dr. Cynthia Edmonds-Cady

Associate Professor
School of Social Work
Rachel Cooper - RC 303
Office Hours
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research


Cynthia Edmonds-Cady is an Associate Professor of Social Work, the Coordinator of the Civic Engagement & Responsibility Minor for ISU, and a core faculty member in the Women & Gender Studies Program. She has an expertise in Intersectionality and community/civic engagement, women and poverty, and social movement work.

Current Courses

419.001Generalist Social Work Practice III: Organizations and Communities

398.001PP: Service Learning Experience In Civic Engagement

345.001Generalist Practice Iv: Communities

398.001PP: Service Learning Experience In Civic Engagement

Research Interests & Areas

The community engagement of young low-income mothers, the uses of maternalism in the history of poor women’s social movements, and intersectionality in poor women’s access to reproductive rights during the Jim Crow era. Research methods include qualitative methods such as: focused ethnography, participatory qualitative mapping/spatial analysis, oral history, and archival methods. Dr. Edmonds-Cady has presented and published papers on feminist standpoint theory, the history of the Welfare Rights Movement, race/class and women’s reproductive control in the 1940s-1950s American South, and the use of feminist research methods.

Ph D Social Work

Michigan State University
East Lansing

MSW Social Work

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor

BS Social Work

Eastern Michigan University

University Outstanding Teaching Initiative Award

Illinois State University

Book Review

Edmonds-Cady, C. (2016, December). [Review of the book Shared prosperity in America’s communities, by S.M. Wachter & L. Ding] The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 43, (4), 165-168.

Journal Article, Academic Journal

Edmonds-Cady, C. (2017). A Right to Motherhood? Race, Class, and Reproductive Services in the Jim Crow South.The Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 44 (4), 143-166.
Edmonds-Cady, C. and Wingfield, T. (2017). Social Workers: Agents of change or agents of oppression? Social Work Education 36 (4), 430-442.
Edmonds-Cady, C. Motherhood and agency: American welfare rights activists’ resistance to state control over sexuality and reproduction. Journal of the Motherhood Initiative (JMI) 3.2 (2013): 134-149.
Edmonds-Cady, C. A view from the bridge: Insider-outsider perspectives in an historical study of the welfare rights movement. Qualitative Social Work (QSW) 11.2 (2012): 174-190.
Edmonds-Cady, C., & Sosulski, M. Applications of situated learning to foster communities of practice. Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE) 48.1 (2012): 45-64.


Sosulski, M. and Edmonds-Cady, C. (2018, Oct.). Through the Looking Glass: Teaching Macro Practice Skills Through Immersive, Community- Engaged Learning. Paper presentation for the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Orlando, FL.
Edmonds-Cady, and Wingfield, T. (2016, March). From Behind the Walls of the Ivory Tower to the Streets: Knowledge Construction and Positionality in Social Justice Work. Paper presentation for the annual Race, Gender, & Class (RGC) conference at the University of New Orleans Department of Sociology, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Overcoming stereotyping and prejudice: Is it possible?. International Studies Seminar Series. (2015)
Socially Constructing Single-Mother Communities by Mapping the Intersection of Gender, Class, Race, and Space. Eleventh Annual International Congress for Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI). (2015)
Defining Community at the Intersection of Motherhood, Race, and Space: Low-Income Women’s Civic Engagement. Ninth Annual International Congress for Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI). (2013)
(Re) defining Civic Engagement: Understanding Community through Women’s Work and Women’s Bodies. Eighth Annual International Congress for Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI). (2012)
Defining Welfare, Work, and Motherhood: Women's Participation in the Welfare Rights Movement in Detroit, 1964-1972. Our Daily Work/Our Daily Lives series. Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations. (2011)
Motherhood Revisited: Maternalism in the Next Generation. Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. University of Massachusetts. (2011)
Using Historical Research to Examine the Shaping of Family Planning Services through the Lens of Race, Class, and Gender. Annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). (2011)
Blurring the Outsider/Insider Divide: Race, Class, and Gender in the Welfare Rights Movement. Annual National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) conference. National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA). (2010)

Grants & Contracts

SoTL Civic Engagement Small Grant Program. Illinois State University Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. Illinois State University. (2011)
Illinois State University, Pre-tenure Faculty Initiative Grant (PFIG). Illinois State University. Illinois State University. (2010)
Illinois State University, New Faculty Initiative Grant (NFIG). Illinois State University. Illinois State University. (2008)
Center for Teaching, Learning, & Technology. Illinois State University, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Workshop seed money. Illinois State University. (2007)
Active Voices of Youth (AVOY) Student Advocacy Center (SAC) of Michigan. W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Private. (2001)
2017-06-26T11:15:09.921-05:00 2017