Category Archives: social justice

Inequality for All #MacroSW Live Twitter Chat 3/26/2020

via Inequality for All #MacroSW Live Twitter Chat 3/26/2020
Inequality for All #MacroSW Live Twitter Chat 3/26/2020

As many colleges have gone to remote/online/distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, here’s a great opportunity for students to learn about the roots of income inequality – a status that is reflected today in spending priorities that left our public good subservient to the interests of the wealthier segment of society. We’ll be hosting this chat, with Jimmy Young, PhD, MSW, MPA, from California State University, San Marcos.

A scale is silhouetted against a green background. One side, the heaviest, has a single man in a top hat. The other lighter scale has a mass of individuals crowded onto the scale.


Join us Thursday evening, March 26, 2020 at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT.

PREP SCHOOL NEGRO: Periscope of the discussion on Race, Racism and Leveraging Technology for Social Justice

Post by Pat Shelly

Periscope by Nancy J. Smyth






Thirty years before our current election cycle’s talk about racial disparities, killings streamed on Facebook and the rise of the #Occupy and #Blacklivesmatter movement, a young Black man was offered an opportunity for what he hoped was a better life.  André Robert Lee’s full scholarship to attend a Philadelphia prep school was supposed to be his way out of the ghetto, but this elite education came at a high personal cost.


Prep School Negro documents André’s journey back in time to revisit the events of his adolescence while also spending time with present-day prep school students of color and their classmates to see how much has really changed inside the ivory tower. What he discovers along the way is the poignant and unapologetic truth about who really pays the consequences for yesterday’s accelerated desegregation and today’s racial naiveté.


A screening of Prep School Negro was held on September 19, 2016 as part of the University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work series on Social Work and Emerging Technologies, led by affiliated faculty member Mike Langlois, a clinical social worker and educator.  After the screening, Mike engaged André Lee, the director of Prep School Negro and producer, civil rights educator and activist, in a discussion on race, racism, the seismic shifts in technology and how to leverage emerging technologies in the fight for social justice.


André Robert Lee, filmmaker

André Robert Lee, filmmaker







Mike Langlois, LICSW

Mike Langlois, LICSW











Full-length version of Prep School Negro is now available on PBS
(through Feb. 10, 2017):


Here are links to the Periscope recordings:


We welcome any comments, and will pass any received along to André and Mike.

#MacroSW chat 4-14-16: Smart Decarceration and Social Work

An important issue for the U.S. and our profession. How can we implement the best practices for effective reentry for the millions currently incarcerated, many under racist drug laws?

Here is a link to the summary of this chat.

And below, the resources and references that were shared regarding Smart Decarceration:

Sources (in the original post)

Here is a link to the Grand Challenge, Promote Smart Decarceration – at this link, click on the cover of the AASWSW Grand Challenges paper, “From Mass Incarceration to Smart Decarceration” to download a copy.

Links for the report’s authors:
Dr. Carrie Pettus-Davis bio
Assistant Professor and Director, Concordance Institute for Advancing Social Justice, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew W. Epperson bio
Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago

Related articles:

Breaking the cycle of drug use

Alternatives to incarceration

Additional Resources on Smart Decarceration (tweeted during chat on 4-14-16)

Michelle Alexander on The New Jim Crow (Bill Moyers interviews Alexander in 2010):

The New Jim Crow in the 02-19-13 article by John Light

Prison Policy Initiative
Winnable criminal justice reforms: A Prison Policy Initiative briefing on promising state reform issues for 2016
Link to download this report::

Prisons for Profit article:

Video: War on Drugs & Mass Incarceration “The House I Live In”

Transgender People in Prison Article
Prison is horrifying for transgender people. It’s hell.

Combatting Mass Incarceration ACLU infographic (2011)

6,000 drug offenders to be released from federal prison starting Friday. (Oct. 2015)

Blog post on Prison Reform by @StuckOnSocialWork:
THE Question When It comes to #justice and #prison #reform.    also:

Univ. of Chicago Smart Decarceration Initiative: Reversing Mass Incarceration in America

Creating trauma-informed correctional care: a balance of goals and environment. Niki A. Miller and Lisa M. Najavits 2012

Effective reentry:
4 Elements of Successful Reentry Programs for Inmates

Center for Employment Opportunities 2013 Annual Report

Preventing Future Crime With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

HIPAA compliant technology:
VSee – Word’s Largest VideoTelemedicine Platform for HIPAA compliant video visits.     Dr. Joiner of Wayne State describes it: “VSee is a version of videoconferencing (we use it w/ our online students when holding synchronous meetings). VSee is a great tool to continue the conversation and 2 engage beyond the traditional classroom .”

Restorative Justice

German Prison System: CBS 60 Minutes April 3 2016
Privacy, weekend leave, keys…This is prison?

Mental Health Courts
Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren


Here’s to a socially conscious new year: Six simple resolutions for 2016

by Kathryn Levy, MSW




January is often considered a time to start anew; to change things from the previous year and look at those areas where we can improve. Few among us do not make at least one resolution moving into the new year, whether or not we express them vocally. Better health resolutions, whether it be fitness or weight-based, is common. Spending less and minimizing at home also seem to be pledges many take. But what if this year we all take some time to become more socially conscious? Instead of focusing solely on ourselves, we take on a resolution that affects not only one person, but also those around us?


Being socially conscious is a sort of social awareness. Instead of focusing on the individual, we develop empathy and responsibility for the problems and injustices that exist within a society. It means paying attention to things that  we have overlooked, on purpose or not, in order to gain a better understanding of the world beyond ourselves.



image: John Hain Creative Commons CC0 1.0

image: John Hain Creative Commons CC0 1.0



If we resolve to be more socially conscious, how does one go about doing that? Of course, saying “I’m being socially conscious” is not enough (though a good start). Fear not! Below are six simple ways anyone can be more socially conscious. Committing to even one of these is a great way to step into 2016!


Read more

Social Justice Statement of Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement

University at Buffalo SUNY School of Social Work


architectural detail: buffalo with mane and lines of the body grooved

University at Buffalo architectural detail


Members of the Faculty Council of the UB School of Social Work raise our voices in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and other struggles to end the dehumanization of people of color and to promote equitable and humane treatment for all people. This dehumanization, which is pervasive in our culture and societal institutions, leads to the perpetration of systemic violence and human rights violations upon communities of color. Although dehumanization is a global phenomenon, we focus our current attention on the United States. Among the many examples of this dehumanization we note:


  • The murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Oscar Grant, Akai Gurley, Charly “Africa” Leundeu Keunang, Tony Robinson, Jr., and scores of other unarmed Black men and women, youth, and children by police officers in communities throughout this country;


  • The institutional racism within the criminal justice system reflected in the mass incarceration of black and brown people within America’s prisons; daily occurrences of police harassment, intimidation, and brutality; and stop-and-frisk polices, stand-your-ground laws, and the militarization of police forces that disproportionately target communities of color;


  • The persistent disparities in housing, education, income, wealth, health, and employment that are caused by public policies and private practices that actively privilege white people and disadvantage people of color;


  • Language that demonizes people of color, disregards basic civil rights for homeless individuals and people in poverty, denigrates immigrants and migrant workers as “illegals,” and racial slurs and racist caricatures of American Indian people as mascots for athletic teams;


  • The gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the U.S. Supreme Court and efforts by states to pass voter suppression legislation that will disproportionately impact African American voters.


As a School of Social Work dedicated to promoting social and economic justice, human rights, and a trauma-informed perspective, we will continue to:


  • Be agents of change for racial justice, from local to global communities, through our research, teaching, and community service;


  • Promote critical dialogues within and beyond our school about how racism and other forms of structural oppression and structural inequalities affect us, our relationships, our organizations, and our communities;


  • Acknowledge that silence and inaction contribute to the maintenance of ongoing institutional racism and other structural inequalities;


  • Support UBSSW community members’ participation in direct social and political actions that promote human rights and racial and economic justice;


  • Strengthen the curriculum by deepening content and expanding curricular offerings focused on advocacy, community organizing, restorative justice practices, and intergroup dialogues.


Louanne Bakk

Anna Ball

Laina Y. Bay-Cheng

Lisa Butler

Betsy Bowen

Filomena Critelli

Catherine Dulmus

Diane Elze

Gretchen Ely

Rob Keefe

Kathy Kendall

Isok Kim

Wooksoo Kim

Denise Krause

Laura Lewis

Patricia Logan-Greene

Shaanta Murshid

Yunju Nam

Kelly Patterson

Thomas Nochajski

Barbara Rittner

Patricia Shelly

Annette Semanchin-Jones

Nancy J. Smyth

Charles Syms

Deborah Waldrop

Hilary Weaver



Logo shows the words Black Lives Matter in alternate black lettres on yellow then yellow on black




Resources Addressing Racial Justice


Alexander, M. (2012). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York: The New Press.


Anderson, C. (August 29, 2014). Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress. The Washington Post,


Balko, R. (September 3, 2014). How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty.


Bennett, B. (December 17, 2014). I don’t know what to do with good white people.


Casselman, B. (August 26, 2014). The poorest corner of town.


Cooper, B. (January 21, 2015). Maureen Dowd’s clueless white gaze: What’s really behind the “Selma” backlash.


Democracy NOW. (November 20, 2014). “Just Mercy”: Bryan Stevenson on Ferguson, Prison Reform & Why the Opposite of Poverty is Justice.  see also


Democracy NOW. (December 1, 2014). Dehumanizing the Black Lives of America: Michael Eric Dyson on Ferguson, Police Brutality and Race.


Democracy NOW. (February 10, 2015). Ferguson Residents Challenge “Modern Debtors’ Prison Scheme” Targeting Blacks with Fines, Arrests.


Duca, L. (August 20, 2014). 7 documentaries you can stream right now to better understand what’s going on in Ferguson. The Huffington Post,


Eberhardt, Jennifer. L.
Dr. Eberhardt is a social psychologist at Stanford University who studies race and inequity, especially in the criminal justice context. Her faculty page can be found at:  She was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Award in 2014 in recognition of her work. Her webpage is a good place to find up-to-date, state-of-the-art research findings that directly relate to “real world issues.”


Fisher, M. (2014). How we’d cover Ferguson if it happened in another country. Retrieved from


Garza, A. (October 7, 2014). A herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.


Goodman, A. (November 27, 2014). Shaking the heavens in Ferguson, Missouri.


Harding, K. Ten things white people can do about Ferguson besides tweet.


Jarecki, E., Barnes, J., Fraser, N., Glover, D., Legend, J., Pitt, B., Simmons, R., … Virgil Films (Firm),. (2013). The house I live in. [Documentary]


Jeffries, M.P. (November 28, 2014). Ferguson must force us to face anti-blackness.


Moyers & Company, Interview with Michelle Alexander: Locked Out of the American Dream, Published on December 20, 2013, is a recommended blog. According to the site, the contributors “are scholars and researchers from sociology and a number of other social science disciplines and a variety of academic institutions across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Europe, and elsewhere.”


This American Life (2015). Cops see it differently, Part 1 and Part 2.


U.S. Department of Justice (2015). Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. Retrieved from


Western, B. (2006). Punishment and inequality in America. New York: Russell Sage.


Wilkerson, I. (2010). The warmth of other suns: The epic story of America’s great migration. New York: Vintage Books.