by Pat Shelly
(Read Part I- Rationale and Resources here)
Twelve of us gathered on May 12th, eleven – students, faculty, staff, a volunteer – from University at Buffalo (UB) School of Social Work and one other UB graduate student. We were ready to take part in a community conversation on the profession of social work and how its members respond to jihadism or other extremist humanitarian disasters. Social work’s Code of Ethics promote peace and the protection of human rights, so there is grounding for the School to take up the task of examining this topic.
With a commitment to observing trauma-informed and human-rights based principles, we were conscious of being respectful of each other and maintaining a safe place to express feelings and explore ideas. We believed each of us had some measure of cultural humility in entering this conversation.
by Pat Shelly
The School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo has a Global Interest Group (GiG), which organizes events exploring social issues in a global context and bringing it into a local discussion. This encourages our MSW students to think outside the box of U.S. culture and look beyond its particular strategies for social change. At our monthly lunches, students, faculty, staff and community members listen an invited speaker, and join in the discussion that follows.
Topics for 2014-15 included working with survivors of torture, international field placement and its challenges, experiences of women in the Arab Gulf, social work issues in Tanzania, and immigration and human rights.
For the final Global to Local event of the academic year,”Social Work Responses to Jihadism: Promoting Peace and Human Rights” was held as an informal dinner discussion.