On December 9, 2011 first year undergraduate social work students presented their visions of a world based on social justice. The day marked the final component of SLWK222: Advancing Social Justice and profiled a two part assignment entitled Enacting Critical Hope. From 10:00 am to 3:30 pm students shared their analyses, reflections and dreams with each other, faculty, staff and with community visitors through poster displays, live presentations, experiential exercises and student made videos. The day included a pot luck meal attended by 80 people that provided a well-deserved moment of relaxation and socializing. The demonstrated passion and committment of this group gives hope that a better world is indeed possible.
A group of students and faculty from the School of Social Work joined the Occupy Nova Scotia rally at the Grand Parade on Friday, November 4th. The group attended the rally to be a presence when the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers, represented by the executive director Robert Shepherd, members of the social action committee, and practising social workers came to speak out about the growing disparity between rich and poor, the erosion of the social safety net, the inadequacy of the neo-liberal agenda and the importance of this grassroots movement as an alternate voice in our society. Included in the group were School of Social Work faculty members Dr. Carolyn Campbell, Dr. Marion Brown, Dr. Judy MacDonald and Dr. Merlinda Weinberg; instructors Paul O’Hara, David Williams and Jeanne Fay; as well as BSW and MSW students. Members of the School of Social Work have provided ongoing support and concrete services to Occupy Nova Scotia. Students are exploring ways to continue to work collaboratively with the movement, although the recent dismantling of their encampment in Victoria Park will pose significant challenges.