Associate Professor Karen Staller, Joint PhD Social Work and Sociology Student Briana Starks and Visiting Scholar Håvard Aaslund co-edited the recent special double issue of Qualitative Social Work: Research and Practice, “Reflections on a Pandemic: Disruptions, Distractions, and Discoveries.” The double issue contains 86 reflexive essays submitted by authors from 35 different countries (and every continent except Antarctica). Taken together, the essays paint a portrait of the breadth and depth of social work during the earliest months of the historic pandemic from every corner of the globe. Other U-M contributors to the issue include Assistant Professor Odessa Gonzalez Benson, and current doctoral students in Joint PhD Social Work and Sociology Finn Bell and Angela Perone.
ENGAGE Program Manager Fatima Salman, MSW ‘15, is one of five alumni named as Racial Equity Fellows by Detroit Equity Action Lab. The Racial Equity Fellowship develops leaders who work to end structural racism in Detroit. Other alumni fellows include Michelle Anderson, MSW ‘01, Margo Dalal, MSW ‘18, Sibohan O’Laoire, MSW ‘13, and Robert Siporin, MSW ‘14.
PhD student Charles Williams has been appointed chair of the Bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission African American workgroup by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Housed within the Department of Health and Human Services, the commission will help raise awareness of the safety and effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, educate the people of the state, and help protect the health and safety of all Michigan residents.
Researchers at the Center for Equitable Family & Community Well-Being surveyed more than 600 low-income residents across Ypsilanti about the impact of COVID-19. Their work is giving voice to the needs of those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, ensuring that local health and economic responses attend to issues of equity.
Professor Daphne Watkins is a co-chair of a new task force, Advancing Public Safety at the University of Michigan. President Mark Schlissel and Provost Susan Collins appointed a 20-member task force that will examine what’s working and what needs to be improved with the university’s Division of Public Safety and Security. The task force is among several anti-racism initiatives that U-M officials announced last fall after the deaths of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of police sparked national conversations around structural racism and policing.
After an extensive selection process, the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission selected three groups from Ayesha Ghazi Edwin’s Introduction to Community Organization, Management and Policy/Evaluation Practice classes to present their projects at the commission’s December meeting. The classes spent the semester investigating their equity issues in Ann Arbor, interviewing stakeholders and community members and making a recommendation. The groups that presented were:
The commission works to protect the human and civil rights of the people of Ann Arbor. Its nine members are Ann Arbor residents appointed by the mayor and city council. In addition, Ann Arbor City Council members Elizabeth Nelson and Travis Radina were also present, as was Kathy Wyatt, assistant to the sheriff of Washtenaw County.
The commission members requested that students' projects be shared with the rest of council and other city commissions. All of the groups have been invited to participate in ongoing subcommittee meetings. The projects are stored in an "issue bank" that can be accessed by city council and city commission members.
Clinical Assistant Professor Daicia Price shared her personal and professional experiences with law enforcement agencies in the University Record. Price is currently partnering with Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network to provide weeklong crisis intervention training for law enforcement agencies.
“Five times, myself and my family have been incarcerated for reasons we should not have been, but I still don’t place that on an individual officer. I think about where the gaps were in those different pieces, and helping them understand ways they can do policing in a trauma-informed way,” said Price.
Lorraine Gutiérrez, associate dean for educational programs and professor of social work, is receiving the 2020 Career Achievement Award from the Association for Community Organization and Social Action (ACOSA). The award honors the lifetime contribution of a person in the field who has made a major contribution to community practice. She is a leader in scholarship on group work, empowerment, multicultural practice and research for community change that has advanced these areas and enriched social work education and practice. She has exemplified an academic life that connects her teaching and research with her service that has enhanced her school, campus, community and profession.
"There is no greater honor than being recognized by my peers,” said Gutiérrez . “I joined ACOSA when I was a doctoral student in 1986 and it has always been an important part of my community-focused work. I have been happy to be contributing to the field of community practice."
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.
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