Doin’ The Work: Frontline Stories of Social Change
Trans Rights and Justice in a Time of Anti-Trans Attacks - Daye Pope

Trans Rights and Justice in a Time of Anti-Trans Attacks - Daye Pope

June 6, 2022

Episode 54
Guest: Daye Pope
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.

In this episode, I talk with Daye Pope, Director of Civic Engagement at T.A.K.E. – Trans Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering – located in Birmingham, Alabama, and Pennsylvania. T.A.K.E. was founded by Daroneshia Duncan-Boyd as a peer-support group for trans women of color and has expanded to provide services, advocacy, and organizing. We talk about the current anti-trans legislation sweeping the country and how transphobia is not new, but this current climate is increasingly politically hostile, as the Right uses trans folks as scapegoats and a rallying point for their base. Daye talks about the lack of health care access for transgender people and the multitude of interconnected issues that are barriers to health care, rooted in racism, classism, cisgenderism – white, wealthy, hetero, cisgender, patriarchal normativity. Daye explains how ant-trans legislation is creating multiple issues for trans youth, including targeted harassment, potentially being outed to their parents, and being denied medical care, while health care providers and parents and guardians who support trans youth are being threatened with felonies. Daye explains how puberty blockers work and counters misinformation about hormone therapy and surgery. We also talk about legislation against trans athletes. Daye talks about T.A.K.E.’s civic engagement work, specifically on voting rights for trans folks, especially trans folks of color, and the multiple ways voter suppression occurs. Daye emphasizes the strength and love of the T.A.K.E. community and how they are organizing to provide basic needs yet go beyond by developing leaders who are creating change on multiple levels. Daye speaks to her hope among youth and also shares what her experience was like when she was younger. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

www.takebhm.org
Twitter: @takeactionciv
Facebook: T.A.K.E. Resource Center https://www.facebook.com/takepeergroup

https://www.equalityfederation.org/ 

Racial Equity in Psychiatry and Mental Health - Jessica Isom, MD, MPH

Racial Equity in Psychiatry and Mental Health - Jessica Isom, MD, MPH

May 16, 2022

Episode 53
Guest: Jessica Isom, MD, MPH
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.

In this episode, I talk with Dr. Jessica Isom, a board-certified community psychiatrist, who practices clinically in the federally qualified health center Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She is also involved in graduate medical education and health care workforce development in her role as a clinical instructor in the Yale University Department of Psychiatry, which has inspired many invited talks and workshops around social justice and health equity. Additionally, Dr. Isom is a physician-entrepreneur who owns the consulting business Vision for Equity LLC that focuses on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), antiracism, and racial equity. We talk about how in medicine and mental health, race, specifically being Black-identified, is typically discussed as a risk-factor for ill health when racism is the root and primary risk factor. Dr. Isom explains that this approach pathologizes Blackness, as it’s intended to, and directs interventions and treatment in ways that do harm and perpetuate racism by incorrectly explaining health disparities as individual and biological rather than rooted in the systemic racism that creates inequity, stress, barriers to access, poor treatment, and that intersects with many other social determinants of health. She further details how this approach of pathologizing Blackness is deficit focused and promotes a deficit-based ideology and approach to addressing health disparities and the overall well-being of Black people. We talk about how whiteness and Western/Eurocentricity shows up in mental health, including the DSM, and Dr. Isom shares how she navigates this in her clinical work. She also shares her thoughts on Black healing and joy. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

@drjessisommdmph (Twitter/IG/Clubhouse)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-elizabeth-isom-12ba54a2
www.vision4equity.com

Stop Playing Diversity - Monica Cox, PhD

Stop Playing Diversity - Monica Cox, PhD

April 18, 2022

Episode 52
Guest: Monica Cox, PhD
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.

In this episode, I talk with Dr. Monica Cox, who is a disruptor, trailblazer, change agent, and leader who believes in living an authentic life even if it makes people uncomfortable. She grew up an only child in rural southeast Alabama, where she was raised by her educator parents to persist in the face of personal and professional adversity. She is a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at The Ohio State University. Dr. Cox also provides coaching in the areas of career development; business strategy; and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Dr. Cox shares her experiences in navigating higher education and DEI as a Black woman, particularly around performative diversity and organizational issues. She has a way of speaking on these issues in a personal way that explains how systemic racism is deeply manifested in these spaces, how it has impacted her, what she has done about it, and encouraging others. I’ve found her words to cut through the BS and really hit home. You are going to want to hear what she has to say. She vulnerably shares her journey with us. For some, her words will be affirming because you know the reality. For others, her words will shake you up because things need to change, and you have a choice to make. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

www.drmonicacox.com
Twitter, IG & TikTok: @drmonicacox
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/monicafcox

Abolish the Family Policing System (”Child Welfare”) - Joyce McMillan & Victoria, MSW

Abolish the Family Policing System (”Child Welfare”) - Joyce McMillan & Victoria, MSW

March 14, 2022

Episode 51
Guests: Joyce McMillan; Victoria, MSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. In 2022 they will continue their ongoing series, Eyes On Abolition that explores abolition as practice and as a critical framework to bring about change, and invite you to join them in April when they host Becoming Abolitionists author, Derecka Purnell. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.

In this episode, I talk with Joyce McMillan and Victoria about the family policing system, also known as the child welfare system. Joyce is a parent, activist, and community organizer who is focused on systems abolition. She is the Founder and Executive Director of JMac for Families and Parent Legislative Action Network. Victoria is a PhD candidate at UCLA Social Welfare, policy analyst, and here for the abolition of all carceral systems, organizing with Cops Off Campus Coalition, Let’s Get Free LA Coalition, and Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. We talk about the need to abolish the family policing system. Joyce and Victoria explain why they call this system the family policing system, drawing parallels to how prison and carceral systems function. They talk about how much of family policing is an attack on families in poverty – the majority of neglect reports are actually for situations due to poverty and have nothing to do with someone’s ability to parent. They talk about how the family policing system disproportionately harms Black, Brown, and Indigenous families, and how there is a history of racist social control in the creation of this system and its present-day operation, including predictive analytics and mandatory reporting. Joyce discusses how families do not know their rights, are not given warnings of their rights, and her work on Miranda rights for parents. Victoria talks about how the family policing system is part of the larger carceral system of surveillance and how families are caught up in this system. Both discuss how we could be supporting families rather than separating them. And yes, we talk about so-called “color-blind” removals. Joyce and Victoria share how they got into this work, with Joyce sharing how her children were removed and she fought to get them back, and Victoria sharing about her father being in kinship care and her work with youth involved in the system. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

Joyce
https://jmacforfamilies.org/
Twitter @JMacForFamilies
Instagram jmacforfamilies

Victoria
Twitter @vee_etc

https://upendmovement.org/

https://stoplapdspying.org/

http://www.generationfive.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Transformative-Justice-Handbook.pdf

https://www.lovewithaccountability.com/

Exposing the Right-Wing & Corporate Takeover of Education & Democracy - Jasmine Banks

Exposing the Right-Wing & Corporate Takeover of Education & Democracy - Jasmine Banks

February 14, 2022

Episode 50
Guest: Jasmine Banks
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

www.dointhework.com
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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. In 2022 they will continue their ongoing series, Eyes On Abolition that explores abolition as practice and as a critical framework to bring about change, and invite you to join them in April when they host Becoming Abolitionists author, Derecka Purnell. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.

In this episode, I talk with Jasmine Banks, who is the Executive Director of UnKoch My Campus, a national campaign that investigates and exposes how right-wing billionaire Charles Koch and his Koch network influence education, both in higher ed and K-12. Many of you who follow the podcast already care about racial, social, economic, and environmental justice, care about multiracial democracy, but do we always know the hidden influences of the agenda that opposes all of this, utilizing right-wing think tanks, research, and targeted campaigns? Jasmine explains what the Koch network is and how, through multi-million-dollar contributions, they promote ideas and policies that suppress voting rights, question climate change while actually advancing it, deny the reality of COVID, attack workers’ rights, and are behind the wide-spread efforts to ban any discussion of slavery and systemic racism in schools by attacking critical race theory and the 1619 Project. She shares that Koch helped fund the January 6th attempted coup and that multiracial democracy is truly at stake. UnKoch My Campus has released reports of how the Koch network carries out its agenda and those reports are available on their website. Jasmine explains how UnKoch My Campus works with students who organize to challenge the Koch agenda. She explains how the ruling of Citizens United treated corporations like people and how there is basically unchecked financial influence corporations have over elections and legislation. Policy folks often say we need to “follow the money” and Jasmine does a phenomenal job in breaking this down. Jasmine also shares how she got into this work and talks about working as a therapist. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

www.unkochmycampus.org
Twitter: @UnKochCampus
Instagram: unkochcampus
Facebook: @UnKochMyCampus

The Common Good Generation: www.thecommongoodgeneration.org

Article: https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/charles-koch-crt-backlash/

NASW & Sinema petition by Boston Liberation Health Collective: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfhaCWsVZ--u8RHFULOWg_BbNqr7GKoqvZX7tycmeHnv53mtw/viewform

Stop Whitewashing Social Work History: Tell the Truth - Kelechi Wright, LCPC & Kortney Carr, LCSW

Stop Whitewashing Social Work History: Tell the Truth - Kelechi Wright, LCPC & Kortney Carr, LCSW

January 10, 2022

Episode 49
Guests: Kelechi Wright, LCPC, LPC; Kortney Carr, LCSW, LSCSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

www.dointhework.com
Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify
Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook
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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. In 2022 they will continue their ongoing series, Eyes On Abolition that explores abolition as practice and as a critical framework to bring about change, and invite you to join them in April when they host Becoming Abolitionists author, Derecka Purnell. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.

In this episode, I talk with Kelechi Wright and Kortney Carr. Kelechi is a full-time doctoral student at the University of Kansas in the School of Social Welfare. She has expansive clinical experience in mental health with BIPOC communities. Her research focuses on immigration, criminal justice and the criminalization of immigrants. Kortney is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Kansas and a Professor of Practice in the School of Social Welfare. She has a lengthy practice background in community mental health, mental health, and private practice, with an emphasis on trauma. Her research focuses on how Black men have survived social isolation in the U.S. We talk about their article, co-authored with Dr. Becci Akin, The Whitewashing of Social Work History: How Dismantling Racism in Social Work Education Begins With an Equitable History of the Profession, published in an open-access, special double issue of Advances in Social Work. This article should be required reading in all social work programs! It is an interrogation of how social work history – what gets to be told as history, who tells it, what gets valued, what’s considered evidence, what’s considered professional, who is considered a social worker – all of it – is racist and whitewashed. They talk about how social work history often focuses on social work being created by privileged White women who helped the poor and oppressed, but does not talk about Black social welfare leaders and community organizers and activists who did this work in their own communities and beyond, and who should be held up as social work and social welfare leaders and founders. This inaccurate history portrays White people as saviors and Black people as passive receivers. To continue to teach this whitewashed history perpetuates white supremacy, which has serious consequences for social work students, faculty, social workers, and especially communities where we practice. As Kelechi and Kortney explain, we need an accurate telling of history so that our foundation is solid and our present and future are built on that foundation, rather than furthering racism and inequity. We need to honor the legacy of Black social work and social welfare leaders and teach about the critical theories, knowledge, approaches, practices – work – that they and others have done – and continue to do – to impact communities and the social work profession. And always remember and focus on the communal nature of the Black community and how Black social work and social welfare movements are in that same communal tradition. We also talk about racial justice work for educators and practitioners, who should be doing this work, who shouldn’t be expected to do this work, DEI committees, syllabi, and so much more. I could say so much more about what we discussed, but I’d rather stop here and get you into the interview so you can hear directly from Kelechi and Kortney. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

Kelechi
https://socwel.ku.edu/people/wright-kelechi-c

Kortney
www.linkedin.com/in/kortneyacarr

Decolonizing Mental Health & Supporting Indigenous Women - Tyra Wanatee-Flores, BSW

Decolonizing Mental Health & Supporting Indigenous Women - Tyra Wanatee-Flores, BSW

December 6, 2021

Episode 48
Guest: Tyra Wanatee-Flores, BSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

In this episode, I talk with Tyra Wanatee-Flores, who is a descendant of the Sac and Fox Nation of the Mississippi in Iowa and identifies as Two-Spirited. Tyra is an advanced standing MSW student at Washington University in St. Louis, a photographer and activist of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Movement, an advocate for Indigenous women who have experienced violence, and a speaker about mental health in Indigenous Country. She talks about the work she is doing with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Mayetta, Kansas, to address youth suicide and substance abuse. We discuss how much of social work education and mental health interventions are Eurocentric, which makes it a challenge to find ways that will work for Indigenous communities, but how Tyra is addressing this in her work, using networking and approaches that honor community, tradition, and culture. Tyra talks about being part of the Buder Scholars program, where she and others have access to an Indigenous curriculum and how it has helped her to learn decolonizing approaches to this work. She emphasizes the importance of community in healing and getting back to pre-colonial ways. Tyra also talks about her work with Meskwaki RISE, a program supporting and empowering Indigenous survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault. She discusses Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), specifically the disappearance of Rita Papakee, who is from her community, and what we can all do to end this violence. Tyra also shares why she does this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

Instagram: tyra.w.flowers
Twitter: @tyerista
Tik Tok: @tyrista

Meskwaki RISE
Meskwaki RISE Facebook

Taking Action on Social Determinants of Health - Armen Henderson, MD

Taking Action on Social Determinants of Health - Armen Henderson, MD

November 1, 2021

Episode 47
Guest: Armen Henderson, MD
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

In this episode, I talk with Dr. Armen Henderson from Miami, Florida. Armen is the Director of Health Programs at Dream Defenders, the Founder of Dade County Street Response, and an Internal Medicine Physician and Assistant Professor at the University of Miami. He talks about his community-based work in bringing medicine from out of the confines of the hospital setting directly to poor and working-class communities with a variety of programs ranging from wellness checks and case management to Stop the Bleed gunshot wound trainings. Armen discusses how social determinants of health are rooted in racism and classism and social inequity. For example, he talks about how hurricanes in Miami are an environmental issue connected to climate change that intersects with racism and classism in terms of who is most impacted by hurricanes and do not have the resources to simply leave town when danger strikes. He explains how his team serves folks who are unhoused in a variety of ways, particularly during the COVID pandemic, which led to him being racially profiled and arrested in front of his home. Armen shares how he got into this work, which was directly connected to the murder of Trayvon Martin and connecting with Dream Defenders, who were formed at that time due to the killing of Trayvon. Armen saw a way to challenge racism and classism in medicine and organize for racial justice and medicine for the people using an abolitionist, anti-capitalist approach. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

www.dreamdefenders.org
Instagram dr.doitall305
Facebook armen.henderson

We Charge Genocide - Jalil Muntaqim

We Charge Genocide - Jalil Muntaqim

October 4, 2021

Episode 46
Guest: Jalil Muntaqim
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

In this episode, I talk with Jalil Muntaqim, who is a revolutionary and a community organizer with Citizen Action of New York. Jalil is a former member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and the Black Liberation Army (BLA) and former political prisoner, having served almost 50 years in prison since being arrested when he was 19 years old. He was employed as a social worker at the time. We are celebrating his one-year release from prison! We talk about prison, his involvement in the BPP and BLA, his organizing from within prison, as well as his current organizing. He talks about the repression he experienced for his efforts, including being placed in solitary confinement multiple times, the last time for teaching a history class to prisoners that included teaching about the Black Panther Party. Jalil emphasizes the dehumanizing nature of prison and makes clear that they never broke him. He has never stopped organizing and fighting for Black liberation. During his decades in prison, Jalil earned numerous educational degrees, authored two books, led multiple education programs, and mentored many younger incarcerated men. Jalil talks about the United States being guilty of committing genocide of Black people and Indigenous people and how he is organizing an international tribunal to formally charge the U.S. with these crimes. He provides the definition of genocide, which leads us into a conversation about social work’s complicity with genocide due to being part of the removal of Black children and Indigenous children from their families. I am so honored to have been able to interview him and help share his story and powerful words that always emphasize the need to resist. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

Contact Jalil: jalilmuntaqim457@gmail.com
www.spiritofmandela.org
www.thejerichomovement.com
www.citizenactionny.org

Anti-Racist Social Work in England - Wayne Reid

Anti-Racist Social Work in England - Wayne Reid

September 6, 2021

Episode 45
Guest: Wayne Reid, Professional Officer, Social Worker & Anti-Racism Visionary
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

In this episode, I talk with Wayne Reid, who is a Professional Officer and Anti-Racism Visionary at the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). Wayne is my first international guest, and I am so grateful! Wayne talks about how his understanding of anti-racism in social work and his motivation for speaking out and taking action was catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd. He discusses a number of projects he and BASW have been working on, specific to anti-racism in social work – check out the link to his extensive portfolio in the show notes. These are excellent resources. Wayne shares what anti-racist social work means to him and how a concept that should be straightforward becomes very complex in application due to the embeddedness of white supremacy and racism in laws, policies, institutions, beliefs, and actions. We discuss how no one wants to say they are racist, but actions that support racist policies are being done in the regular operations of social work practice. Wayne talks about his “pure, proactive, and unapologetic” approach to anti-racism within social work and the need for this approach due to constantly being up against white supremacy both as a Black man and as a Black male social worker. He discusses the need for social workers to practice anti-racism as part of our standards of conduct, not just with clients, but with colleagues, and the need for organizations to provide protections and support for social workers of color that explicitly address the many forms of institutional and interpersonal racism they experience, as well as steps organizations can take to transform into anti-racist organizations. Wayne also shares how he got into this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

Anti-racism in Social Work Portfolio
Twitter: @wayne_reid79
Email: wayne.reid@basw.co.uk

Civil Rights Organizing - Ali Lozano, MSW

Civil Rights Organizing - Ali Lozano, MSW

August 2, 2021

Episode 44
Guest: Ali Lozano, MSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

In this episode, I talk with Alesandra Lozano, known to colleagues and friends as Ali, who is the Director of Communications and Advocacy of the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP), based in Houston, Texas. Ali shares how her own coming out experience as a lesbian in 2009 propelled her into grassroots organizing work for LGBTQ liberation. She landed in the electoral space in 2012, working to elect openly LGBTQ candidates in states like Wisconsin and Arizona. It was through these campaign experiences between 2012 and 2014 that Ali observed different voting rules and transitioned into expanding the electorate through voter registration work with an organization in Texas, which she has called home since 2013. Ali talks about the work being done by TCRP, specifically on voting rights, though they also have programs that address criminal injustice and immigrants’ rights (spoiler – all three are connected!). She explains how people can get involved with policy advocacy and provides specific strategies and tactics, such as paying attention to what is happening at the local level and showing up to county hearings and city council meetings to testify, and how organizations such as TCRP support these efforts. Ali outlines guidance when giving public testimony, discusses coalitions as a tool to build political power, and talks about how TCRP engages in coalition building by detailing their work with the diverse Texas for All coalition, which has unified around combating the increased attempts at voter suppression by the Texas legislature. The organizations of this historic, first-of-its-kind coalition work in different issue areas from reproductive rights to labor to LGBTQ equality, but all agree – policy that aligns with our values cannot move forward unless we protect the right to vote. She talks about TCRP’s strategy to work at the local level to pass pro-voter reforms as well as the importance of redistricting and what we can all do to have fair and true representation of our communities. Ali really gives us a master class in policy advocacy and organizing! I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

https://txcivilrights.org
TCRP Twitter @TXCivilRights
TCRP Instagram TXCivilRights
TCRP Facebook @TexasCivilRightsProject
TCRP local reforms website: www.democracyfromthegroundup.org
TCRP redistricting website: mapsbythepeople.org

Ali’s Twitter @alozano_msw
Ali’s Instagram alozano_msw

Abolitionist Social Work - Cameron Rasmussen, MSW; Durrell Washington, MSW; Michelle Grier, LMSW; Vivianne Guevara, LMSW

Abolitionist Social Work - Cameron Rasmussen, MSW; Durrell Washington, MSW; Michelle Grier, LMSW; Vivianne Guevara, LMSW

July 5, 2021

Episode 43
Guests: Cameron Rasmussen, MSW; Durrell Washington, MSW; Michelle Grier, LMSW; Vivianne Guevara, LMSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

www.dointhework.com
Listen/Subscribe on:
Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify
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Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook
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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

In this episode, I talk with Durrell Washington, Vivianne Guevara, Cameron Rasmussen, and Michelle Grier of the Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work (NAASW). Durrell is a PhD student at the University of Chicago School of Social Work. Vivianne is the Director of Social Work at the Federal Defenders of New York in Brooklyn, New York, Adjunct Faculty at Columbia University School of Social Work, and a facilitator in the community. Cameron works at The Center for Justice at Columbia University and is a PhD student in Social Welfare at CUNY. Michelle is a Black feminist, Brooklyn raised and social worker trained, who is leaning into practices that foster radical healing, racial and gender justice. Their collective grew out of the need for social workers to support each other in abolition work, particularly out of the discussions over the last year where many social workers and national social work organizations have supported social workers either working with the police or replacing police, and the NAASW says a loud “no” to both. They share their definitions of abolition and discuss how – and if – abolition can be applied as a framework for social work. They talk about ways that social work has supported – and continues to support – carceral systems, surveillance, and gatekeeping – and the connection to white supremacy and liberalism/individualism. There is also discussion on social workers – and social work as a whole – not living up to the Code of Ethics and social work values, especially with emphasis on licensure and private practice. They emphasize the need to engage in collective work and support to envision the world we want, as well as how to take smaller steps to implement abolition in the present while working towards a long-term larger vision. Members share their experiences working in the field in ways that do and do not align with abolition and how they navigate that, again stressing the importance of how their collective provides a supportive space where they can engage in abolition work. This is an excellent discussion for those looking to learn about abolition as well as folks who are already doing this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

www.naasw.com
Twitter: @AbolitionistSW
Instagram: abolitionistsw
Facebook: @NetworktoAdvanceAbolitionistSocialWork

Cameron
Twitter: @CamRasNYC

Durrell
Twitter: @builtfoesuccess

Michelle
Twitter: @narwhaldreaming

Vivianne
Twitter: @viviviannne
Instagram: viviviannne

Transformational Healing & Critical Race Theory in Practice - Nicole Vazquez, MSW, MPP & Susana Victoria Parras, LCSW, PPSC

Transformational Healing & Critical Race Theory in Practice - Nicole Vazquez, MSW, MPP & Susana Victoria Parras, LCSW, PPSC

June 7, 2021

Episode 42
Guests: Nicole Vazquez, MSW, MPP & Susana Victoria Parras, LCSW, PPSC
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

www.dointhework.com
Listen/Subscribe on:
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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor!

The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

In this episode, I talk with Nicole Vazquez and Susana Victoria Parras about critical race theory (CRT) in social work practice. Nicole brought the fire on Episode 37 Critical Race Theory and Social Work and I’m so excited and honored to have her back. Nicole is a critical race scholar, the former Field Director and Chair Designee at Cal State Dominguez Hills’ MSW program, and currently runs Vazquez Consulting. She is a queer Afro-Latinx cisgender woman of Mexican American and Panamanian parents. Susana is a justice/healing based therapist in South Central, Los Angeles, California, and a former school social worker. She is a mother, partner, daughter of Guatemalan immigrant parents, and on the path to liberation, healing, and restoration. Nicole and Susana cover so much in this episode! They talk about the micro-macro divide and how that separation is challenged by CRT. They discuss how CRT provides a framework to be grounded in an understanding of positionality and power, and get into specific examples of how to apply the tenets of CRT to social work practice. Susana stresses the importance of interconnectedness and how she now practices in a way where she looks at how these tenets “live in the body” rather than only intellectually. Nicole explains how to utilize CRT in having a historical and contextual understanding of the forces impacting people’s lives, put together with practitioner humility, to work authentically and collaboratively with people, rather than from a savioristic, paternalistic approach. They explain how CRT’s critique of liberalism – individualism – shows us how liberalism blames people for their conditions, and takes so much away from us, especially community and culture. We explore ways social work and social work education perpetuate oppression. We discuss how the social work concept of professionalism can separate us, and they explain how separation comes from colonization and white supremacy, and that connection and healing comes from ancestral/Indigenous ways. Susana talks about feeling limited by CRT and shares what she calls healing justice work. We also talk about if social work can truly be decolonized. Nicole and Susana’s message is deeply transformative and uplifting. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

Nicole
Twitter:
@vazquez_consult
Instagram:
vazquezconsulting

Susana
Instagram: heal2gether
Twitter: Heal2gether_

Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppressive Mental Health - Hayden Dawes, LCSW

Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppressive Mental Health - Hayden Dawes, LCSW

May 3, 2021

Episode 41
Guest: Hayden Dawes, LCSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor!

The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

In this episode, I talk with Hayden Dawes, who is a PhD student, researcher, therapist, clinical social worker, speaker, and compassion warrior in Greensboro, North Carolina. Hayden talks about his work on mental health disparities and equity, training clinicians with a cultural humility and anti-racist focus, and how all of this connects to policy. We discuss the need to talk about race, racism, and other forms of identity and systemic oppression within the clinical setting, as well as work on ourselves. Hayden explains some of his approaches to teaching and talking about racism, white privilege, and homophobia, rooted in a structural analysis. He shares how he looks at how internalized oppression affects him, particularly negative internalized messages, and how he has done that work clinically with clients – who are primarily people of color and LGBTQIA – to identify when “the oppressor is speaking.” Hayden emphasizes the need for White therapists to talk about race and racism with White clients and how racism should not only be a conversation for Black and Brown folks. We get into a discussion about identity, spaces, and different ways of pushing for change. Hayden also shares about how he got into this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

www.hcdawes.com
Twitter: @hcdawes
Instagram: hcdawes
Newsletter

Speaking Against Police Injustice - Anjanette Young, LCSW

Speaking Against Police Injustice - Anjanette Young, LCSW

April 5, 2021

Episode 40
Guest: Anjanette Young, LCSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor!

The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

In this episode, I talk with Anjanette Young, who is a licensed clinical social worker and the CEO and founder of Café Social Work in Chicago, Illinois. Anjanette shares her experience of being terrorized in her home by the Chicago Police Department. Twelve white male police officers forced their way into her home when executing a warrant based on incorrect information, handcuffed her, and held her at gunpoint for 30 to 45 minutes, all the while Anjanette was naked because she had just gotten out of the shower after a long day at work. Despite her pleas that they were in the wrong home, all of them ignored her. An excellent lawyer and local news station helped expose the horrific raid and eventually forced the city to release the body cam footage, as well as evidence showing that the Chicago mayor knew about the raid and covered it up. Anjanette explains how this experience has led her to learn more about the Chicago Police Department’s repeated violations of the rights of Black and Brown Chicago residents, and how she is now fighting the City of Chicago in order to make sure this does not happen to anyone else. She talks about how she has mainly practiced direct service social work for over 25 years, but has now become a social justice activist, focused on policy change. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

www.cafesocialwork.com
Twitter: @AnjanetteYoung0
Instagram: cafesocialwork
Facebook: @Anjanette.Young.1
LinkedIn: Anjanette Young
Email: anjanettelyoung.11@gmail.com

White People Organizing for Racial Justice: Deep Canvassing - Kristen Brock-Petroshius, MSW

White People Organizing for Racial Justice: Deep Canvassing - Kristen Brock-Petroshius, MSW

March 1, 2021

Episode 39
Guest: Kristen Brock-Petroshius, MSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor!

The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

In this episode, I talk with Kristen Brock-Petroshius, who is a PhD candidate in Social Welfare at UCLA and a community organizer with White People 4 Black Lives in Los Angeles, California. We discuss Kristen’s experiences as a white person doing racial justice organizing with white people as part of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and deep canvassing as a strategy to engage people who may not be in support of a particular issue. Kristen shares how she got into racial justice organizing and her evolution from an ally approach to one that recognizes that racism and white supremacy deeply harm everyone – differently, of course – and the importance of organizing with white people to talk with other white people and do this work in white communities as a way to build political power that can pass much needed legislation as part of larger racial justice movements and platforms. She details how deep canvassing was used on the Reform LA Jails campaign in LA, led by Patrisse Cullors, and provides examples of what a deep canvassing conversation looks like. We also get into the origins of deep canvassing, which came out of same-sex marriage and transgender justice movements. Kristen talks about when deep canvassing can be utilized and when other approaches are needed. She explains how and why she entered academia in order to research effective social justice strategies and where things may be headed with deep canvassing. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

Twitter: @4heartsnminds
Email: brockpet@ucla.edu

Black Power, Black Liberation & Social Work: Back to the Beginning of the National Association of Black Social Workers - Founder Garland Jaggers, MSW & Archivist Denise McLane-Davison, PhD, AM

Black Power, Black Liberation & Social Work: Back to the Beginning of the National Association of Black Social Workers - Founder Garland Jaggers, MSW & Archivist Denise McLane-Davison, PhD, AM

February 1, 2021

Episode 38
Guests: Garland Jaggers, MSW & Denise McLane-Davison, PhD, AM
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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Thank you to this episode’s sponsors!

The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

Designs by Tee brings you positive, socially conscious tees and accessories. Use code TeePod5 for $5 off your next order.

In this episode, I talk with Mr. Garland Jaggers and Dr. Denise McLane-Davison about their work with the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW). I am incredibly grateful for their participation in this interview. This is important history–and current work–and I’m honored to amplify it on Doin’ The Work. Mr. Garland Jaggers is a former Professor in the Black Studies Department at the University of Detroit and a co-founder of both Detroit’s Association of Black Social Workers and the National Association of Black Social Workers. Dr. Denise McLane-Davison is an Associate Professor at Morgan State University and the Founding Researcher and Archivist of the National Association of Black Social Workers. They discuss the history of NABSW, which started in 1968, soon after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when a group of Black social workers brought up concerns of racism to the mostly white National Association of Social Workers (NASW). They took over the stage and made demands at the National Conference on Social Welfare (NCSW), walked out, and decided to create their own organization. Mr. Jaggers explains the main issues at the time and details the experience. Dr. Davison explains the need to center Black expertise in research, curriculum, teaching, and other forms of practice. We discuss NABSW’s work developing Black researchers and practitioners, their own code of ethics, and positions on issues such as transracial adoption and licensing. Mr. Jaggers and Dr. Davison share their thoughts on the social work profession, racism, and Black liberation. They talk about their focus on the Black family and community, strengths-based liberatory approaches, and commitment to do this work “by any means necessary.” I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

If you are interested in purchasing Mr. Jaggers’ books That Rare Moment in History Volumes I & II, please contact Mr. Jaggers at garland_jaggers@att.net.

National Association of Black Social Workers
http://www.nabsw.org/

Mr. Garland Jaggers
Email: garland_jaggers@att.net

Dr. Denise McLane-Davison
Twitter: @DeniseDavison
Email: Denise.Davison@morgan.edu
Article: The Strength of Black Families: The Elusive Ties of Perspective and Praxis in Social Work Education  

Critical Race Theory and Social Work - Laura S. Abrams, MSW, PhD and Nicole Vazquez, MSW, MPP

Critical Race Theory and Social Work - Laura S. Abrams, MSW, PhD and Nicole Vazquez, MSW, MPP

January 4, 2021

Episode 37

Guests: Laura S. Abrams, MSW, PhD; Nicole Vazquez, MSW, MPP

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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Thank you to this episode’s sponsors!

 

The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.

 

Designs by Tee brings you positive, socially conscious tees and accessories. Use code TeePod5 for $5 off your next order.

 

In this episode, I talk with Dr. Laura Abrams and Nicole Vazquez about critical race theory (CRT) in social work. Shout out to my former student Gaby for suggesting I do a podcast episode explicitly about CRT in response to the anti-CRT executive order. Laura is the Chair and Professor of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Nicole is a critical race scholar, the former Field Director and Chair Designee in Cal State Dominguez Hills’ MSW program, and currently runs Vazquez Consulting. They discuss the history of CRT, honoring the scholars of legal studies who developed CRT, with the analysis that the law is not neutral, and has been used to oppress people of color and others from marginalized groups. Laura and Nicole provide an overview of some of the core tenets of CRT, using specific examples that connect to social work, and ways to implement them in practice. Some of the core tenets covered are: race is a social construct, racism is an ordinary everyday experience, myth of colorblindness, critique of liberalism and the myth of meritocracy, differential racialization, interest convergence, and counter-narratives. They talk about white supremacist culture and its impact on all of us, particularly how it works to strip communities of color from their collective and community-based cultures. We discuss CRT’s fit with social work’s social justice focus and how social work educators, students, and practitioners can implement CRT in their work and programs. We also talk about barriers to change and how to address them. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

Laura
Twitter: @labramsucla
Instagram: prof.abrams

 

Nicole
Twitter: @vazquez_consult
Instagram: vazquezconsulting

Prison to Professor - Nathan Stephens, MSW

Prison to Professor - Nathan Stephens, MSW

December 7, 2020

Episode 36

Guest: Nathan Stephens, MSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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This episode is sponsored by Designs by Tee, bringing you positive, socially conscious tees and accessories. There’s now a Doin’ The Work collection with hoodies, tees, tote bags, and mugs! Use code TeePod5 for $5 off your next order.

 

In this episode, I talk with Nathan Stephens, who is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Illinois State University and a PhD candidate in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri Columbia. Nathan gives a raw and vulnerable account of his experience from being in prison for selling drugs, to spirituality and healing, to social work. He shares about how he grew up and the trauma he experienced, as well as those who supported him, and how he wanted to find ways to give back to the community and help Black youth who are born into similar conditions as he was. Nathan highlights how school was a safe space for him to get away from the abuse he experienced at home, and that his academic performance was a strength, so he was excited to go back to college after prison, and he excelled. He discusses how he uses his life experience to inform his analysis, teaching, research, and community work, which includes creating programs for Black men, teaching a course in a prison called Social Justice in Social Work, and working with Black male youth groups in the community. Nathan further explains that his research looks at critical topics like racialized stress and the trauma from hypersexualization and sexual abuse of Black boys and men, and how we need to talk about these issues. We also discuss hypersurveillance by police in Black and Brown communities versus white suburbs and rural areas; who gets arrested, charged, and convicted; and how arrest records can be a major barrier to employment, including being a social worker. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

Twitter: @TheN8Stephens

Facebook: Mister Nathan Stephens

LinkedIn: Nathan Stephens

Healing Trauma Through Community Building in Little Village - Alicia Martinez, MSW; David “Tiny” Estrada; Shipra Parikh, PhD, LCSW

Healing Trauma Through Community Building in Little Village - Alicia Martinez, MSW; David “Tiny” Estrada; Shipra Parikh, PhD, LCSW

November 2, 2020

Episode 35

Guests: Alicia Martinez, MSW; David “Tiny” Estrada; Shipra Parikh, PhD, LCSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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Transcription services provided by FIU’s Disability Resource Center

 

This episode is sponsored by Designs by Tee, bringing you positive, socially conscious tees and accessories. Use code TeePod5 for $5 off your next order.

 

In this episode, I talk with Enlace Chicago’s Violence Prevention Manager Alicia Martinez, Street Outreach Worker David “Tiny” Estrada, and Social Work Educator and Clinical Supervisor Dr. Shipra Parikh, in the Little Village community in Chicago. They talk about the work they do in their community with families and youth by engaging in assistance services, counseling, conflict mediation and restorative justice, youth leadership and advocacy, anti-adultism, school transformation with restorative justice and a trauma-informed approach, and much more. Alicia explains that Little Village is a primarily Latinx community that is resilient and hardworking, but deals with structural barriers that affect basic needs, survival, employment, health care, and opportunities. David discusses how COVID-19 is currently the biggest challenge facing the community, and how Enlace has shifted how they work to continue to support their community, from phone calls with youth to organizing food distributions. Shipra talks about the increased gentrification and the community’s response, specifically supporting local businesses rather than larger corporations that move in. Alicia explains that one of the ways COVID-19 has hit Little Village hard is that most residents are considered essential workers and have been exposed to greater risk, resulting in families losing loved ones. We talk about how Chicago often gets talked about nationally in a negative way and David shares a story of how Black and Brown communities came together for peace and to support each other. Alicia, David, and Shipra all talk about what they love about this work and how Enlace Chicago models within their organization the kind of world they want to see. We also talk about the election. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

www.enlacechicago.org

Twitter: @EnlaceChicago

Instagram: enlace.chicago

Facebook: Enlace Chicago

LinkedIn: Enlace Chicago

www.drshipraparikh.com

Voting and Legislative Advocacy - Dawn Brown, MSW

Voting and Legislative Advocacy - Dawn Brown, MSW

October 5, 2020

Episode 34

Guest: Dawn Brown, MSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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This episode is sponsored by Designs by Tee, bringing you positive, socially conscious tees and accessories. Use code TeePod5 for $5 off your next order.

 

In this episode, I talk with Dawn Brown, who is a social work educator and the Legislative Chair of the National Association of Social Workers Florida Chapter. Dawn talks about activities and strategies social workers can use to engage in legislative advocacy and how NASW-FL has a big event called LEAD (Legislative Education Advocacy Day) where they bring social work students to the Florida Capitol once a year to meet with lawmakers and attend committee hearings. We talk about the importance of voting, especially this November, and what is on the line. Dawn shares what voting means to her as a Black woman, and stresses that voting is important at all levels of government – national, state, and local. She explains that voting is just the beginning, and that we need to hold elected officials accountable, build relationships with them to push for a social justice agenda, and support candidates for office who are aligned with the goals of racial, social and economic justice. She also talks about how she got into this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

www.naswfl.org

legchair.naswfl@socialworkers.org

Twitter: @DBReclaimMyTime

Instagram: virgo10212

Black Social Workers Speak Out About Social Work Education - André Marcel Harris, BSW; Dashawna J. Fussell-Ware, MSW; Deana Ayers, BSW; Vivian Taylor, MSW

Black Social Workers Speak Out About Social Work Education - André Marcel Harris, BSW; Dashawna J. Fussell-Ware, MSW; Deana Ayers, BSW; Vivian Taylor, MSW

September 7, 2020

Episode 33

Guests: André Marcel Harris, BSW; Dashawna J. Fussell-Ware, MSW; Deana Ayers, BSW; Vivian Taylor, MSW

Host: Charla Cannon Yearwood, LSW

 

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This episode is a collaboration with SWCAREs – Social Work Coalition for Anti-Racist Educators – who are doing phenomenal work to transform social work. SWCAREs members Charla Yearwood and Laura Hoge dropped serious knowledge on Episode 27 White Supremacy in Social Work. I’m so excited that Charla is back on Doin’ The Work, this time as the host. Charla facilitates a discussion with a group of amazing Black social workers who talk about their experiences with social work education.

 

I chose to pass the mic to Charla because I wanted to give this platform to Black social workers to have a conversation without white people, so that it could be really open without any filter I may impose on it when I’m interviewing.

 

I’m grateful to Charla for doing this and to André, Dashawna, Deana, and Vivian for their time, courage, and vulnerability. They are giving the social work world a gift with this episode. Something that jumped out to me about their stories is how social work education is so violent towards Black students on so many levels. This has to change.

 

The guests’ social media and contact info, along with Cash App and Venmo accounts are in the show notes, so please give them support. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

SWCAREs

www.swcares.org

 

André’s info:

Twitter: @andreharris89

Instagram: @andremarcelharris

Facebook.com/AndreMarcelHarris

Cash App: $AndreMarcelHarris

 

Dashawna’s info:

Twitter: @msfdubs

Cash App: $docfw22

Venmo: @shawnafw

PayPal: www.paypal.com/paypalme/shawnafw

 

Deana’s info:

Twitter: @deanajayers

Instagram: @deanajayers

www.deanajayers.com

Venmo: @djayers

 

Vivian’s info:

Twitter: @TayloredLooks

Cash App: $TayloredBills

Venmo: @Vivian-Taylor-25

 

Black Men in Social Work

Twitter: @blackmeninSW

Instagram: @blackmeninsocialwork

Facebook.com/blackmeninsocialwork

Prison Abolition - K Agbebiyi, MSW

Prison Abolition - K Agbebiyi, MSW

August 3, 2020

Episode 32

Guest: K Agbebiyi, MSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with K Agbebiyi, who is a prison abolitionist in Washington Heights, New York. K explains that prison abolition is a dual process of creating the world we want to live in, which includes new ways of addressing harm, and working to close prisons now. K connects mass incarceration and policing to the history of chattel slavery, all rooted in anti-Blackness, and discusses how defunding the police is one part of the overall goal of prison abolition. They talk about how to get involved in prison abolition on a local level, tracking government budgets to see how much spending is going to policing and the construction of new jails, and connecting with others who want to do something about it. K explains how they got into this work, which started with organizing for racial justice, LGBTQ justice, and reproductive justice before focusing on prison abolition. They share about being a survivor and organizing with other survivors who do not want incarceration to be done in their name. We discuss accountability and safety, as well as links to child welfare and social work. K shares recommended readings for people who want to learn more. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

www.8toAbolition.com

Instagram: @sheabutterfemme

Twitter: @sheabutterfemme

sheabutterfemme@protonmail.com

@survivepunishNY

 

The Social Justice Doula - Lutze Segu, MSW

The Social Justice Doula - Lutze Segu, MSW

July 6, 2020

Episode 31

Guest: Lutze Segu, MSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Lutze Segu, who is the Social Justice Doula, from Miami, Florida. Lutze explains that she works to “create the conditions for social justice learning and transformation to take place” for individuals and organizations. She talks about how she loves seeing people grow and become committed to antiracist social justice work, become politically active, how she deeply believes in the inherent value and good of people to change, and that even though conditions in the world can be terrible, she always has hope doing this work. Lutze shares techniques she uses with people to help with this transformation and explains how theory, specifically Black Feminism, saved her life, helping her to see how systems oppress and that people are not to blame for their conditions, and how this relates to social work’s person-in-environment approach. We discuss the white supremacy enacted by social workers and clinicians who pathologize oppression, placing the problem inside clients, rather than acknowledging the violence of this “anti-Black, anti-woman, anti-queer, anti-trans, anti-immigrant world” and how social workers should be committed to social justice, not gatekeeping and the maintenance of oppression. She challenges us to ask ourselves what we are really practicing and “how are we personally going to divest from anti-Blackness.” Lutze also talks about how she got into this work, sharing a powerful story of what it meant to attend Florida Memorial University, an HBCU in Miami. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

www.lutzesegu.com

Instagram: @socialjusticedoula

Twitter: @FeministGriote

The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth - Mark Houston, LCSW and Pauline Green, Esq

The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth - Mark Houston, LCSW and Pauline Green, Esq

June 1, 2020

Episode 30

Guests: Mark Houston, LCSW and Pauline Green, Esq

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Pauline Green, Executive Director and Mark Houston, Clinical Manager, of The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth in Miami, Florida. They discuss the multiple aspects of the work they do with LGBTQ youth in Miami-Dade County, such as care coordination, clinical services, community education, training for service providers and educators, and policy change. We explore some key issues affecting LGBTQ youth, particularly safety and homelessness, as well as multiple forms of oppression such as homophobia, transphobia, and racism. Mark and Pauline talk about how The Alliance builds community in a youth-led, affirming space that builds on the resiliency many LGBTQ youth already possess. We discuss the harm that can be done by social workers and clinicians who do not challenge heterosexism and cisgenderism. Pauline and Mark also share how they got into this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

www.glbtqalliance.org

Instagram: @glbtqalliance

Facebook: @glbtqalliance

Twitter: @glbtqalliance

Mental Health in Schools - Tre King, MSW

Mental Health in Schools - Tre King, MSW

May 4, 2020

Episode 29

Guest: Tre King, MSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Tre King, who is a Mental Health Coordinator in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Tre explains how he is one of 65 mental health coordinators in the school district’s Department of Mental Health Services, and that he and his colleagues each serve five schools of various grade levels. We talk about the issues affecting students and how Tre works with them. Tre discusses what it is like to work within the same school district he attended, in his own community, and how he sees himself in his students. We explore how marginalized and oppressed communities are talked about in social work classrooms and the profession versus Tre’s reality of his own background and current social work practice. Tre talks about trainings he’s done in the community, such as Mental Health First Aid. Tre also shares how he got into this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

Twitter: @Tre_King_MDCPS

http://mentalhealthservices.dadeschools.net/

MDCPS Mental Health Services Twitter: @MDCPS_MHS

MDCPS Mental Health Services Parent Assistance Line: (305) 995-7100

operational Monday-Friday 8am-4pm to assist students and their families with Mental Health Support

Immigrant Rights at the Border - Alejandra Martinez

Immigrant Rights at the Border - Alejandra Martinez

April 6, 2020

Episode 28

Guest: Alejandra Martinez

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Alejandra Martinez, who is the Workshop Coordinator of the Border Rights Project of Al Otro Lado, a bi-national, social justice legal services organization serving deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego and Los Angeles, California. Alejandra talks about the incredibly challenging conditions faced by people who are migrating and seeking asylum and the inhumane U.S. policies such as an illegal waitlist, the highly controversial family separation, and the MPP-Migrant Protection Protocol law, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, as well as how U.S. asylum procedures are constantly changing and unpredictable. She explains that she and her team provide a safe, supportive space in Tijuana, where they acknowledge the trauma and long journey many asylum seekers and migrants have experienced. Alejandra discusses how the Border Rights Project provides legal orientation and a “Know Your Rights” session for asylum seekers, as well as connects them to additional services such as shelters and medical care. She tells how Al Otro Lado recently reunited 29 families who had been separated, and she shares how she got into this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

www.alotrolado.org

Twitter: @AlOtroLado_Org

Instagram: @alotrolado_org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlOtroLadoOrg

alejandra@alotrolado.org

White Supremacy in Social Work - Charla Cannon Yearwood, LSW and Laura Hoge, LCSW

White Supremacy in Social Work - Charla Cannon Yearwood, LSW and Laura Hoge, LCSW

March 2, 2020

Episode 27

Guests: Charla Cannon Yearwood, LSW and Laura Hoge, LCSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Charla Cannon Yearwood and Laura Hoge, two members of SWCAREs – Social Work Coalition for Anti-Racist Educators. Charla is a clinical assistant professor of field at Indiana University School of Social Work. Laura is a psychotherapist, community organizer, activist, and has been an adjunct professor at multiple universities. Charla and Laura talk about SWCAREs’ mission to dismantle white supremacy in social work education and why this mission is needed. They explain what they mean by white supremacy in social work and provide historical and current examples ranging from leaving out Black and other social work leaders of color from history, to practices that do more harm than good to communities of color, to how boundaries and other ethics often seem to be designed by white social workers for white social workers. There is so much covered in this episode and it is just the start of these explicit conversations on the podcast. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

www.swcares.org

Twitter: @swcares2 @CharlaYearwood @LauraHoge

Mobile Crisis Intervention - Brenton Gicker and Chelsea Swift

Mobile Crisis Intervention - Brenton Gicker and Chelsea Swift

February 3, 2020

Episode 26

Guests: Brenton Gicker & Chelsea Swift

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Brenton Gicker and Chelsea Swift of CAHOOTS – Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets, a 24/7 mobile crisis intervention program of the White Bird Clinic in Eugene, Oregon. CAHOOTS, which pairs a mental health crisis worker and a medic in a big white van, has been receiving national attention as a model for a crisis response alternative to the police or fire department. Chelsea and Brenton share what a typical shift is like for them and how 911 calls are routed to them rather than the police for certain situations. We discuss the cost-effective approach of CAHOOTS as well as the humanitarian benefits, such as de-escalation and fewer arrests, by utilizing the skills of medical and mental health professionals rather than the police. Brenton and Chelsea both share how they got into this work, and how they began as crisis workers and then each decided to become medics, Brenton a registered nurse, and Chelsea an emergency medical technician. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

www.whitebirdclinic.org/cahoots

Twitter: @WhiteBirdClinic

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WhiteBirdClinic

Racial Terror’s Past & Present - T. Marie King & Abigail Schneider

Racial Terror’s Past & Present - T. Marie King & Abigail Schneider

January 6, 2020

Episode 25

Guests: T. Marie King & Abigail Schneider

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with T. Marie King and Abigail Schneider of the Jefferson County Memorial Project (JCMP) in Birmingham, Alabama. T. Marie is a Community Activist/Organizer and JCMP Core Coalition Member. Abigail is the JCMP Project Director. They explain that JCMP came together to answer the call from the Equal Justice Initiative for the 800 counties across the United States with documented lynchings to retrieve their monument from the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and place it in their county. They talk about their work to recognize and honor the victims of lynching in Jefferson County, beginning with research into who the 30 documented lynching victims were, their lives, and their humanity. T. Marie tells the story of her great-uncle Ed Bracy who was murdered by a racist white mob in 1935 for organizing sharecroppers. They also discuss their educational outreach and advocacy work for racial justice, as well as how they got into this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

 

info@jeffersoncountymemorial.com 

www.jeffersoncountymemorial.com 

IG: jeffcomemorial

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffersoncountymemorialproject

EJI: https://eji.org

Fighting White Nationalism - Eric Ward

Fighting White Nationalism - Eric Ward

December 2, 2019

Episode 24

Guest: Eric Ward

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Eric Ward, who is the Executive Director of Western States Center, in Portland, Oregon. Eric has years of organizing against white supremacy, with a particular focus on white nationalist organizations. He details how antisemitism and racism are at the core of white nationalism and encourages us to understand the problem in order to address it. Eric explains how white nationalism is a growing social movement in the U.S. that is building political power and having a major impact on legislative policy. We’ve seen this with the current administration’s immigration policy and clear connection to white nationalism. Eric shares strategies Western States Center uses to organize, such as local research shared with civil rights organizations, coalition building, school-based materials, and trainings – and provides a variety of ways everyone can fight white nationalism. He also talks about how he got into this work. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

 

www.westernstatescenter.org/

Twitter: @wstatescenter

Documentary Filmmaking, Policy Advocacy - Jordan Thierry

Documentary Filmmaking, Policy Advocacy - Jordan Thierry

November 4, 2019

Episode 23

Guest: Jordan Thierry

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Jordan Thierry, owner and creative director at Dream Chase Media, and policy consultant. We talk about Jordan’s work on the frontlines of storytelling and his films, including The Black Fatherhood Project, which provides a historical and present day context to the structural forces impacting Black families, and his new project Grandma’s Roses, which will be a series on YouTube focusing on the stories of grandmothers of color that was inspired as a tribute to his grandmother after she passed. Jordan discusses details of the stories these grandmothers shared with him about their lives and what this process was like for him. He talks about his goal of educating people and inspiring them to action. He also explains his policy work with The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. Jordan shares how he got into grassroots storytelling and social justice organizing. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DreamChaseLife/

IG: @DreamChaseLife

Jordan@Dreamchasemedia.com

YouTube: www.dreamchase.life

Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement - Rachel Frome, MSW

Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement - Rachel Frome, MSW

October 7, 2019

Episode 22

Guest: Rachel Frome, MSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Rachel Frome, who is the Program Coordinator of Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement, a national task force dedicated to ending solitary confinement. Rachel discusses the negative impacts of solitary confinement, especially how it can cause and exacerbate mental health issues. She describes alternatives to solitary confinement, as well as the challenges of organizing for an end to solitary, and how lawmakers and those running prisons use wording such as “administrative segregation” as a way to deny that prisoners are held in solitary. We explore the connection between the work to abolish solitary confinement with the work to end mass incarceration, as well as the dialogue Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement has with social workers who work in these settings. Rachel shares the story of how she got into this work and urges all social workers to work to abolish solitary confinement and mass incarceration. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

 

Website: https://www.socialworkersasc.org/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SWASC/

Twitter: @end_solitary

Email: contactSWASC@gmail.com

Personal email: rachelfrome@gmail.com

Conference Info

Defending Families Facing Child Removal - Asia Piña, MSW

Defending Families Facing Child Removal - Asia Piña, MSW

September 2, 2019

Episode 21

Guest: Asia Piña, MSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Asia Piña, who is an Early Defense Social Worker for the Family Defense Practice at Bronx Defenders, in the Bronx, New York. Asia explains how she works with a team of social workers, parent advocates, and attorneys to best defend parents who are being charged with abuse and neglect of children. We discuss the disproportionate numbers of Black and Brown children, as well as children in poverty, who are removed from their parents, and how racism and systemic oppression set the framework of many child welfare policies and practices. Asia describes that the beautiful, diverse families in the Bronx who love their children, feel like they are under constant surveillance by the state, in the form of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). She also talks about how she got into this work, practicing self-care, and shares a message for students interested in working in the child welfare system. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

 

Twitter @BronxDefenders

Facebook @bronxdefenders 

Instagram @bronxdefenders

info@bronxdefenders.org

Anti-Poverty Organizing - Ocesa Keaton, MSW

Anti-Poverty Organizing - Ocesa Keaton, MSW

August 5, 2019

Episode 20

Guest: Ocesa Keaton, MSW

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Ocesa Keaton, who is the Executive Director of Greater Syracuse H.O.P.E. in Syracuse, New York. Ocesa details the incredibly comprehensive and thoughtful strategies H.O.P.E. uses in their anti-poverty work at both the systems and individual levels to eliminate systemic barriers that maintain inequity and prevent people from having opportunities. We discuss the racial wealth gap in the U.S. and stereotypes and inaccurate beliefs about people in poverty. Ocesa shares her journey of wanting to become an entertainment lawyer but choosing social work due to her own health issues and a social worker who helped her. She stresses the importance of policy work and why voting is critical for social change. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

 

greatersyracusehope@gmail.com

www.greatersyracusehope.org

Felony Reentry, Employment, Recovery - Margo Walsh

Felony Reentry, Employment, Recovery - Margo Walsh

July 1, 2019

Episode 19

Guest: Margo Walsh

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Margo Walsh, who is the Founder and CEO of MaineWorks and the Chair and Co-Founder of the Maine Recovery Fund, both in Portland, Maine. We discuss how MaineWorks was created to provide jobs to convicted felons transitioning back to society from jail or prison due to the barriers they face finding employment. Margo discusses how Maine has been hit hard by drug addiction, particularly opioids, and how many of her employees have significant barriers to successful reentry to society beyond simply having a job. Margo explains the problems with the term ex-felon and how a felony conviction negatively impacts the person for life. We talk about mental health and recovery, and Margo shares her story of how she got into this work. I open up about a friend of mine who was a felon and died by suicide. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

 

Margo’s email: margo@maineworks.us
https://www.maineworks.us/
https://www.mainerecoveryfund.org/

LGBTQ+ Latinx - Christopher Cuevas

LGBTQ+ Latinx - Christopher Cuevas

June 3, 2019

Episode 18

Guest: Christopher Cuevas

Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

 

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In this episode, I talk with Christopher Cuevas, who is the Executive Director of QLatinx in Orlando, Florida. They talk about how QLatinx was created in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016. Chris shares about the intense pain and healing that took place, and discusses the longstanding systemic oppression faced by the LGBTQ+ Latinx community – the barriers to access culturally competent mental health services; marginalization from the white, middle-class LGBTQ community; and lack of protection under federal and state law. This is a powerful story of how LGBTQ+ folks of color came together to create a powerful grassroots racial, social, and gender justice organization dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Central Florida's LGBTQ+ Latinx community and the continued work they are doing. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

 

QLatinX Website & Social Media Links

https://www.qlatinx.org/                                  http://www.facebook.com/qlatinx

http://www.instagram.com/qlatinx                 http://www.twitter.com/qlatinx

 

Christopher’s Email & Social Media Links

christopher@qlatinx.org                                   http://www.facebook.com/chrisjaycuevas

http://www.twitter.com/chrisjaycuevas         http://www.instagram.com/chrisjaycuevas

Youth Research Their Community - Leili Lyman

Youth Research Their Community - Leili Lyman

May 6, 2019

Episode 17
Guest: Leili Lyman
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with Leili Lyman from Richmond, California. Leili explains how she learned how to conduct Youth Participatory Action Research at the RYSE Youth Center while she was in high school, and that her research explored why marijuana was the primary coping strategy for youth in her community. We discuss what led youth to state that they did not feel safe talking to adults and that marijuana was a safer option. Leili talks about issues that are common for youth growing up in Richmond, such as experiencing trauma, a lack of resources, and stigma and other barriers towards counseling. Leili also shares about her current studies and research at UC Berkley as well as being a first-generation college student. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Leili’s email: leililyman0705@berkeley.edu
Article in Chronicle of Social Change: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-trauma-2/why-do-so-many-youth-use-marijuana-as-a-coping-tool-heres-what-youth-had-to-say
RYSE Center: https://rysecenter.org

Public Library Social Work - Elissa Hardy, LCSW

Public Library Social Work - Elissa Hardy, LCSW

April 1, 2019

Episode 16
Guest: Elissa Hardy, LCSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with Elissa Hardy, who is the Community Resource Manager at the Denver Public Library in Denver, Colorado. Elissa details the evolution of library social work and how social workers and peer navigators work with librarians to serve diverse populations across twenty-six total locations. We discuss the work Elissa and her team carry out providing social work services to library customers experiencing a range of issues such as homelessness, immigration and refugee status, gentrification, access to benefits, mental health, reentry from incarceration, and much more. Elissa explains how her team has been able to intervene with people struggling with addiction, specifically opioid use, and how they have stopped over 23 overdoses. She also shares her story of how she got into this work. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Elissa’s email: ehardy@denverlibrary.org

Denver Public Library website: http://denverlibrary.org

Social Workers in Political Office - Daniella Levine Cava, MSW, JD

Social Workers in Political Office - Daniella Levine Cava, MSW, JD

March 4, 2019

Episode 15
Guest: Daniella Levine Cava, MSW, JD
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with Daniella Levine Cava, who is a Miami-Dade County Commissioner, serving District 8 in Miami, Florida. We discuss Daniella’s current work as a County Commissioner, her social work background, including the creation of the Human Services Coalition, now Catalyst Miami, and her transition to political office. Daniella shares how her social work background helped her campaign and how she implements social work values and principles in her political work. She encourages people – especially social workers – to “grow their civic muscle” on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

https://twitter.com/DLCAVA
http://www8.miamidade.gov/global/government/commission/district08/home.page

Child Welfare, Foster Care, Family Preservation - Ronnita Waters, LCSW

Child Welfare, Foster Care, Family Preservation - Ronnita Waters, LCSW

February 4, 2019

Episode 14
Guest: Ronnita Waters, LCSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with Ronnita Waters, who is the Program Operations Administrator at the Center for Family and Child Enrichment, Inc. in Miami, Florida. Ronnita is also the South Florida Area Coordinator for Florida State University College of Social Work and an adjunct professor at Florida Memorial University. We discuss the child welfare system, foster care, family preservation, and various interventions that take place for children and families in this complex system. Ronnita takes us through an example of what happens when child abuse is reported. She also talks about the challenges of this work for her and how she has learned to “self-check” and “regulate” her emotions and thoughts in order to focus on the needs of the children and families. Ronnita shares her story of how she got into this work and the impact of her life experience on her work. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Ronnita’s email: RJW.msw@gmail.com

Health Education, Peer-to-Peer, High School Students - Valerie Berrin

Health Education, Peer-to-Peer, High School Students - Valerie Berrin

January 7, 2019

Episode 13
Guest: Valerie Berrin
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with Valerie Berrin, who along with her sister Risa Berrin, is the Co-Founder and Director of Operations for Health Information Project, Inc. – known as HIP – a Miami, Florida based organization delivering a peer-to-peer model of health education in high schools. We discuss the importance and effectiveness of HIP’s model and how they were able to partner with the public school district as well as independent private schools to have HIP in 58 high schools in Miami-Dade County, serving 34,000 ninth graders during this school year alone. Valerie shares how she and her sister created HIP out of a mix of their own personal and professional experiences. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

https://behip.org/
http://www.twitter.com/hiphealthy
http://www.instagram.com/hiphealthy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U990hPJrWdE

Mindfulness Meditation, Incarceration, Substance Abuse - John Paulson, LCSW, LCAC

Mindfulness Meditation, Incarceration, Substance Abuse - John Paulson, LCSW, LCAC

December 3, 2018

Episode 12
Guest: John Paulson, ACSW, LCSW, MAC, LCAC, CCS, HS-BCP
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with John Paulson, who is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana. We discuss John’s volunteer work where over the last two years, he’s been teaching weekly mindfulness meditation to inmates in the substance abuse program at the Hopkins County Jail in Madisonville, Kentucky. John actually drives over an hour each way to volunteer at the jail and I think you can really tell from the interview how dedicated he is about helping people through mindfulness-based practices. We talk about some of the challenges around developing a regular mindfulness-based practice in jail. John shares how he got into mindfulness-based practices and the integration between his personal mindfulness practice and the growing body of evidence-based research on the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation as an intervention. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

John’s email: ajpaulson@usi.edu

School Social Work, Immigration, Racism as Trauma - Katherine Ambía, LMSW

School Social Work, Immigration, Racism as Trauma - Katherine Ambía, LMSW

November 5, 2018

Episode 11
Guest: Katherine Ambía, LMSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with Katherine Ambía, who is the clinical site coordinator at a school-based mental health clinic in Queens, New York. We discuss Katherine’s work with high school students who are experiencing a range of issues impacting their lives. We talk about racism, historical trauma, colonialism, immigration, coping skills, and how Katherine approaches these topics with students by creating a safe space where they feel like they can talk with her about anything. We discuss the Trump administration’s family separation policy, ICE, deportation, and the impact on students and families, and also the impact on professionals, particularly those who are members of groups being targeted. Katherine shares about self-care, balancing work and activism, her family’s experience with immigration, parenthood, and finding hope in the youth activism of today. We also talk about self-disclosure. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Katherine’s email: katherine.ambia@gmail.com

Mental Health, Community Violence, Culturally Effective Practice - Myriam Bernardo, MSW, RCSWI

Mental Health, Community Violence, Culturally Effective Practice - Myriam Bernardo, MSW, RCSWI

October 1, 2018

Episode 10
Guest: Myriam Bernardo, MSW, RCSWI
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with Myriam Bernardo, who is a therapist at Community Connections for Life in Miami, Florida. We discuss Myriam’s community-based clinical work with a diverse population of clients who experience a range of mental health issues, as well as community violence. Myriam shares her approach of learning from her clients as well as evidence-based interventions. She talks about why she loves social work and provides a refreshing perspective. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Myriam’s email: myriam.ccfl@outlook.com

Youth Organizing, Restorative Justice, Youth of Color, Community Organizing - Keno Walker

Youth Organizing, Restorative Justice, Youth of Color, Community Organizing - Keno Walker

September 3, 2018

Episode 9
Guest: Keno Walker
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with Keno Walker who is a youth organizer at Power U Center for Social Change in Miami, Florida. Keno is from Liberty City and has been involved with Power U since he was thirteen – he’s now twenty-three. We discuss Keno’s work to organize Black and Brown youth around issues impacting their community, such as the school-to-prison pipeline. Keno gives a first-hand account of the crushing impact of racism and poverty on marginalized communities. He shares his story of how he got involved with Power U and his evolution in becoming an organizer. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Power U: https://poweru.org/
Keno: keno@poweru.org

Black Disability, Disabled Women of Color, Empowerment, Advocacy - Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Black Disability, Disabled Women of Color, Empowerment, Advocacy - Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

August 6, 2018

Episode 8
Guest: Vilissa Thompson, LMSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

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In this episode, I talk with Vilissa Thompson, founder and leader of Ramp Your Voice!, a self-advocacy and empowerment movement for people with disabilities. We discuss Vilissa’s work to educate social workers, educators, and medical professionals about being helpful, rather than harmful, to disabled people, especially disabled women of color. Vilissa explains how the intersection of racism and ableism negatively impact this population and she shares steps that people can take to educate themselves to be allies and advocates for change. She also shares about creating the hashtag #DisabilityTooWhite and the Black Disabled Woman Syllabus. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Ramp Your Voice!: http://rampyourvoice.com/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RampYourVoice

Youth Leadership, Mental Health, School Shootings, Adult Allies - Martin Rafferty

Youth Leadership, Mental Health, School Shootings, Adult Allies - Martin Rafferty

July 2, 2018

Episode 7
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW
Guest: Martin Rafferty

www.dointhework.com
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In this episode, I talk with Martin Rafferty, CEO of Youth ERA, a national organization that empowers youth to achieve their greatest potential. We discuss Youth ERA’s unique approach to youth leadership, drop-in centers, and training for adults who want to support youth voice. Martin explains how Youth ERA responds to school shootings as well as the stigma surrounding mental health. He also shares his powerful journey of how he got into this work. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Youth ERA: https://www.youthera.org/
Resources for Adult Allies: https://www.youthempowerment.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheYouthERA/

Empowering Women, Policy Advocacy, Graceful Revolution, Coaching - Melissa Bird, PhD, MSW

Empowering Women, Policy Advocacy, Graceful Revolution, Coaching - Melissa Bird, PhD, MSW

June 4, 2018

Episode 6
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW
Guest: Melissa (Missy) Bird, PhD, MSW

www.dointhework.com
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In this episode, I talk with Dr. Melissa Bird – “Missy” – of Bird Girl Industries, where Missy empowers women to engage in advocacy. We talk about challenging injustice and how people’s fear of “doing it perfectly” holds them back. Missy shares a story of using advocacy to empower a client, explains the “Graceful Revolution,” and tells the story of when she wrote a bill to emancipate homeless youth, organized a coalition, and lobbied to get the bill passed – which it did! – when she was a graduate student. Missy encourages everyone to “find their jam” and get involved. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Missy’s blog www.birdgirlindustries.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/birdgirl1001
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/birdgirl1001/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/birdgirl1001/
Patreon https://www.patreon.com/birdgirl1001

Drug Policy and Decriminalization, Racially Biased Policing, Coalition Building - Kassandra Frederique, MSW

Drug Policy and Decriminalization, Racially Biased Policing, Coalition Building - Kassandra Frederique, MSW

May 7, 2018

Episode 5
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW
Guest: Kassandra Frederique, MSW

www.dointhework.com
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In this episode, I talk with Kassandra Frederique, who is the New York State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. We talk about Kassandra’s work to decriminalize drugs, challenge racially biased policing, and build coalitions. Kassandra emphasizes how to meet people where they are at on these issues and remain accountable to those most affected. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/kassandra-frederique

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