Social Work in the Public Eye (January 2012)

Jeffrey EdelsonAccording to an article published by United Press International, Minnesota researchers have said that more than half of the residents who stay in battered women’s shelters across the United States are children.

Jeffrey Edelson, professor of social work at the University of Minnesota, stated in the story that an online platform can serve as a tool to give a voice to children and allow social workers and service providers to better grasp the issues that come with being a firsthand child witness to domestic violence. The Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse along with the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the school of social work at the University of Minnesota has created the project Honor our Voices.

To recognize domestic violence month, the site launched in October. It offers visitors an interactive experience with downloadable guides and audio sessions that help social workers gain deeper insight into the mind-set of children who have experienced or are currently experiencing domestic violence in their lives, and the emotions they process.

“This learning experience is informed by some of the best practitioners and researchers in the field,” Edleson said in the article. “With information gained from this site, professionals will be able to better respond to the needs of these children and it is freely available for those professionals working on the front lines to complete at their own pace while sitting at their desk or at home.”

Salome RaheimThe NAACP Connecticut state conference named Salome Raheim one of the 100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut for 2011, according to a story published in the Norwalk Press.

Raheim, who is dean of the University of Connecticut’s school of social work and serves as co-chair of the Provost’s Commission on Institutional Diversity, is a native of Baltimore, and started her academic career at Bowie State University where she achieved her BSW.

Raheim then attended Catholic University of America to obtain her MSW and the University of Iowa to complete her doctorate in communication studies. The article said Raheim’s past positions have included senior associate to the University of Iowa and principal investigator for funded proposals and grants submitted by the Department of Justice, the Office of Victims and Crimes and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Raheim now serves as a collaborator for the Privilege Project, a continuing international effort that assists educators, community workers and therapists in addressing issues of privilege and dominance.

Raheim’s focus has been on improving human well-being, supporting improvements for social and economic justice and human rights.

Philip LucasTwo prayer vigils and a service were conducted in October to mark the decennial of the 2001 anthrax attacks at the U.S. Postal Service’s Brentwood facility in Washington, D.C.

Philip Lucas, past president of the NASW Metro Washington Chapter, spoke at the service and was part of a support team after the initial attacks, which killed two employees: Joseph Curseen and Thomas Morris.

Lucas is an adjunct associate professor at the Howard University School of Social Work and an adjunct professor at Trinity University, D.C., School of Education/Counseling. MSW students from Howard and counseling students from Trinity also were on hand to offer support during the service.

Lucas received a plaque for his ongoing efforts to help those affected by the tragedy. U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin, both Maryland Democrats, also sent letters of acknowledgement for the event.

Sandra McCormickSandra McCormick, president and CEO of World Services located in La Crosse, Wis., looks at the world as an opportunity to give back. “I have been to 50 countries, including China, India and Israel. And it was great to see where the Hmong came from,” McCormick stated to The Lacrosse Tribune in a profile article.

McCormick and her staff at World Services travel to global locations to offer aid for projects that serve to strengthen health care and deflect anti-American sentiment. The story noted that through acquired grant money, World Services has offered aid in Russia, India, China and Israel - and McCormick is always on the lookout for her next venture. McCormick is quoted in the article as putting La Crosse on the map through her ability to bring federal funds into the area, and McCormick stated that “I always have felt if I didn’t see the world, I’m not going to be a complete person.”

Former La Crosse Mayor John Medinger, who serves on the World Services board, praised McCormick’s efforts. “Sandy brings a passion for these types of international activities,” he stated in the article. “She’s passionate about the work she does...”

Look for more social workers in the media at Social Workers Speak.