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McMaster School of Social Work News

The latest news, discussion topics and announcements from the School of Social Work.

Feb 28, 2017

Land and Indigenous Peoples Acknowledgement 
We recognize and acknowledge that the School of Social Work at McMaster University meets and learns on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum, an agreement amongst all allied Nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

On January 23, 2017, the School of Social Work welcomed and approved a recommendation from the Circle of Indigenous Social Work Action that these words be integrated into the life of the School. This recognition and acknowledgement will be spoken at all significant School events, and we will continue to appreciate, understand and find ways to live out these words. With many thanks to members of the Circle for drawing these words together and bringing them forward.

 

Plan for Accessibility and Disability Inclusion
The School of Social Work Action Plan for Accessibility and Disability Inclusion reflects the School’s philosophy, and an ongoing commitment to learning about and enhancing accessibility and disability inclusion at the School and in the broader community. The commitments and plans outlined here were informed by Enhancing Accessibility and Disability Inclusion in McMaster’s School of Social Work, a report prepared by Alise deBie in collaboration with other social work students with disabilities. Instructors and staff will revisit the Action Plan at least once a year to be sure that plans are being fulfilled, and to identify further needed reflection, conversation and action. We want to extend our sincere thanks to the students who shared their experiences, analysis and ideas in order to nourish disability-positive learning environments.

 

'Alt-right' isn’t right!
Since Trump’s electoral victory, incidents of hatred in the US and Canada, including in Hamilton, have increased. In November posters linked to white supremacy appeared at the McMaster University Student Centre. As a School of Social Work community we wanted to contribute to a conversation about how to respond to the posters and the ideology behind them. On December 7, students, instructors and staff gathered to name and to learn from the incident; to collectively make a public response; and to affirm our commitment to equity – as one step in an ongoing process, undertaken in collaboration with others organizing for change and justice within the university and in Hamilton.

 

McMaster’s commitments to equity and inclusion: Making them visible, making them heard…  
In December two students booked a library study room for a "McMaster KKK meeting." According to the McMaster Daily News, an investigation under the McMaster Student Code of Conduct, “found that two students made the booking as a prank.” The Daily News indicates that the students will “receive education and sensitivity training”. Whatever the motivation behind the students’ action, the way McMaster officials respond matters: the strength and coherence of the University’s commitments to equity and inclusion are judged in such moments. Social Work students in their third year seminar wrote a public letter demanding that the safety and well-being of all racialized students at McMaster be taken seriously and made a priority. Along with students and colleagues on campus and in the Hamilton community, the School is calling for a fuller, more proactive and more critical response to this incident.

 

NEW summer course: Violence: Social Justice Perspectives and Responses
This course (SOCWORK 4G03) will consider a range of forms of violence and ways of understanding violence, as well as possibilities for response. It will be offered in spring (term 1) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30pm-9:30pm starting Tuesday May 2nd until Thursday June 15, 2017; registration will open at the end of March.

 

Remembering Kathryn Stachyra
Kathryn Stachyra, a graduate in 2008 of the School’s BSW program, died as a result of a car accident in February. Our hearts go out to all the people who love her and are grieving her loss so deeply…

Kathryn made an impression on everyone she met. She had a very unique and wonderful energy, and an absolute passion for making the world a better place. She had a special focus on the relationships between humans and our companion animals and was one of the founders of People and Animal Wellness Solutions (P.A.W.S.). Many people and local organizations are paying tribute to Kathryn’s spirit and contributions. Donations in memory and celebration of Kathryn can be made to P.A.W.S. Hamilton.