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Social Work & Social Justice Dialogues

Dialogue across differences is essential for social workers to engage people at all levels (e.g. individuals, groups, communities, organizations, etc.) and advocate within systems. The Social Work & Social Justice Dialogues bring together students from diverse backgrounds and experiences to promote social justice education and community.

Participants will:

  • Engage in intergroup dialogue and activities that explore social challenges, identity and group dynamics
  • Reflect on their own views and experiences in relation to societal issues
  • Learn new perspectives and engage across difference
  • Develop mutual understanding and intergroup community across positionalities
  • Gain tools for navigating difference on and off campus

The goal of the dialogue program is to better understanding self and others based on mutual respect and an informed exchange of ideas and beliefs.

This is a six-week program that provides MSW students an opportunity for ongoing dialogues for two hours each week. Each dialogue will focus on an aspect of the Grand Challenges of Social Work and related topics:

Applications for Fall 2018 are now closed

Dialogue Groups

Wednesdays 12-2PM

Wednesday Dialogue Dates:

October 3, October 10, October 17, October 24, October 31, November 7

Dialogue #1:

Social Work Grand Challenge: Achieve Equal Opportunity and Justice

Possible Topics:

  • Gender Equity
  • Immigration
  • Dismantling Structural Racism
  • Religion and Spirituality in Social Work Practice
  • Mass Incarceration in the U.S.

Dialogue #2:

Social Work Grand Challenge: Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment

Possible Topics:

  • Post-Election Impact and Climate
  • The Current State of Campus Climate
  • Freedom of Speech on College Campuses
  • Use of Technology & Social Media

Thursdays 5:30-7:30PM

Thursday Dialogue Dates:

October 4, October 11, October 18, October 25, November 1, November 8

Dialogue #3:

Social Work Grand Challenge: Reduce Extreme Economic Inequality

Possible Topics:

  • Homelessness
  • Economic and Environmental Inequality
  • Asset building for lower income families
  • Poverty and health disparities

Possible topics for each dialogue are not limited to the ones mentioned above and may evolve based on the interest of the group.

Food will be provided at all dialogue sessions.

Participant Criteria

  • Participants commit to attending all six weekly sessions
  • Must be a currently enrolled MSW student in the School of Social Work

Participants will receive a certificate of completion, which can be included on their resume/CV. Students who participate in the dialogue program will also be given special consideration to become a trained facilitator for future dialogues.

Participation in the dialogues also contributes to the requirements for the Rackham DEI Professional Development Certificate.

Applications for Fall 2018 are now closed

For questions, contact: ssw-dei-office@umich.edu

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