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In this session, Amber Joiner-Hill, MSSW will talk to participants about her journey as an entrepreneur and independent consultant. Discussion and activities will cover topics such as selecting services to offer, business infrastructure, and ethical dilemmas that one can face as a social worker operating a for-profit business. The objective of this session is to encourage participants to think beyond the traditional understanding of social work and consider the wide range of career possibilities that are available to them.
Amber Joiner-Hill, MSSW is the owner and principal consultant of Magnolia Detroit Consulting, which focuses on building capacity within organizations that value the betterment of society and racial equity and gender equality in the workplace. She has worked with nonprofits, Boards of Directors, and government entities for over seven years. Experience includes researching the equity needs of a professional network that develops leaders in the child wellbeing field, building capacity within a six-county collaboration tasked with preventing and ending homelessness, and development and implementation of virtual educational workshops. Amber holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas.
Miriam Connolly is a two time alumna of the University of Michigan. A native of Flint, she earned a BSW from U-M-Flint, and an MSW from the School of Social Work, with a concentration in Child Welfare and Interpersonal Practice. For 18 years, Connolly served children and their families in a wide variety of roles with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), including foster care specialist, foster care recruitment, licensing specialist, manager and DHHS liaison. She is a licensed clinical social worker and has provided mental health services in the non-profit sector in Flint and Washtenaw counties.
Prior to joining the Office of Field Education, Connolly served as director of the Blavin Scholars Program, supporting U-M students with experience in foster care and those with compromised support systems. A level II campus coach, Connolly coached Blavin Scholars, helping them to navigate and maximize their undergraduate experiences on campus and beyond. Her passion for ensuring college access and success for students with experience in foster care led to helping develop similar campus based support programs across the country.
Throughout her career, Connolly has been passionate about supporting the next generation of social workers. With over 22 years of experience as a field supervisor, she has guided numerous social work students in child welfare, clinical and higher education settings. Connolly currently serves as president of the U-M School of Social Work’s Alumni Board of Governors.
Social workers are the largest mental health workforce supporting individuals diagnosed with cancer. Evidence-based mental health interventions are available for psychological outcomes in the general population as well as among individuals diagnosed with cancer. Yet, cancer patients often face various mental health disparity-related gaps when they are in need of mental health interventions. While technology-assisted mental health interventions are becoming increasingly prevalent as an alternative to in-person approaches, technology-assisted mental health interventions have several major limitations. This workshop will introduce participants to important updates in technology-assisted mental health interventions supporting individuals diagnosed with cancer. Social justice and disparity-related factors will be discussed.
Dr. Anao Zhang is an assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan and the clinical research director of the Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) Oncology Program at Michigan Medicine. Zhang is a health and mental health intervention researcher with a primary research interest in psycho-oncology and adolescent and young adult cancer survivorship. An intervention researcher by training, Zhang contextualizes his work using the social determinants of youth health framework, and aims to develop and deliver integrated and empirically supported mental health treatment to individuals with co-morbid physical and mental health condition, e.g., AYA cancer survivors with depression. Zhang is also an applied quantitative methodologist who uses advanced statistical methods to support his research, including meta-analysis, structural equation modeling, analyzing experimental data, causal inference and machine learning. Zhang serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, and the deputy chair of survivorship SIG at the International Psycho-Oncology Society.
Clinically, Zhang is a licensed clinical social worker, a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, and a diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Zhang has over five years of clinical experience in various hospital settings and specializes in solution-focused brief therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Zhang's teaching interests include advanced clinical social work practice, clinical social work practice in integrated healthcare, inter-professional education, and advanced quantitative methods in social work research. Zhang received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin where he also completed the graduate portfolio program in Applied Statistical Modeling. Zhang received his MSW from the University of Pennsylvania.
This panel discussion will provide participants with insight into the political and governmental work that the elected social work panelists are engaged in. Panelists will discuss their experiences serving in elected office and how their training as a social worker has prepared them. We will close with audience Q&A.
Justin Hodge is a clinical assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan. He is the co-lead for the Policy & Political Social Work Pathway and the director of the Online Certificate in Political Social Work. Hodge is committed to increasing the presence of social workers in policy and political spaces. He teaches courses that provide students with the tools to engage in politics and approach policy work from a social justice perspective.
Hodge was elected to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in November 2020. As a county commissioner, he brings his social work perspective to addressing the most pressing problems facing Washtenaw County. Hodge has a particular focus on addressing inequities in the county and promoting economic opportunity. In 2021, Hodge was appointed by Governor Whitmer to the Commission on Community Action & Economic Opportunity, where he is able to lend his expertise at the state level.
Nationally, Hodge serves as board president of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy, which works to expand the participation of social workers in federal legislative and policy processes. He is also a founding board member of the Social Work Democracy Project, a charitable organization focused on providing resources to Schools of Social Work to advance knowledge of government and democracy.
Hodge is dedicated to mental health and public health on both a policy and individual level. He has provided therapy to children and families, case management to individuals with developmental disabilities and has coordinated clinics for children in crisis. By leveraging his experiences as both a clinical and macro social work practitioner, Hodge aims to bridge the gap between the two for students. He feels strongly that all social workers should be involved in our democracy and works individually with students to help them find how their desired career can align with that.
Sen. Stephanie Chang, the first Asian American woman to be elected to the Michigan Legislature, worked as a community organizer in Detroit for nearly a decade before serving two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives.
She served as state director for NextGen Climate Michigan, alumni engagement and evaluation coordinator for the Center for Progressive Leadership in Michigan, deputy director for the Campaign for Justice and as an organizer for Michigan United/One United Michigan. She also worked as a community engagement coordinator for the James and Grace Lee Boggs School and assistant to Grace Lee Boggs, an activist, writer, and speaker.
The senator also is a co-founder and past president of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote-Michigan, and she served as a mentor with the Detroit Asian Youth Project. She is a founder and board member of Rising Voices of Asian American Families and serves on the board of the Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center.
In the state House, Sen. Chang led the way on air quality protection, education, criminal justice reforms, improving economic opportunities, and affordable, safe drinking water. She passed bipartisan legislation on a range of issues including female genital mutilation, nitrous oxide “whip-its”, reentry services for wrongfully convicted individuals who were exonerated, and more. She quickly earned her colleagues’ respect and was named chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus in her second term. She also served on the leadership team for the House Democratic Caucus both terms and was a co-founder of the Asian Pacific American Legislative Caucus.
Chang earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degrees in public policy and social work from the University of Michigan. She lives in Detroit with her husband, Sean Gray, and two young daughters.
Linh Song identifies as a woman, mother, partner, and first generation Vietnamese American. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and M.S.W. in Social Policy and Evaluation from the University of Michigan. She has led nonprofit organizations focused on ethical adoptions and transracial adoption identities, working closely with the U.S. Department of State and investigative reporters. Linh has also served on the Board of Directors for Neutral Zone, King Elementary's PTO, University Musical Society, Avalon Housing, and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. Linh was first elected to the Ann Arbor District Library's Board in 2016 and currently serves on Ann Arbor’s City Council.
Gabriela Santiago-Romero, an immigrant from Mexico and a Southwest Detroit native, is the newly elected Detroit City Council Member for District 6. She currently serves on the Budget, Finance & Audit Standing Committee, and is the first Latina to ever chair a Detroit City Council standing committee, Public Health & Safety.
Santiago-Romero earned her Master of Social Work studying Social Policy and Evaluation with a focus on Community and Social Systems from the University of Michigan. She has made history by becoming the first out female LGBTQ Detroit councilmember. She’s a community activist and organizer who has extensive experience working for local government and Detroit nonprofits, including at We The People Michigan where she served as Policy and Research Director. Love and food fuel her work.
The scale of the global refugee crisis is staggering. More than 82 million people worldwide have been displaced from their homes. Among them are nearly 26.4 million refugees, around half of whom are under the age of 18. With the increase in refugees from war-torn countries like Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Syria resettling into the United State, Europe, and other countries, social workers must be equipped to address the unique challenges facing refugees in practice and policy contexts.
This interactive webinar, informative in nature, will inform participants on the scope of the global refugee crisis, exploring the current policies, laws, and interventions that directly impact refugees from war-torn countries. This workshop will also explore the role of social workers to address the specific needs of refugees with a special focus on refugee children, youth, and their families. Finally, this webinar will explore various international and U.S. programs and resources in place to support newly resettled refugees.
Dr. Ashley E. Cureton is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work and School of Education at the University of Michigan. She also serves as a faculty affiliate in the Center for Equitable Family & Community Well-Being. Prior to her current role, Cureton was a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow and lecturer in the School of Education and the Department of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. Cureton explores the educational and mental health needs and outcomes of refugee and migrant children and youth and their families. She seeks to understand how displacement and exploitation impact their overall academic and social development, sense of belonging and cultural identity. Her research builds on over a decade of research and practice focusing on child and adolescent development among migrant and refugee populations and other marginalized groups in global contexts like South Africa, Morocco, Peru and Ecuador, to name a few. Prior to attending graduate school Cureton worked as a research associate at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research. She also served as a research fellow for the U.S. Department of State in Istanbul, Turkey, working with Iraqi and Syrian refugee youth in school and community settings. Cureton received a PhD and master’s degree from the Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at the University of Chicago. She also received graduate certificates in forced migration and refugee mental health from Harvard University, the University of Oxford, and Northwestern University.
Social workers should be equipped to promote transgender and gender diverse (TGD) justice in their practice as called upon us through our professional ethics and values. While there have been unprecedented TGD justice victories and visibility in the past decade in the US, the current political climate has halted this progress with the emergence of an anti-TGD counter movement. There is currently an historic number of anti-TGD legislation being created, debated, and passed at local, state and national levels. Many of these bills target TGD young people with legislation focusing on banning TGD youth from sports, banning gender-affirming care for TGD young people, and criminalizing the health care providers and child welfare practitioners working with TGD youth and families. Regardless of the level of your social work practice, we can utilize and promote affirmative outcomes for TGD young people that foster empowerment, resilience, and efficacy.
Join us for an interactive presentation where we provide an overview social work practice with TGD communities, a deep-dive into the current issues and best practices working with TGD youth, and an opportunity to explore YOUR advocacy and story-telling skills to advance equity and justice utilizing your professional voice. Whether you practice at micro, mezzo, or macro levels – you’ll be empowered to tell your own story to enact change and feel confident in your skills to participate in the policy-making process; not just to advance TGD justice but justice and equity in all its forms.
Shanna K. Kattari (they/them), PhD, MEd, CSE, ACS is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, the Department of Women and Gender Studies (by courtesy), and Director of the [Sexuality|Relationships|Gender] Research Collective. A White, Jewish, nonbinary, disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent, middle-class polyam queer fat Femme, their practice and community background is as a board certified sexologist, certified sexuality educator, and social justice advocate. Dr. Kattari’s extant research focuses on understanding how power, privilege and oppression systematically marginalize, exclude, and discriminate against people regarding their identities/expressions through negative attitudes, policies reinforcing oppression, oppressive actions and isolation. Recently, they have focused on the health disparities among trans and gender diverse communities, across physical and behavioral health, as well as working with the community through community based participatory research and arts based research methods to better understand how the lack of inclusive providers has increased these disparities. They are also interested in examining sexuality in marginalized communities, particularly disabled adults and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals. They offer use of the Trans-Inclusive Provider Scale, developed and validated on a trans and nonbinary sample in Michigan.
Leo Kattari, MSW (he/they) is a doctoral candidate at the Michigan State University School of Social Work and a lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Their research explores LGBTQ+ health and wellness with a particular focus on transgender and gender diverse related civic engagement and community change. He is a passionate advocate for equity and justice with over a decade of experience in the areas of health education, health policy, community mobilization and organizing, and advocacy through storytelling. He has provided presentations, trainings, and consultation services on leadership development, cultural responsiveness, putting data into action, and story-telling techniques throughout the U.S. to agencies such as the Mayo Clinic, various state and county health departments, and the U.S. Department of Human Service’s Office of Adolescent Health. He is invested in community driven and data informed action that advances health equity through public policy, funding priorities, and innovative systems change.
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106