Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Witness: Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles

 We held our annual workshop last Friday--something we do every year during Social Work Month.  This year's theme is "Restoring Hope: The Power of Social Work."  Reverend Kyles was our opening plenary speaker, and presented his documentary, The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306.  Reverend Kyles was standing with Dr. Martin Luther King the evening he was assassinated at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis.  The film is moving and powerful, as was Reverend Kyles.  We were pleased he had accepted the invitation to open the day's work, and he remained throughout the day attending a variety of the breakout sessions.
 For the 10th year, Dr. O'Quin organized the annual CARE Fair, held in conjunction with the conference.  Caring for Aging Relatives Effectively is one of the reasons cited in why the university is a great place to work.  Vendors of services for caregiving attend, offering information and support.
Over the years, Jo Ann has amassed an incredible team of folks who support those who care for aging relatives.
 Our newest faculty member, Dr. Brooks, presented to a packed room about practice with GLBTQQIMSMWSW.  Yes, once again, the helping professions came up with a new one.  Most folks were familiar with GLBT for years now, but it is not inclusive of all the continuum--and that was the first part of the workshop.
Dr. Simmons held the group enraptured at the closing plenary: teaching about privilege.  Oppression, and what constitutes it, is fairly old hat in the social work arena now, but there is an emerging movement to help people understand privilege--the invisible knapsack of what privileged people bring to the playing field.  It's invisible to the ones with privilege, but those who have not been privileged can see it easily.

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