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Social justice conference, Celebration of Social Work reception on tap for March 7

Steve Jones

The Spalding University School of Social Work will celebrate Social Work Month with two signature events held back-to-back on Thursday, March 7,  and the public is encouraged to attend.

A daylong conference called #OppressForgetRepeat – A Call to End the Cycle of Injustice and Oppression will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the College Street Center ballroom, 812 S. Second Street. It’s free for Spalding faculty and staff as well as students from any school, and it’s $25 for the public. For those seeking to acquire six continuing education units (CEUs), the cost is $35. Register here.

That will be followed at 5 p.m. for Spalding’s Celebration of Social Work reception at the Republic Bank Academic Center,981 S. Third St. That event is free and will feature distribution of the second annual Spalding Social Work Awards.

Here’s more detail on both events.

#OppressForgetRepeat conference

The #OppressForgetRepeat – A Call to End the Cycle of Injustice and Oppression conference is designed to explore the dynamics of systemic and structural oppression, while reviewing the history and long-range damage of oppressive practices.

Participants will engage with community and regional leaders in plenaries and participant-driven breakout sessions.

There will presentations by Rabbi Nadia Siritsky about antisemitism; Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, director for the city’s Department of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, about slavery; and Joshua Poe, urban planner, about the redlining of Louisville neighborhoods.

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Marta Miranda-Straub, the retired leader of the Center for Women and Families and a current Spalding social work adjunct professor, will also speak.

Breakout sessions will be held on anti-oppressive practice, trauma-informed practice, community organizing and more. There will also be an information fair of social justice organizations.

“It’s really a call to action,” said Miranda-Straub, who also helped organize the conference. “We’re setting the context (of examples of oppressive practices and systems), then giving the opportunities to engage with activists and advocacy and organizations that are doing social justice work. It’s kind of a shifting of a paradigm that we can’t keep doing this work without really learning from the past and moving it forward to find out what action we’re going to take.”

Celebration of Social Work reception

After the conference, at the Celebration of Social Work public reception, Spalding will present its annual social work awards to community leaders dedicated to the profession and the community. This year’s honorees are: Jennifer Hancock (Leader Award), Volunteers of America Mid-States; Edgardo Mansilla (Advocate Award), Americana Center; Miranda-Straub (Champion Award), Catapult Now; Adria Johnson (Collaborator Award), Metro United Way; and Quaniqua Carthan (Innovator), Cities United.

More Social Work Month coverage: Spalding School of Social Work Chair Dr. Shannon Cambron and professor Laneshia Conner each wrote an op-ed column for the Courier-Journal this past week explaining the profession of social work. Read those columns here and here.