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Civil Rights Pioneer Ignites Spirit of Activism at Boston College

MARCH 5, 2015

On February 19th, civil rights pioneer Claudette Colvin presented a talk on her life at the Boston College School of Social Work, remembering the day 60 years ago when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Colvin was a trailblazer in the fight for civil rights – her refusal of segregation took place nine months before Rosa Parks’ similar protest. She was only 15 years old at the time.

"Claudette spoke eloquently about how she has proactively addressed adversity throughout her life, and she encouraged our faculty and students to stand up and provide a compassionate voice when confronted with social injustice in our own lives," said BC Social Work Dean Alberto Godenzi. "She also encouraged us to strive to understand what’s happening in the world around us today, and she asked us to remember our distinct pasts as a critical means to gaining truthful perspectives on our shared futures."  More about Civil Rights Pioneer Claudette Colvin »

"Social Work is BC"

FEBRUARY 25, 2015

On November 11th, we returned to our roots, reclaiming the original name bestowed upon the school by its founders in 1936, the Boston College School of Social Work. The name change offered the school an opportunity to celebrate its history, its people, and its mission; the title of the event was "Social Work is BC." It was a title that resonated deeply with featured speaker Father Jack Butler, Boston College's Vice President for the Division of University Mission and Ministry.

"And then I saw your hashtag, 'Social Work is BC,' and I said 'There's the prophets,'" he told a packed audience in McGuinn Hall's auditorium. "They’re calling back to all of us in the administration, all of us in the separate schools, all the students here, and you are saying to us, 'Do you remember what the mission is?'"

The evening was designed to celebrate the many unique and diverse ways that BC Social Work seeks to live out its mission of social justice, and to making transformation happen. More than 20 initiatives and programs participated in a dynamic "flash mob style" presentation that included singing, dancing, inspiring remarks, quotations from people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and loud cheers. The Latino Leadership Initiative unfurled a banner displaying the school’s new name, in a new language — Spanish.  More about "Social Work is BC" »

Events

Methodology Research Training on Community Based Participatory Research

Michael Spencer, PhD
Michael Spencer, PhD

APRIL 9, 2012
11 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
McGuinn 5th Floor Conference Room
RSVP by April 3, 2012, to Serena Heartz at heartz@bc.edu or 617-552-0866

GSSW tenured and tenure-track faculty and PhD students are invited to attend a working lunch and workshop presented by Michael Spencer, PhD, Associate Dean of Educational Programs and Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

Dr. Spencer's research is primarily in the area of health disparities and mental health service use as well as the impact of discrimination on health and mental health outcomes for people of color. Dr. Spencer is the Principal Investigator of the REACH Detroit Family Intervention, an NIH-funded, community-based, participatory research (CBPR) project that aims at reducing disparities in type 2 diabetes through the use of community health workers among Latino residents in Southwest Detroit. He also investigates the association between discrimination and physical and mental health as well as service use among Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans.

Dr. Spencer has initiated several CBPR interventions on issues related to environmental justice and intergroup relations, including dialogue groups in local high schools as a means for negotiating conflict and promoting anti-bigotry and social justice among adolescents. He teaches courses in multicultural multilingual organizing, dialogue facilitation, community development, human behavior in the social environment, and contemporary cultures in the United States. Dr. Spencer is also a member of the SSW Community Organization Learning Community.

Selected publications