Spring is in the air. Happy Social Work month!!! CSWE has declared the theme of this year’s celebration as “Social Work Paves the Way for Change.” The March edition of the Dean’s blog covers just a small sample of all that is in play in our vibrant community of scholars, researchers, and students as we demonstrate our lived commitment to this ideal.
This past month, we published our first “Dean’s Roundtable Brief” featuring the Interpersonal Violence Practice Community, including a number of our alums as community leaders. My intention for these periodic gatherings was to periodically invite leaders and faculty active in certain areas of practice relevant to the school to come together in dialogue about the state of a given field of practice, conversation about our ways of working together (both field and coursework), and suggestions for future directions of our shared goals around producing both knowledge and a workforce.
Our first event was held this past fall, and we were so pleased to produce the following brief to share with our students, faculty and the community at large – all in the service of building capacity and strengthening relationships. Many thanks again to all who made the event such a success – especially Dr. Stephanie Wahab, who served as the Faculty Co-Sponsor, and to Katie Cagle who provided significant leadership and support as well. Our next Dean’s Roundtable event will be later in the spring and will focus on Integrated Behavioral Health Practice.
Good to see our faculty representing the school and advancing important knowledge in key areas of social work research and social change.
- Orellana, E.R., Goldbach, J., Rountree, M., & Bagwell, B. (2015). Access to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services by People Living with HIV/AIDS: The Case Manager Perspective. Health & Social Work (published early online).
- Chorpenning, M., Curry-Stevens, A., Schrock, G., and Lamb, N. (2015). Economic Equity in Communities of Color: The Effectiveness of Minority Contracting Initiatives. Portland, OR: Center to Advance Racial Equity, Portland State University.
- Ben Anderson-Nathe had a recent post published on BitchMedia called “We are not ‘just like everyone else,'” which is based on an article of the same title that will be published in a forthcoming book.
- Curry-Stevens, A. (January 24, 2015). Using data to transform policy and catalyze policy advocacy. Leadership training for African Leadership Development Program. Portland, OR.
Other Good News!
Brian Everall, our intrepid Systems Analyst (and resident computer expert) managed to significantly accelerate our modest budgeted “few upgrade computers a year” plan by scoring ALL “new to us” upgrades from the Portland State computer trust. While not brand new machines, they are a substantial update and should serve our students very well for the next few years. Please join me in giving Brian a heartfelt thank you!!!
Strategic Planning for the SSW
Following up on our successful retreat, a group of SSW representatives met on February 27 to advance planning on strategic action items for our school over the next 3 years. Learn more about our work and next steps by checking out this link. You can see who is serving on this ad hoc effort here. If you’d like the chance to comment on our work on specific identified priorities – offer your ideas on this brief survey. It would be most helpful to have this input before April 8, but we’ll accept input any time.
Social Work Day of Action in Salem
March 10, 2015 marked the Social Work Day of Action in Salem sponsored by NASW-Oregon. It was a busy and interesting day of learning, interacting and advocating for numerous important policies impacting social work practice. Primarily focusing on HB’s 2002 (On ending racial profiling in Oregon), on 2009 (Increasing the state’s minimum wage), on 2307 (Ending conversion therapy for GLBTQ youth in Oregon), and 3059 (Increasing rights and improving working conditions of live entertainers in Oregon).
Over 100 social workers were in attendance – with over half of the group representing PSU’s BSW, and MSW programs (both distance and Portland sites). We were addressed by Senate President Peter Courtney, by Labor Comissioner Brad Avakian, by Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, and by Rep. Joe Gallegos (also a PSU SSW Alum!). Then we met with individual legislators to discuss current policies being advanced through the legislative process. Kudos to everyone involved – an enjoyable and impactful day to engage with policymaking and issues that matter. Special thanks to Salem Distance Coordinator, Michelle Martinez-Thompson for her leadership and energy in making the day such a success. Here’s a quick photo album from our busy day with just a few snapshots of our experiences. For those that might be planning to testify on any items – here’s a great refresher about “how to’s” in the process!
General Items of Interest to Social Work and Human Service Practice
As been our practice on this blog, here are some links that we round up that inspire, challenge and inform social work education and practice. Enjoy!
- What is collective impact and how can it strengthen the impact of your partnerships?
- Check out this reading list inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
- Some helpful and interesting questions that focus on essential end of life needs and preferences.
- Open Dialogue is a new method of approaching mental health challenges being piloted in numerous places in Europe. This is an interesting overview that stretches us beyond our U.S.-based frameworks to consider some other possibilities for interventions. Worth a read.
- An article from a Canadian news outlet describing a new report from the United Nations focused on adolescent health and the need for youth themselves to play a larger role in related public health efforts (link to U.N. report included).
- Nadine Burke Harris’s new TED Talks about childhood adversity and its impact on life trajectories – in high circulation right now. Timely, relevant and useful!
- New data on race-related income and wealth disparities at the national level based on reports from the Urban Institute.
- Recent USA Today story about the challenge and difficulty of finding addiction treatment across the U.S.
- SAMHSA’s five point plan on how to improve the mental health system in the U.S.
- Article about use of technology and rapid response of youth using technology in and around Ferguson. Here’s another piece about the remarkable women activists behind the BlackLivesMatter movement.
- Nice short film entitled “10 Things You Can Do To Promote Racial Equity” produced by an interfaith coalition in the U.S.
- Ever wondered what goes on at Social Work Day at the United Nations? Check out some information about it here.
- Great piece about “everyday ableism” and what we can all do to avoid it.
- Terrific political science lesson on the history and definition of “gerrymandering” and how it works today.
- Two great articles about oppression, privilege and building capacity to promote equity – offering critique and suggestions for going further. First, a piece on “call out culture” and second, a piece on “call in culture and a less disposable way of holding each other accountable.” Worth a read.
Portland & Oregon
- Portland is gentrifying faster than other U.S. cities
- Health disparities in Communities of Color in Oregon as well as a new initiative to focus on addressing this unacceptable reality.
- Ford Family Foundation report on how Oregon is making use of the Adverse Childhood Experiences data and contributing to the national debate.
- The “children’s agenda” for the 2o15 Oregon Legislative Agenda – worth bookmarking!
- Poverty info graphics for Oregon – powerful information. Additional article about Portland’s startlingly high rates of food stamp utilization.
- Recent Smithsonian magazine coverage of the story of Vanport and the 1948 flood that impacted this important community history chapter still impacting Communities of Color in Portland.
- In case you hadn’t heard, there is big news in the “Ban the Box” movement regarding eliminating mandatory disclosure of some kinds of criminal offenses in job applications in Portland.
- Provocative article about the limits of academic discourse as it interacts with social justice/social change. Thought provoking!
Technology in Social Work and Social Work Education
- University of Buffalo School of Social Work has put together a helpful resource page about technology resources and information for social workers. Check it out.
- Article featuring our colleagues at University of Washington School of Social Work and their recent partnership to pilot suicide prevention tools in partnership with Facebook.