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Focus on Social Work Efforts in Richmond, Calif.

Richmond, Calif.Berkeley Social Welfare Field Consultant Andrea Dubrow convened Richmond-based field instructors and their Management and Planning MSW students in November to explore some of the ways that social justice is being applied by social workers in the greater Richmond area. 

The meeting, with its macro focus, highlighted collective impact efforts by Healthy Richmond, a 10-year initiative funded by the California Endowment, as well as the Ensuring Opportunity Campaign to reduce poverty in Contra Costa. Catholic Charities of the East Bay highlighted their restorative justice practices in Richmond schools and communities; Bay Area Community Resources is developing a parent leadership program at a First Five family resource center; Contra Costa Health Services Homeless Programs is leading efforts to reduce homelessness for veterans and to streamline a common and coordinated entry point for all who need housing services. Additionally, the James Morehouse Project of El Cerrito High School is working with high-school students as "culture keepers" who assist other students to de-escalate instances of conflict and stress and reduce/prevent violence.

Many thanks to second-year MSW students Emily Ross and Anna Salomone and first-year students Nicole Liner-Jigamian, Ashley Kelly and Andy Spivak who attended. Lindsey Cochran and Maribel Mora are also based in Richmond, but could not attend.

DuBrow reflected on the critical mass of students who are doing excellent macro and mezzo level social work in Richmond, an area of high need in the Bay Area. Field instructors were delighted to explore ways to support the students and collaborate further as opportunities emerge. — Contributed by Andrea DuBrow

Photo: "Richmond" by David Cohen