This has been a time of much pain, anger, rage, and increased trauma as many thousands across the nation demand change and an end to institutions and practices that have for too long dehumanized individuals and communities of color. I want to take a moment to pause and honor the pain and trauma that you feel and your commitment to social justice.I would like, as well, to follow-up with you and to let you know of continuing actions being undertaken as we move forward together in ensuring that our programs and curricula here at Silberman are embedded in a social justice analysis, so that we fully teach the ethics of our profession as social workers.
The members of the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College stand in solidarity with people throughout the United States and around the world in mourning the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Atatiana Jefferson. This senseless loss of life at a time when the official COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. has reached 100,000 defies our understanding.
Social workers must speak out against injustice and at the same time be self-aware to ensure that residuals of systemic racism as well as other ‘isms‘ that live in all of us are identified and addressed.
MSW student Fatmata Britton and BSW student Shannon Lubin did their field placements this year with Silberman’s PROVE program (Project for Return and Opportunity in Veterans Education). This innovative program, operating since 2007, helps student veterans connect to needed resources as they transition from the military to college life.
2020 Silberman grad and jewelry artist Vanessa Bruce-Miller’s company was recently recognized by Huffington Post as one of a number of Black queer businesses especially worthy of support during these turbulent times.
Five days a week, Matthew Caron administers Silberman ten million dollar portfolio of externally funded grants and contracts. But every weekend, he puts on his paramedic uniform and joins the thousands of healthcare workers who provide lifesaving assistance to the city’s citizens. This work has become even more challenging as the city struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked Matthew to tell us about his weekend job.
Dr. Anna Ortega-Williams is joining the Hunter College Silberman faculty as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Ortega-Williams is a social work scholar, practitioner, educator, and activist. She earned her doctorate from the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, having previously earned her MSW from Stony Brook University (SUNY) and her bachelor’s degree from Hunter College.