ENGAGE Program Manager and Lecturer Ayesha Ghazi-Edwin is one of the 100 Detroit activists featured in "i.Detroit," a mixed media project by British artist Marcus Lyon. She was selected after a 6-month nomination process as an activist who is making a significant difference in Detroit. The project includes a book of portraits, a smartphone app and a 7-inch vinyl record; it also maps the DNA of its subjects to create what Lyon calls a “human atlas” of the city.
Clinical Assistant Professor Justin Hodge, MSW ‘13, won the Democratic primary for Washtenaw County Commissioner, 5th District; he’ll advance to face the Republican candidate in the November election.
“I have lots of challenges around my experience with law enforcement,” says Clinical Assistant Professor Daicia Price. “I have been incarcerated myself, and my son has been incarcerated for crimes he did not commit. With all that is going on now, I was trying to figure out how to make a difference.” Price decided to become trained in connecting law enforcement and mental health.
With the challenges that communities of color, in particular, have faced regarding policing and use of force, there have in fact been several calls to increase mental health training of law enforcement. Price has partnered with Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network to provide Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for interested law enforcement agencies. Just this week as a CIT trainer, she has trained officers from Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Wayne County Jail, Detroit Police Department, Canton Police Department and Northville Police Department in ways to intervene using trauma-informed policing.
“We use role plays and scenarios to teach police officers different ways of engaging with people,” says Price. “We connect them with other social service providers and clinicians — connections they never had before. We listen to their challenges. For example, police are frustrated when people ask them to address situations for which they are unprepared, such as mental health. To hear their desire to help but not knowing what to do is powerful for me. The general public has no idea there are officers trained in critical interventions and to connect with social services to access care. This is so critical right now.”
Between the pandemic and the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s brutal death, social workers have been called to action. We checked in with a number of students, alumni and community members to hear how they are putting their training into action these last several months. Read the stories of social work in action.
During times of uncertainty and crisis, people come together to support one another. COVID-19 is a new test of our collective strength. The Community Engagement team and the Office of Field Education have created a webpage that includes a list of volunteer opportunities to support community members and organizations as well as additional resources.
"The partnership, collegiality and collaboration between the Community Engagement Team, the Office of Field Education, and our students is an extraordinary example of teamwork at its best in this time of crisis. Collectively, we have developed and identified numerous opportunities for our students to be able to support our communities and those in need as we all confront the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It makes me proud to be a social worker," said Assistant Dean of Field Education Dan Fischer.
"Coming together like this provides a teachable moment. When there is a difficult or emergency situation, we can work together to share resources and come up with answers. No one person has to figure everything out on their own. The COVID-19 virus has brought lots of uncertainty, but the School of Social Work community can do its part to uncover and respond to needs as they arise," said Professor and Director of Community Engagement Trina Shanks.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline has been selected for the U-M 2020 cohort of the Public Engagement Fellowship. Mentor fellows are faculty with more extensive experience in public engagement and will work closely with Fellows to provide guidance, connections and mentorship based on their own expertise and networks. Although planning for the Public Engagement Fellowship started before COVID-19, the current situation highlights how important programs like these are in preparing scholars for engagement - both in moments of crisis and over the long-term.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline discusses financial system reform and consumer protections to ensure that people and communities have access to safe and affordable financial products and services during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The Michigan COVID-19 Pandemic Resource Guide, published by U-M Poverty Solutions aims to make sure the people who would benefit most from these policy changes are able to take advantage of them.
“The guide demonstrates Poverty Solutions’ commitment to action-based research that is responsive to community needs,” said Kristin Seefeldt, Poverty Solutions associate faculty director and an associate professor of social work and public policy.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline’s research, “Mapping Financial Opportunity” can be used to inform the Automatic BOOST to Communities Act drafted by Rashida Tlaib, U.S. Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district. In response to the coronavirus crisis, the proposed legislation would immediately provide a U.S. debit card preloaded with $2,000 to every person in America, which could be transitioned into a universal federal or postal banking account. Each card would be recharged with $1,000 monthly until one year after the end of the coronavirus crisis. Friedline's research focuses on universal bank account access and she maps post office locations to inform the potential for postal banking.
In February, the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work Center for Health Equity Research and Training announced the three inaugural awardees of the Curtis Center Signature Programs Initiative (SPI). SPI is a launch program for Michigan Social Work faculty to develop new or further existing health equity research programs.
Led by Assistant Professor Jamie Mitchell and Assistant Professor Jaclynn Hawkins, this program will address the development of behavioral and health services interventions that improve African American’s self-management of chronic diseases. The program will culminate in a symposium focusing on academic-community partnerships to reduce chronic disease self-management disparities.
Led by Assistant Professor Katie Schultz, this program will establish a research partnership between Michigan Social Work faculty and a statewide tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalition. The program will identify research priorities and support the development of new community-led research to reduce violence and promote health equity in Michigan’s tribal communities.
Led by Assistant Professor Anao Zhang, this program will create a fellowship at the emergent Michigan Medicine Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Research Group (MAYA). This fellowship will address the unique developmental issues that result in significantly worse health outcomes among adolescents and young adults than their pediatric or adult counterparts, both during treatment and throughout survivorship. The detrimental effects of cancer and treatment among this age group on infertility and sexual dysfunction significantly impact their psychosocial well-being.
The Signature Program Initiative award includes $10,000 in program funds and research consultation from the Curtis Center. In addition to the three programs above, YBMen Project is also a Curtis Center Signature Program but does not receive financial support from the Curtis Center.
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106