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Social Work Communications

Below you will find the spring/summer email communications sent to incoming MSW. These weekly emails highlight various topics, containing important and helpful information. As new ones are sent, they will be added here.

Reminder: Summer Required Reading

This year, we are asking all incoming students to read at least the first section of My Grandmother's Hands by social worker Resmaa Menakem. This National Best Seller is a call to action for us all to understand how racism and white supremacy creates trauma in our minds, and in our bodies. Below are a few key things about this required summer read.

Why this summer read?

Having a book that all incoming students have read in common provides a great grounding experience for students. It's something you have in common that you can layer your classes on top of, raise in conversations with classmates, and draw upon to shape the launch of your social work experience. Our UM School of Social Work is on our own continual journey to be a truly antiracist community. We selected a book that relates to racism, in part, to strengthen these community efforts.

Where to get the book?

You can find My Grandmother's Hands on, or from your local bookstore. Many local libraries also carry this title. Locally, you might consider Black Stone Bookstore & Cultural Center in Ypsilanti, or Literati in Ann Arbor. Once you are a current student (that is, after you have registered), you have access to the book for free, through the UM Library system. Still struggling to access the book? Please contact to find out how we can help.

What's next?

There will be two optional book discussions over the summer to talk about topics from the book. The discussions will be held virtually via Zoom. Please note there is no required reading for these discussions. This will be a place to begin having conversations about the book and its topics! The fall semester will also include ways to engage more in activities connected to the book. Remember, we are focused this summer on the first part of the book (up to chapter 10), so this fall, you can keep reading!

Optional Summer Book Discussions

Implicit Bias

Thursday, July 13, 6-7 pm
Register here

Recognizing White-body Supremacy

Thursday, July 20, 6-7 pm
Register here

Happy reading!
SEED Orientation Team

PS: Need some inspiration to get started, check out this video!

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