Category: SSW Media Features
Reginald Harris (SSW ‘15) was quoted in Bella English’s article “Cambridge Nonprofit Offers Kids Summer Fun” published in the Boston Globe on August 12, 2014. Harris, who is in his second year as a clinical social work student and part of the family therapy certificate program, spent his summer counseling students at Daybreak Day Camp in Cambridge.
“My biggest takeaway from the summer is that children who experience social and emotional behavior issues very rarely have the opportunity to experience fun new things and play,” Harris said. “Play is essential to childhood development and is the basis of socialization.”
The 30 campers, who may never have experienced camp without Daybreak, attended three field trips a week and participated in many other activities. “We’re helping them develop the skills to resolve conflicts, to have more resilience,” Harris told English.
Daybreak is a day camp program designed specifically for children with a variety of emotional, social or behavioral issues. Harris found out about Daybreak through his foundation year internship at the Amigos School in Cambridge.
Daybreak has 17 trained counselors, specializing in different practices. Harris used the knowledge he gained at BUSSW throughout the summer. “My group work clinical course was especially useful, seeing as though most of the work I did as a counselor was in small groups,” Harris said. “Thanks Professor Underwood!”
Click here to read English’s full story
Photograph from original story: Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff.
On June 24, 2014, Boston University School of Social Work Dean Emeritus Hubie Jones was honored by the Roxbury Multi-Service Center during its 50th anniversary gala. In commemoration of the occasion, WBUR’s Delores Handy profiled Jones and his continuous work in Boston.
Growing up in the South Bronx in New York City, Jones planned on becoming a teacher. However, that changed when the work of Kenneth Clark, one of Jones’ professors at City College of New York, was quoted in a U.S Supreme Court decision.
“For me this was powerful,” Jones said during his interview with Handy. “I saw an academic, I saw a scholar, using his scholarship to advance public policy and social change.”
In 1955, Jones came to Boston to study at the Boston University School of Social Work. On October 28, 1956, a date he has never forgotten, he attended a speech delivered by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“He walked up to the podium without a note, and out of his mouth came this extraordinary oratory that blew me away,” Jones told Handy. “It was a part of cementing my commitment to work for social justice and social change in America.”
Jones has been an agent for change in Boston for nearly 60 years. He has assisted in the formation and leadership of various organizations, including the Roxbury Multi-Service Center.
“You literally can’t scratch the surface of anything in this community that’s of any value and not find Hubie Jones was at the center of it,” said Michael Brown, co-founder of City Year.
In 1977, Jones became the dean of the Boston University School of Social Work. He inspired and shaped the School’s urban mission during his 16-year tenure. An annual symposium, The Hubie Jones Lecture in Urban Health, was also developed in his honor. The lecture series addresses vexing health issues in the urban context, featuring prominent national and international leaders at the intersection of health and social justice.
“Hubie’s whole career has been as an agent of social change and he may be one of the most prominent instruments of social change in Boston in the last 60 years,” Marjorie Arnos-Barron, communications consultant and political blogger, told Handy.
At 80-years-old, Jones continues to influence and define the social and civic landscape of Boston as a leader, bridge-builder, and advocate.
“I just want this city to be as inclusive and as great as it can be,” Jones said. “If we begin to get education right, if we begin to get the integration of services right, we can do what no other city probably can do. We have a chance to be spectacular. This is what I live for.”
Read Handy’s full story here.
Image: Jesse Costa/WBUR
The Spring/Summer 2014 edition of Currents is now available to read or download online. Here, you will learn about alumna Nadia P. Manzoor and her integration of art and social work in BURQ OFF!, Manzoor’s one-woman show. Those who missed the Third Annual Hubie Jones Lecture in Urban Health will also find a recap of Dr. Donald Berwick’s speech. Immerse yourself in the stories of Pandora Maclean-Hoover, Jotham Busfield, Bette J. Freedson, Virginia Jonas, Marilyn Edelson, Laura Freeman, Robert and Pamela Amer, and learn more about BUSSW’s legacy. You will also learn more about our esteemed faculty, through our award winning Distance Learning Program, faculty highlights, and a focus on Assistant Professor Jordana Muroff’s, work with Health Information Technology in alcohol, drug, and other mental health disorders’ recovery processes.
On June 25, VTDigger featured commentary by Boston University School of Social Work Professor and Department of Social Welfare Policy Chair Mary Elizabeth Collins, Ph. D. In the article, Collins discusses the need for a sustained commitment to children.
“Protecting children and supporting families challenges each of our states’ child welfare systems,” Collins says. “The challenge is also shared internationally with those countries that have developed professional social service systems.”
While modest solutions are available, Collins calls for a reorientation to the work of child protection — “one that aims for a commitment to anti-poverty interventions, opportunities for families to gain an economic foothold, and mending of the social safety net.”
“A more fundamental reorientation to the work might include the adoption of a children’s rights framework to guide our policy response,” Collins says, as nearly all countries of the world are adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. “Children and youth would have an entitlement to the needed services and supports to obtain safety, permanency and well-being – the three outcomes that are currently the focus of U.S. child welfare policy.”
“The moral commitment needs to be shared amongst the people of each community, state and the nation as a whole,” Collins says about the responsibility of child protection. “There is much in the larger context that must be shared by political leaders, universities, public and private agencies, faith communities, business and the citizenry in order to move toward effective and sustained change.”
Collins’ full commentary is featured on the VTDigger website.
Muroff notes that 80 percent of hoarders began by 18 and that the onset of hoarding begins, on average, at age 12 or 13. Florin also references Muroff’s preliminary research study, suggesting youth who struggle to make decisions have a higher risk of becoming hoarders.
Within the article, Muroff also disputes the myth that hoarding and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are connected. “Only 18 percent of hoarders also suffer from OCD,” she says. “Treating hoarding with the same drugs and therapies used to treat OCD doesn’t work that well.”
Other scholars join Muroff and suggest genetics, among other characteristics, are signs that you may become a hoarder. The complete article and further information about hoarding can be found here.
Boston University School of Social Work Dean and Professor Gail Steketee, PhD, was recently interviewed for an article by Miranda Silva in Martha Stewart Living. “For the Love of Lightening Up” discusses the benefits of relinquishing goods while honoring happy memories.
Steketee acknowledges the various reasons people decide to hold on to things. “Sometimes it’s just simply joy or aesthetics – there’s pleasure in seeing an object,” she explains in the article. “But often nostalgia, guilt, and anxiety play a role.”
To combat the clutter buildup, Steketee suggests a thorough examination of the reasons for holding onto an item. If it is a struggle to justify keeping something, or it is kept out of mere obligation, it is time to let it go. Further, she reminds readers of the benefits of finding a good home for their cherished items. “The good feeling that comes from donating helps counter any guilt,” Steketee explains.
The complete article and further information about the emotional and physical ramifications of clutter buildup can be found in the How-To Handbook section of the April 2014 issue of Martha Stewart Living.
Registration is now open for the 2014 Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is, “Research on integrating addiction, mental health and medical care services,” and posters, oral presentations and symposia are now being accepted.
The conference will be held in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, at the Hyatt Boston Harbor on October 15-17, 2014.
To learn more about the conference and to register, please visit the AHSR 2014 website: http://sites.bu.edu/ahsr2014/.
Today, an article titled, “Hubie Jones On the Record,” was published in the Boston Globe. The piece highlighted SSW Dean Emeritus Hubie Jones as a civic activist and educator, and prominently featured the oral history project begun by Clinical Professor Betty J. Ruth and Associate Dean for Enrollment Services & External Relations Ken Schulman. To read the full article, click here. See an excerpt about the project below:
“The bottom line is he started or cofounded more than two dozen organizations himself, and they’re all still doing well,” said Betty J. Ruth, a Boston University social work professor who, along with her husband, Ken Schulman, has commissioned the oral history of Jones’s life.
Ruth and Schulman have no firm plans yet for Jones’s recordings, other than turning them into a written record of his life at some point. “Hubie’s impact has been profound, both within social work and beyond, and while he’s gotten some recognition for his work,” Ruth said, “I’m not sure anyone has unpacked the specific ingredients that made his leadership so successful and transformative.”
President Obama Announces BUSSW Alum Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, as Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama announced the appointment of Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, as the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). A leading HIV/AIDS policy expert, Douglas most recently served as Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at the Justice Resource Institute (JRI). As the Director of ONAP, he will lead the Administration’s work to reduce new HIV infections, improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and eliminate HIV health disparities in the United States.
“Douglas’s policy expertise combined with his extensive experience working in the community makes him uniquely suited to the task of helping to achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation, which is within our reach,” President Obama said. “I look forward to having him lead our efforts from the White House.”
A component of the White House Domestic Policy Council, ONAP coordinates the ongoing implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the HIV Care Continuum initiative, while working together with public and private partners to advance the federal response to HIV/AIDS. ONAP also works with the White House National Security Council, the State Department’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, and international bodies to ensure that America’s response to the global pandemic is fully integrated with prevention, care, and treatment efforts around the world. Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative, the U.S. has made enormous progress in responding to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, working with countries heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS to help expand access to treatment, care, and prevention.
Brooks, a person living with HIV, was most recently the Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at JRI, a health and human service agency based in Boston. He served as executive director of the Sidney Borum Jr. Community Health Center at JRI, has managed programs in urban and rural environments and has served as a consultant to domestic and international governments and non-governmental organizations assisting their efforts to serve populations living with and at greatest risk for HIV/AIDS. Brooks was a Visiting Fellow at the McCormack School Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and was Chair of the Board of Trustees of AIDS United in Washington, DC.
In 2010, Brooks was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and served as its liaison to the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee and successfully led those bodies to achieve the tasks assigned to them in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. He has directly managed federally funded programs, meeting or exceeding targets for Ryan White projects, CDC Prevention for African American/Black youth, a HRSA Special Project of National Significance (SPNS), and a HOPWA SPNS. Brooks received a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University and is a licensed clinical social worker.
“I love talking to social workers because you guys get it. You understand it, you live it, you breath it. You understand all the implications of societal forces on issues that you work on,” said Dr. Adewale Troutman, president of the American Public Health Association. A human rights, health equity, and social justice activist, Troutman was the keynote speaker at the Second Annual Hubie Jones Lecture in Urban Health, held April 27, 2013. He opened by speaking about his childhood growing up in the South Bronx.
“We were so poor. True to our urban environment, there was very little green space; we used public transportation; and we were surrounded by domestic violence, alcoholism, abandonment, poverty and racial tension,” he described.
Troutman discussed his involvement in the civil rights movement, which fueled his interest in equity and justice. “I thought I could change the world. And I still do. I believe the power of one is extremely important: the opportunity to do what you can do can in fact make a difference in the world,” he said.
Troutman identifies himself through his commitment to social justice, human rights, community activism, health equity and national and global health. His life’s work has been a testimony to this fact. Troutman has over 40 years of dedicated practice through action to the principles of universal freedoms, and the elimination of racism, injustice and oppression. His experience includes special consultancies with the World Health Organization in Thailand and Japan, health assessment missions in Angola, Jamaica and Zaire, and training in India and Austria. His commitment to justice has evolved into his nationally recognized efforts to create health equity and the supremacy of the social determinants of health, the founding of the first Center for Health Equity at a local health department, and the creation of the Mayors Healthy Hometown Movement. He is also credited with the passage of one of the strongest anti-smoking ordinances in the country.
Encouraging the collaboration between public health and social work, Troutman applauded the public health social work dual degree program at Boston University. “An MSW/MPH is a direction we should all be taking — prevention is a guiding light,” he said.
In his presentation, Troutman spoke of reframing the following:
- Health vs. Healthcare
- Individual vs. Population Health
- Market Justice vs. Social Justice
- Rights vs. Privileges
- Biological/Behavioral Determinants vs. Social Determinants
- Creating Health Equity vs. Eliminating Health
“Social justice says societal factors affect what happens it us as individuals and populations. It needs to be part of the equation for us to understand what we need to do,” said Troutman.
Emphasizing equality, Troutman shared different case studies surrounding community health initiatives and discussed health policy. He also encouraged the audience to engage the medical community, identify non-traditional partners in the community, and recognize the importance of empowerment and capacity.
“We are all connected in public health, and it is our responsibility to continue to fight for policies and resources that create opportunities for people to live healthily and prosper,” he said. “You can’t have anything without a vision. We talk a lot about health equity and social justice, but how often do we visualize that? It takes a risk.”
Troutman closed by sharing the following poem:
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out to others is to risk involvement
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their servitude, they are a slave, they forfeited their freedom.
Only the person who risks is free.
About Dr. Adewale Troutman
Dr. Troutman has a Doctor of Medicine from New Jersey Medical School, a master’s in Public Health from Columbia University, a master’s in Black Studies from the State University of New York in Albany, and board certification from the National Board of Public Health Examiners. His career has included clinical emergency medicine, hospital administration, academic, and public health practice. He served as an Associate Professor at the University of Louisville’s School of Public Health & Information Sciences, while directing the Metro-Louisville Department of Public Health & Wellness.
Troutman has had multiple publications including “What if We Were Equal?,” co-authored with former Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. David Satcher; and numerous awards and recognitions. He is featured in the nationally televised PBS series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Troutman also serves on a variety of boards including the National Board of Public Health Examiners, the Health & Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Health Promotion Disease & the Committee on Infant Mortality, the Board of Directors of Public Health Law and Policy, the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association, the African American Heritage Center and is an active member of the Black Caucus of Health Workers (BCHW) and he has also served as a former BCHW President.
About the Hubie Jones Lecture on Urban Health
Wrapping up the month of Global Days of Service 2013, the endowed lecture is an annual symposium addressing vexing health issues distinct to the urban context featuring prominent national and international leaders toiling at the intersection of health and social justice. The series honors the vision of Hubie Jones, dean emeritus of Boston University’s School of Social Work, who inspired and shaped the School’s urban mission during his 16-year tenure and who continues to influence and define the social and civic landscape of Boston as a leader, bridge-builder, and advocate.