This past spring, BCSSW doctoral candidate Victor Figuereo was awarded the Pinderhughes Fellowship given annually to an outstanding African-American PhD student at the School. Victor is now in his third year at BCSSW, and is hard at work to earn his degree, expected in 2019, under the tutelage of mentor Rocío Calvo.
Newly tenured rising star Rocío Calvo continues to be in demand for her unique approach to promoting effective social work with systematically oppressed populations in higher education.
Yolanda Padilla, Director of the Center for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice at CSWE and Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, was on campus to meet with Associate Professor Rocío Calvo, and members of the LLI. Padilla highlighted the LLI as a model program for diversity education. Read more on the Blog »
The Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) is fast becoming the alternative approach to empower Latino communities in all of social work higher education. By fostering an environment where the traits of leadership, innovation, risk-taking, and sheer force of will can flourish, the LLI has created a unique counter-space where the Latino experience is not only heard, but also validated.
By mid-century, the majority of the US population will be made up of minorities, predominantly Latinos. To better prepare students to work with this diverse population, Boston College School of Social Work established a Latino Leadership Initiative within the MSW program.
The LLI bolsters students' linguistic and cultural competencies to work with Latino communities in the U.S. and abroad. A set of foundation and method courses will be taught in Spanish.
Associate Professor Rocío Calvo, a native of Spain who worked in Latin America prior to joining Boston College School of Social Work, believes that adding a second language to the portfolio of graduating students deepens empathy and expands imagination, both core principles of a Jesuit education.
Calvo's research is on the incorporation of immigrants, and she is particularly interested in the determinants that make Latino immigrants successful in recipient societies.
"Social workers who are able to relate to clients and to work with clients in Spanish without the need of translators, who understand not only the language but the culture and the cultural components, are at a great advantage in serving and relating to this population," says Calvo.
Students from the first cohort in the Latino Leadership Initiative came together to talk about the value this initiative will have for them as social workers in understanding the cultural issues around working with Latino populations. Watch the "Student Voices" video testimonials »
Rocío Calvo & the Latino Leadership Initiative Make Waves Across America »
LLI Highlighted as a ‘Model Program’ by the CSWE »
Read about the LLI in the Boston College Chronicle »
Read the article in BC Social Work Magazine »
Read about the launch of the initiative »
Latino Leadership Initiative Graduates Inaugural Cohort »