Professor Lisa Wexler spoke with the podcast Nature on the importance of research into gun violence. “I think it can save lives. The impact for this sort of research can be nearly immediate,” she said. Wexler studies how communities in Alaska can reduce suicide rates in Indigenous youth by promoting gun safety measures. “If you can make it ten minutes harder to get a lethal means - in this case a loaded gun - you can save lives because a lot of suicides are impulsive, particularly youth suicides.”
Professor Luke Shaefer spoke with the New York Times about how the new monthly child tax credit could increase economic stability for families. "When we load up so much of our aid in an annual big refund, it means so many of our families are going into the red by the end of the year," Professor Shaefer said. "We used to think about poverty in the United States as static - your income is below the poverty line - but people's lives are very volatile."
Professor Rogério Meireles Pinto spoke with Marie Claire Brazil about the importance of the Stonewall riots in terms of current LGBTQIA2+ rights and aspirations. "The relationships between the different groups that comprise LGBTQIA2+ have always been a little uneasy," said Pinto." To the extent that there was a ‘gay movement' in early 1969, that movement wasn't centered in bars like Stonewall. For the most part it was middle class and socially conservative - nicely dressed young men and women marching peacefully, if at all. There were always exceptions, but Stonewall was the first time that any of those represented in what we today call LGBTQIA2+ pushed back against the police and government visibly and forcefully."
Associate Professor Cristina Bares has received an award from the Council of Social Work Education's Katherine A. Kendall Institute for International Social Work Education. The award will fund the development of a new course in the Global Social Work Pathway, which will prepare MSW students to work in a global environment by engaging with instructors from multiple institutions — particularly institutions from the Global South. Students will also develop anti-racist and decolonizing skills through intergroup dialogue. “I am very excited to bring this content to our students so that they may enhance their interpersonal skills through a lens of global social justice,” said Bares.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline discusses her research in The Conversation on how postal banking could provide a financial lifeline to the millions of Americans without a bank account.
According to data, 24% of U.S. census tracts have neither a community bank nor a credit union branch, leaving 21 million people "underbanked." The lack of affordable banking creates real hardships that disproportionately hurt low-income Americans and communities of color. Without a bank account, people pay higher fees and interest rates, have a harder time building credit history and are less able to get mortgages and other kinds of loans, writes Friedline.
Professor William Elliott III spoke with MarketWatch about the role children's savings accounts can play in countering racial wealth inequality. "Education in itself will never reduce wealth inequality in America, it can be a part of it and it's really important, but if we're talking about inequality, you've got to have wealth and start off with assets," he said. "But unless the government, philanthropists and others provide a significant amount of money, the accounts won't narrow the gulf in wealth between Black and white and rich and poor households."
Professor Robert Joseph Taylor has received the James Jackson Outstanding Mentorship Award from the Gerontological Society of America. This award recognizes outstanding commitment and dedication to mentoring minority researchers in the field of aging. "I was overjoyed when I was informed that I had received the inaugural James Jackson Outstanding Mentorship Award," said Taylor. "James Jackson was my mentor and he always stressed the importance of mentoring students and junior faculty and including them in his work. I view mentoring as my way of acknowledging James' legacy and ‘paying forward' the investment that he made in me."
"Robert Taylor is a dedicated mentor who has provided resources to advance the careers of dozens, maybe even hundreds, of social work and social science scholars in the U.S. He invests his time and wisdom and creates relationships and social networks that provide support and success throughout the careers of his mentees," said Dean Lynn Videka. "Of special note is the annual summer workshop for scholars who focus on diverse populations; these gatherings create lifelong networks of support for the attendees. Robert's investment in the mentorship of underrepresented scholars is an example of what makes Michigan Social Work great."
Clinical Assistant Professor and Washtenaw County Commissioner Justin Hodge was quoted in Concentrate on the county’s plans to use taxes from the rapidly growing legal cannabis industry to address racial inequity. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners recently approved a budget amendment that will use all annual revenue from the marijuana excise tax, which is expected to produce $200,000 per year, to create equity-based programming initiatives. Hodge wants this budget amendment to help expand the county’s Racial Equity Office.
“I’d like to see us grow that office to several more staff, so that they’re in the position to work intensely across the county to promote racial justice and equity initiatives,” Hodge said. “Some of that might look like doing trainings, doing audits of departments, providing resources in the community, and making sure that all of the initiatives coming out of every county department are approached through an anti-racism lens.”
Luke Shaefer was quoted in the New York Times on his co-authored study showing that the last two rounds of stimulus checks substantially reduced hardship, especially among the poorest households and those with children. Shafer said “We see an immediate decline among multiple lines of hardship concentrated among the most disadvantaged families.”
Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Innovation Rogério M. Pinto and Clinical Assistant Professor Daicia Price have received the 2021 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award.
The award recognizes U-M faculty whose service goes above and beyond their regular duties and contributes to the development of a culturally and ethnically diverse campus community.
The award was established in 1996 in honor of Harold Johnson, dean emeritus of the School of Social Work. Johnson was dean from 1981-93 and has a distinguished history of scholarship and service. Pinto and Price join the ranks of more than a dozen School of Social Work faculty honored with the award since its inception.
“I am proud to be involved in several initiatives to diversify—in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, intellectual background and endeavors and more—across the University of Michigan campus and beyond. I am fully engaged in creating strategies for including underrepresented racial, ethnic, gender and sexual and other minorities who may have been excluded from leadership roles at the university and in other spaces, and for making these spaces more inclusive. We are gaining ground,” said Pinto.
“I am more than honored to be the recipient of this award as my lifelong commitment is to reach out, raise hope, and create change,” said Price. “I am active in three scholarship programs that focus on service delivery in a culturally responsive way that utilizes inclusive teaching strategies. I have been a leader in the Undoing Racism Workgroup that seeks to dismantle racism in the School by building community with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners. I mentor and support students and alumni of diverse backgrounds in reaching their desired goals in various settings of social work at the micro, mezzo and macro level. As a community member, I offer service to support law enforcement, first responders, community mental health organizations, social service organizations and companies to increase their capacity of being inclusive and equitable.”
2018 - Robert Joseph Taylor
2015 - Linda Chatters & Sandra Momper
2013 - Letha Chadiha
2008 - Paul Allen-Meares
2006 - Larry Gant & Mieko Yoshihama
2003 - Michael Spencer
2001 - Kristine Siefert
1997 - Robert Ortega & Beth Glover Reed
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
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