The policy class challenge + The 1619 Project

I love teaching policy. I have taught it at the BSW level for close to 20 years, whether the foundation class (an overview of key social welfare policies) or the policy practice class. The one I have taught most frequently is the former, which includes a fair amount of history (to set the stage forContinue reading “The policy class challenge + The 1619 Project”

Teach me, but stay close by

I was giving a presentation today, on the second of two “dead days”, which is the space in between the end of the semester and the beginning of exam period. I have been running non-stop for the past few days especially, with all good things but also just too many things. A running joke duringContinue reading “Teach me, but stay close by”

My Grandmother’s Hands

Each spring I teach a capstone course for social work seniors, and there is a good bit of flexibility in terms of what I assign to read and what we discuss. This spring, my students and I have been reading Resmaa Menakem’s My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts andContinue reading “My Grandmother’s Hands”

Remembering DeEbony

It was April 2018, a Sunday afternoon, and I was driving back from a volleyball tournament in East Tennessee with my three daughters in the car. They were all asleep when I took a call from my Dean while coming through a mountain pass. While it was unusual for her to call on a weekend,Continue reading “Remembering DeEbony”

Roots and wings and (social justice) dreams

The picture of Vice President Elect Kamala Harris walking alongside the shadow of 6 year old Ruby Bridges has been giving me life the past few days. I have taught three classes this week and shown the picture in 2 of them. In one of the classes (a freshman seminar focused on social change), noContinue reading “Roots and wings and (social justice) dreams”

Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy: A playlist of belonging

Like many teachers this semester, I am teaching in what is called a “hyflex” model, which means that there are students in the “zoom room” at the same time that I have students in the physical space. My classroom for this particular course only holds 8 students (to maintain appropriate physical distance) so there areContinue reading “Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy: A playlist of belonging”

“…Crosses and diseases, whiskey and guns…” my journey toward Indigenous Peoples Day

A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel with a colleague and some students and my family on a Maymester trip out west. We spent a week on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, where we were able to learn from elders and other leaders about the land and some of theContinue reading ““…Crosses and diseases, whiskey and guns…” my journey toward Indigenous Peoples Day”