Social Work Practice with Communities and Social Systems


COURSE TITLE: Social Work Practice with Community and Social Systems

COURSE NUMBER: SW 697 Winter Term, 2018


Mon 10am – 1pm (Sec 002)    U-M Dearborn Campus Fairlane Center South [241 FCS]

Tues 9am-12pm (Sec 004)     SSWB 2752


PREREQUISITES: Foundation 560, 521

LOCATION: Community and Social System, SWPS Course

INSTRUCTOR: Michael S. Spencer, PhD, MSSW, Anthony Provenzano, MS, MSW, MPA


OFFICE HOURS: Monday 1 – 2pm or by appointment

Course Statement Approved: Governing Faculty Meeting Sept. 3, 2014.

  1. Course Description

This course will prepare students to engage in integrated practice focused on utilizing community and social systems to support and empower individuals, families, and communities and envision and work towards social justice goals. This will include skills for entering, assessing, and working collaboratively with client systems and their social networks, including assessment of power differences and building on diversity within the community. This course will build on practice methods presented in the foundation courses and give special attention to partnership, strengths based, and empowering models of practice and those that further social justice goals. Special emphasis will be placed on conducting this work in a multicultural context with vulnerable and oppressed populations and communities and to identify and reduce the consequences of unrecognized privilege.

  1. Course Content

This course will cover practice methods for working with multiple social systems to promote well-being through the involvement of community and social systems. The primary focus will be on ways to work in partnership with the primary and secondary mediating structures in communities, such as schools, neighborhood associations, self-help organizations, community centers, and faith based organizations. Emphasis will be placed on ways in which different levels of practice, including interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy practice, can be involved in this kind of work. The focus of this practice will be on systems ranging in size from individuals to communities and national or international organizations. Specific practice methods will include feminist, multicultural, structural, and community social work models of practice. These models will include techniques for group work of various kinds, crisis intervention, advocacy, and service coordination; consultation with community members, groups, and organizations; conducting community outreach and education; convening and working with community committees, coalitions, and planning boards; organizing and facilitating mutual aid and self – help groups; and collaborating with communities to develop local programs and services. Under girding all of these methods will be a focus on methods for encouraging community participation and empowerment and in reducing barriers to these activities for members of different subgroups and who are disempowered and marginalized by mechanisms of oppression. Topical issues will include: enhancing individual, family, and community safety and security; the mediation of community conflicts; the social integration of newcomers and returnees to communities; promoting positive intergroup relations; and the promotion and protection of human rights and environmental justice. Students will engage in activities that allow them to examine and expand their understanding of their own group memberships and identities and how they are relevant in different practice situations.

  1. Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how community and social systems can play a role in improving the well-being of individuals, families, organizations, and communities and in promoting greater social justice. (Practice Behaviors 10.a.IP, 10.a.CO, 10.a.SPE, 10.a.MHS, 10.b.IP, 10.b.CO, 10.b.SPE, 10.b.MHS)
    1. To demonstrate several methods that engage, strengthen and build well-being and social justice, particularly at the community level. (Practice Behaviors 10.c.IP, 10.c.CO, 10.c.SPE, 10.c.MHS)
    2. To promote capacity building and preventive approaches via strengthening the student’s knowledge, skills and resources so that they may assist individuals, groups, and communities to develop more socially just practice. (Practice Behaviors 10.a.IP, 10.a.CO, 10.a.SPE, 10.a.MHS)
    3. To apply analytical techniques to assess the strengths, needs and capacities of individuals, groups, organizations, and communities. (Practice Behaviors 10.b.IP, 10.b.CO, 10.b.SPE, 10.b.MHS)
  2. Identify the critical primary and secondary structures in communities that can be mobilized for engaging in practice at all levels. (Practice Behaviors 10.b.IP, 10.b.CO, 10.b.SPE, 10.b.MHS)
    1. To demonstrate knowledge about how the structures and development of individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and social systems affect one another. (Practice Behaviors 10.a.IP, 10.a.CO, 10.a.SPE, 10.a.MHS, 10.b.IP, 10.b.CO, 10.b.SPE, 10.b.MHS)
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to apply theories of social change, from the individual through societal levels. (Practice Behaviors 10.a.IP, 10.a.CO, 10.a.SPE, 10.a.MHS)
  3. Describe how the gender, racial, religious, economic, or other diverse characteristics of a community affect the needs and assets to be mobilized in practice. (Practice Behaviors 10.b.IP, 10.b.CO, 10.b.SPE, 10.b.MHS)
    a. To be able to locate oneself as a practitioner incorporating multiple social positions, statuses, and cultures, and to understand the implications of these for worldview, values, and biases. (Practice Behaviors 10.a.IP, 10.a.CO, 10.a.SPE, 10.a.MHS)
  4. Demonstrate skills for engaging community systems and encouraging the participation of community members with attention to their diversity and for reducing barriers to that participation. (Practice Behaviors 10.a.IP, 10.a.CO, 10.a.SPE, 10.a.MHS, 10.d.IP, 10.d.CO, 10.d.SPE, 10.d.MHS)
    a. To demonstrate skills in negotiating differences and conflicts at system interfaces. (Practice Behaviors 10.c.IP, 10.c.CO, 10.c.SPE, 10.c.MHS)
    b. To work across social system boundaries and apply multiple strategies for building linkages across boundaries. (Practice Behaviors 10.a.IP, 10.a.CO, 10.a.SPE, 10.a.MHS)
  1. Identify how social work ethics and values can guide practice with community and social systems. (Practice Behaviors 2.IP, 2.CO, 2.SPE, 2.MHS, 10.b.IP, 10.b.CO, 10.b.SPE, 10.b.MHS)


    4. Course Design

In-class activities will include discussions, self-assessment activities, case presentations, and practice simulations. Videos and guest speakers will be utilized to provide examples of current and past practice. Students may also participate in field visits to community-based organizations. Course assignments will include readings, papers, group projects, case studies, and action projects that involve these methods.

  1. Course Curricular themes

Theme Relation to Multiculturalism & Diversity will be addressed throughout this course through a focus on the ways in which the characteristics of individuals, families, and communities drive the approach to practice. This will include attention to the following diversity dimensions: “ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation, as well community of residence.”

Theme Relation to Social Justice will be central to this course on multiple levels. Methods for increasing community participation and empowerment will be reviewed, and special attention will be given to developing methods that are democratic, participatory, and focused on equity and equality.

Theme Relation to Promotion, Prevention, Treatment & Rehabilitation will be covered by considering how community and social systems can be mobilized toward promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation efforts. For example, community and social system involvement can be an integral element of the promotion of mental health, the prevention of mental illness, the treatment of mental distress, and the rehabilitation of the mentally disabled. This course will shed light on how these methods can be involved at these different types of practice focus.

Theme Relation to Behavioral and Social Science Research will form the basis of this course and will guide practice in working with community and social systems. For example, community and social systems practice is supported by research that suggests that well- being is enhanced by the involvement of social supports and social networks. In addition, social science methods will be introduced as a means for developing and evaluating specific practice methods.

  1. Relationship to SW Ethics and Values

This course will address how social work ethics and values can guide practice with community and social systems. The NASW Code of Ethics will be used to inform practice in this area. Special emphasis will be placed on the social worker’s responsibility to promote the general welfare of society by preventing and eliminating discrimination, ensuring equal access to resources, expanding choices and opportunities for all persons, encouraging respect for diversity, advocating for changes in social policies, and encouraging informed participation by the public. In addition, ethical issues related to working with various client systems will be reviewed, such as confidentiality, privacy, rights and prerogatives of clients, the client’s best interest, proper and improper relationships with clients, interruption of services, and termination. Also, please see objective 5 and the relationship to themes 1 and 2 above.

  1. Intensive Focus on PODS

This course integrates PODS content and skills with a special emphasis on the identification of theories, practice and/or policies that promote social justice, illuminate injustices and are consistent with scientific and professional knowledge. Through the use of a variety of instructional methods, this course will support students developing a vision of social justice, learn to recognize and reduce mechanisms that support oppression and injustice, work toward social justice processes, apply intersectionality and intercultural frameworks and strengthen critical consciousness, self-knowledge and self-awareness to facilitate PODS learning.

  1. Learning Philosophy and Environment

Teaching and learning in this course will be guided by the principles of adult education and empowerment. These frameworks approach all participants of an educational endeavor as active, self-directed learners. A core concept of each tradition is valuing your experiences and the potential for sharing these perspectives to deepen individual and group learning. So, you are encouraged to share your insights with the class throughout the semester. At the same time, we should all try to maintain a reflexive stance, carefully considering our thoughts and those of others.

Each individual brings different strengths, knowledge, and various levels of understanding of macro practice to this class. Therefore, we can all benefit if we think of the class as a collaborative effort, and the classroom as a space in which our learning can be enhanced by the contributions of others. In sum, we are all teachers and learners. Therefore, it is hoped that collaborative learning will occur between students, as well as between students and instructor. Furthermore, one of the class assignments is designed to provide an additional opportunity to reflect on collaborative effort.

Creating a Positive Learning Environment

Critical analysis and discussion are integral components of graduate education, empowerment, and adult education. Thus, it is important to foster an environment in which all participants are willing to express their opinions and perspectives. At times, this engagement can involve some risk, but it is hoped that you will feel comfortable to share your views and queries in order to promote your learning and that of your colleagues.

To encourage this environment, we are all reminded of our professional responsibility to treat one another with respect. If the classroom is to be a space for learning, it cannot reinforce systems of bias and domination. As course instructor, I will strive to develop a respectful course environment. You too can contribute to this ethos by extending to your colleagues the same respect and sensitivity you desire.

Empowerment in the classroom occurs by each classroom actor

  • Respecting one another
  • Validating one another’s experiences and insights
  • Drawing on one’s own strengths and those of others
  • Responsibly sharing one’s power
  • Working collaboratively
  • Taking responsibility for one’s own learning
  • Thinking independently and critically

Huff, M.T., & Johnson, M.M. (1998). Empowering students in a graduate-level social work course. Journal of Social Work Education, 34(3), 375- 385.

Questioning one another is a part of a positive and productive learning process. Such questioning should be done in a collegial, civil, and professional manner, which involves listening to, recognizing, and respecting others’ views, even if we do not agree with the perspectives being advanced. At times it may be necessary to challenge the ideas someone presents, but it is important to do so in a manner that calls into question the ideas outlined, not the person who presents them.

Pedagogical approach

This classroom is a learning community in which integrates academic resources, dialogue, practice applications and group-based learning. During class, I set processes and structures to promote active and cooperative learning. As consistent with learning theory, class
time is divided between large, small and individual groups, and between lecture, discussion, in-class practice and group project. I encourage students to meet with me to discuss any stumbling blocks in learning and assignment completion.

Individual Learning Objectives

Each person comes to this course with different ideas, experiences, and competencies related to macro practice. Additionally, each of you likely has your own interests regarding macro practice. Given this background, you are encouraged to create at least one individualized learning objective for our course. If you are currently in a field placement, you may wish to consider developing an objective related to your field-based learning goals.


Religious Holidays

Students who observe a religious holiday on the same day as class will have access to the class materials covered that day. Students are expected to notify the instructor if they plan to miss class. The official University of Michigan policy on religious holidays, and a list of possible conflicts with classes, can be found at:


If you have a disability or condition that may interfere with your participation in this course, please schedule a private appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss accommodations for your specific needs. This information will be kept strictly confidential. For more information and resources, please contact the Services for Students with Disability office at 734-763-3000 in room G-664 Haven Hall.

Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

University of Michigan is committed to advancing the mental health and wellbeing of its students. If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and/or in need of support, services are available. For help, contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (734) 764-8312 and during and after hours, on weekends and holidays, or through its counselors physically located in schools on both North and Central Campus. You may also consult University Health Service (UHS) at (734) 764-8320 and, or for alcohol or drug concerns, see


The School of Social Work attendance policy can be found in the Student Guide. Attendance is recorded in this course and is reflected as part of the scoring for class participation.

Electronic Devices

In consideration of your classmates and your own learning, please mute all devices during class. If you must be on call for personal or work reasons, let them know this is only for emergencies that no one else can handle. Personal communications such as texting or surfing are not acceptable during class time. Computer use during class time that supports the mission of the course (e.g. taking notes) is encouraged. Your final grade will be affected by your use of electronics during class time for activities not relevant to the course as commensurate with my observed frequency of these activities.

Please review the Student Guide section on Ethical Conduct in the University Environment. This section addresses plagiarism, harassment and discrimination policies.

The offices below are helpful for students desiring to improve their professional writing.

  • Sweetland Writing Center
  • Refer to the SSW Office of Student Services References and Referencing Style

When using others’ work, it is mandatory to cite the original source. Social work publications generally follow the referencing format specified by the American Psychological Association (APA), therefore you are expected to follow this referencing style (see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th Ed.). The library also offers an online resource for your use (see guide/AP5thed/pdf).

Intellectual Honesty and Plagiarism

It is your responsibility to be familiar with and abide by the School of Social Work’s standards regarding intellectual honesty and plagiarism. These can be found in the MSW Student Handbook. For your convenience, standards relevant to this course are presented below. These are taken from


Students are expected to fully engage in the course through discussion, activities, listening and leadership. Everyone should feel safe and respected throughout the semester. We are all learners and should be able to count on each other, as part of a learning community to support this process. Each of us has a responsibility to listen, ask questions and reflect in order to provide this. Communication can be complicated and easily misunderstood. Please take time to understand what others are saying in spirit and word.

  1. Course Materials


Gamble, D. & Weil, M. (2010). Community Practice Skills: Local to Global Perspectives. Columbia University Press: NY.

The text is available via Ulrich’s bookstore or may be ordered online via Amazon or other book stores.

Other readings will be available through the class website at:

Students should complete readings & digital assignments prior to the class for which they are assigned. Supplemental readings may also be posted for student use and enrichment. Students are encouraged to share new and useful material on their own blog sites. Periodic handouts and additional required readings may be assigned during the term. All will either be distributed in class and/or posted online.

  1. Assignments

Weekly blogs and responses

You will be doing most of your assignments for this class on YOUR new blog.  If you have never put a blog together, you can get more information on the website.  I promise it is easy.  There are lots of help sites and hints if you just google wordpress blogs – so please utilize that!  You can make it as fancy as you want to!  This is something you should do quickly and email me the name and link of your blog so I can list it here so that everyone else can access it.  It will be an academic journal of sorts, and a place for you to keep track of your journey for this course.  Your weekly blogs should address the following:

  • Weekly readings and assignments—This should not be merely a summary of the readings, but rather a critical analysis. This includes “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action” (National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987).
  • Personal reflections on issues of power, privilege, oppression, and social justice, not only as they pertain to others, but also yourself.
  • Application to social work practice with communities and social systems.

There is no word or page limit, but a general guide is that they should be about 500 words. They may contain pictures, graphics, links, etc. to make your blog informative and appealing to the reader. You should be writing for a broad audience. Citations are not necessary, but if you use references, you should include them.  If you quote or extensively use materials, you should also cite the material.  There are several student blogs posted on, which you can reference as examples.

Although everyone will be required to blog weekly, you will be divided into 6 groups. You will be asked to respond to the blogs of your group members each week. However, because it would be impossible for me to read, moderate, and respond to all blogs, I will be reading and responding to each group sequentially over the course of the semester. There is also no format for the comments on blogs.  However, I would expect thoughtful and helpful comments.  Remember, we are all here to learn and you should expect to give the same respect to others as you would like to receive.  If you feel there is a blog I should review, whether it be yours or someone else’s, let me know. It is up to you if you want to make your blog public or private.  If you make it private, you will need to add people’s emails to your blog so that they can access it.

Blogs for the readings are due Friday prior to the week they are to be discussed in class. Responses to your group members are due by class that week.

Your Story & Personal Goals for the Course

The first assignment is to post your story on your new blog.  There is no page limit as you may use any form of media you would like for this.  You can write something…  You can upload a youtube video link… You can upload link to a powerpoint or prezi presentation with pictures… You can be as creative as you wish!

Some of the things that I would like you to think about when formulating your introduction:

  • Where you are from (place)?
  • How you identify yourself (place or group of people)?
  • Other ways that you might identify (family, clan, birth order, name, spiritual practices, etc.)?
  • What you hope to learn from this class?
  • What are personal learning goals for yourself?
  • What you think you might contribute to this class?
  • What your understanding of social work practice with communities and social systems is (no right or wrong answers)?
  • What is the role of diversity and social justice in working with communities and social systems?
  • How will you continue to work on developing a critical consciousness toward issues of diversity and social justice in this class?

Please complete your version of your story and have it posted on your newly established blog by Wednesday January 17, 2018.

Once I have everyone’s blog assignments/names, I will be posting a master list of blogs on this website so that you will have access to each other’s writing.  Everyone will be expected to read your group member’s blogs by the second week of class.  Feel free to comment if you wish.  By week 2, I expect that you will read all your classmates’ introduction. That way we will all have a chance to get to know each other!

Also, please thoroughly review the syllabus and post any questions you might have to me. That way I can respond to questions and everyone will be able to see it!  Also, please check out the rest of my Just Living 808 blog where you can learn a little more about me and some of my thoughts on social justice.  Feel free to follow my blog and comment as well!

MLK Social Position Reflective Paper

Write a brief (500 word) reflection describing the event and how it contributes to your understanding of community participation and community well-being. Was the event strength based? Did the event use a model of empowerment? Did the event further social justice? How did your social position/identities impact your understanding of the event? Tie the paper to the Cultural Competency Primer, the public health model as explained in the Coalition Handbook in the assigned reading and to the current events such as water rights, Standing Rock, police shootings of unarmed black men, national security, and the incoming and outgoing presidents.

IRB PEERRS Ethics training

The assignment is to complete an online training about ethics and interventions involving human subjects. Students should complete the University of Michigan PEERS online course and email their proof of completion by class of Week 3. You can find the training modules at:

Complete the Research Practice Foundations and the Human Subjects for Social and Behavioral modules.

Group facilitation

Your group will be asked to facilitate one of six class sessions as assigned in the syllabus. Your group will come up with a topic related to social work practice in communities and social systems, which is of common interest to your group members, and lead the class through a learning experience about the topic. Your responsibility for doing so will be based on developing a facilitation plan that includes the following: (1) Goals for learning; (2) Objectives for how learning will take place; (3) Description of any experiential learning activity or methods used for learning/dialogue; (4) Plan for debriefing and processing learning. It would be useful for students to gain some knowledge about the topic area, develop/practice a skill useful for working with this group, and finally engage in a self-reflective/praxis process. You should also include a reading and/or visual media for the class a week ahead of time.  You will be given some class time to develop your plan.

You will submit your facilitation plan two weeks prior to your facilitation via email. I will provide feedback. You will provide a blog entry one-week post facilitation detailing your personal and group experience with the facilitation, what you learned, and what you might have done differently.

Final Project

For your final project, you will complete a project that summarizes your learning about social work practice with communities and social systems over the course of the semester.  First you will select an issue of which you are personally passionate about related to communities and social systems. The project may or may not be related to your group project, but this is an individual assignment. Next, you will consider the following questions as you develop your assignment:

What is your understanding of how community and social systems can play a role in improving the well-being of individuals, families, organizations, and communities and in promoting greater social justice in your area of interest?

How does gender, racial, religious, economic, or other diverse characteristics of a community affect the needs and assets to be mobilized in your area of interest.

What are important skills for engaging community systems and encouraging the participation of community members with attention to their diversity and for reducing barriers to that participation in your area of interest?

How do social work ethics and values guide practice with community and social systems in your area of interest?

What did you personal learn from this assignment? What is your assessment of your ability to engage in practice within your area of interest?

You may accomplish your project is a number of ways, there is no one format for doing so. Here are a few examples of how students have completed the assignment.

Service Learning Project

You will spend a minimum of 20 hours volunteering with an agency/organization/group that is actively involved in work related to diversity and social justice.  You will keep a journal detailing the work that you did, reflections on the work, and then create a blog entry that summarizes this work as outlined above and what you learned.  Include readings and resources for those who would like to learn more about the topic and the work of the group.  Pictures, video, and other visual resources are highly encouraged.

Photovoice Project

You will use Photovoice as a method for understanding your issue within the context of diversity and social justice.  You will need a minimum of five participants to engage in the project.  Participants will be asked to submit to you pictures that reflect their understanding of a particular topic which they can take on their cameras or cell phones.  The photos should be accompanied with a brief description of what the photos mean to them.  You will then take the collective photos and identify themes related to the photos and include them in a blog entry that not only summarizes your work, but also what you learned about in the process.

Digital Storytelling

Similar to Photo Voice, you may use the decolonizing method of digital storytelling to explore your social issue in the context of diversity and social justice.  For this project, you will create a slide show with a narrative background that tells your life story and how this issue has impacted you.  You will post this as a blog entry.  While this method is more personal than others, you should still attend to the guiding questions above.

Video Blog (Vlog)

You can create a video story via YouTube or some other platform. The video story may tell the story of the issue of interest and may include interviews, video footage, links, and other related resources.

Traditional Academic Paper

Understanding that some of you may prefer a more traditional assignment, you many write a 15-20 page paper on a topic related to your area of interest.

Open choice

If any of the above topics do not suit you or if you have an idea for a specific project that you would like to accomplish this semester, feel free to discuss this with me.  The primary requirement is that there must be a blog entry that accompanies your project so that your classmates can also learn from your work.  The same level of rigor is expected from this assignment as those examples above.


Use the following criteria for assessing your participation in class:

Frequency of participation in class

Student initiates contributions at least once in each class session, however, quality of comments is weighted over quantity. Student responds actively when invited by the professor to contribute. Student does not comment overzealously or to the exclusion of other learners.

Quality of comments (In Class and Online)

Comments are insightful & constructive. Student uses appropriate terminology when referring to individuals, communities, and cultural contexts. Comments are balanced between general impressions, opinions & specific, thoughtful criticisms or contributions. Evidence is used to support arguments when possible. Comments are informative and relevant to the discussion at hand.

Listening Skills

Student listens attentively when others present materials and perspectives, and contribute comments that build on others’ remarks. Student expresses disagreement in a professional and respectful manner.

Given the nature of this course, students will be expected to complete assignments in a timely manner so that comments and discussions will not be held up or delayed.  Timeliness is a major part of your participation grade.

  1. Grading

The following will be used as the guide for grades:

A+ 98-100

A 94-97

A- 91–93

B+ 87-90

B 84-86

B- 81-83

C+ 80-77

C 74-76

C- 70-73

Below 70 no credit

Your grade will be guided by the following:

Attendance and Participation (20%)

Introduction (5%)

Weekly Blogs, Including MLK reflection (30%)

IRB Training (5%)

Class Facilitation (20%)

Final Project (20%)

Self-evaluation statement

You will use these guides to recommend a grade for yourself. I will use grade book to keep track of your progress. You will be required to complete a self-evaluation statement that should be emailed to me by the last day of class.

In your self-evaluation statement, you will assess your effort and learning over the course of the semester.  Consideration should be given to the competencies and objectives in the syllabus and all aspects of the course, including your participation, timely completion of assignments, quality of your assignments, learning from the class materials, as well as from your interactions with your classmates.

This should be a one-page statement and include a note indicating what letter grade you believe you earned as a result of your effort in the course.  While I cannot guarantee your perceptions will coincide with mine, I can assure you I will give strong consideration to your self-evaluation in making the final determination of your grade.

  1. Class Schedule, Due Dates, and Reading

Course Schedule

002 004 Section Reading Assignments/Topics
Mo Tue
1/8 1/9 Week 1 Introduction and Course Overview No assigned reading

Create blog site and complete your story.   Respond to group members.

1/15 1/16 No Class Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration MLK blog assignment

Read Cultural Competence Primer

1967 Detroit Riots

Myers, Verna. (2014). TED talk. How to Overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them. 


1/22 1/23 Week 2 Communities and Conceptual Frameworks for Practice Gamble and Weil (Ch. 1 & 2)

Read Just Practice

Delray-No place like home

Sirolli, Ernesto. (2012). Ted Talk. Want to help people? Shut up and listen.

Group 1 blogs reviewed

1/29 1/30 Week 3 Theories, Perspective, Values, Concepts, and Community Practice Approaches Gamble and Weil (Ch. 3 & 4)

Read Minkler Pies Hyde 2012 Ch. 7 Ethical issues in CO and Capacity building

Read Alinsky Of means and ends

Two Detroits

Downtown Detroit Comeback

Group 2 blogs reviewed

 2/5 2/6 Week 4 Neighborhood and Community Organizing Gamble and Weil (Ch. 5 & 6)

Rivera & Erlich Community Organizing in a Diverse Soceity Chapter 1

Organizing in Detroit Soup Kitchens

A Ladder Of Citizen Participation

Untold Story of Detroit video

Group 3 blogs reviewed

2/12 2/13 Week 5 Social, Economic, and Sustainable Development Program Development Gamble and Weil (Ch. 7 & 8)

Readings TBA

Race and Economics–Sugrue

Watch Detropia in class

Group 4 blogs reviewed

2/19 2/20 Week 6 Online unit:  Communities, Social Planning, and Building Effective Coalitions Gamble and Weil (Ch. 9 & 10)

Butterfoss Kegler 2012 Ch 17 A coalition model for action

Barvosa-Carter 657 – Multiple identities and Coalition Building

Investing in Detroit-NW Community Center

Video lecture

Work on group facilitation and final project

Group 6 blogs reviewed

2/26 2/27 No Class Spring Break
3/5 3/6 Week 7 Online unit:  Political, Social Action, and Movements for Progressive Change Gamble and Weil (Ch. 11 & 12)


Wernick et al LGBTQQ Youth Using Participatory Action Research and Theater to Effect Change Moving Adult Decision Makers to Create Youth Centered Change

Grace Lee Boggs video

Taking Action for Detroit–Chance for Life program

Taking Action for Detroit–Matrix Theater

Taking Action for Detroit–Detroit Rescue Mission

Video lecture

Work on group facilitation and final project

Include blog entry on plan for final project (Respond/Give feedback to your group members)

3/12 3/13 Week 8 Group 1

Sec 002 Readings

Signs of Resistance

Westerman + Wall Murals Philadelphia

Sec 004 Readings



9 Principles of Community-Centric Fundraising _ Nonprofit AF

Topics: TBD by Student Group
3/19 3/20 Week 9 Group 2

Sec 002 Readings and Video

Recommended Video:

The Radical Imagination: Healing the World – YouTube

Sec 004 Readings:

  1. Public Health:
  2. Governmental Housing Policy:
  3. Data/Tech:
  4. Higher Education:
Topics (Readings TBA)

I.   Gentrification and Affordable Housing

II.   Population Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health

III.   Food Access and Environmental Justice

IV.   Education and the School to Prison Pipeline

V.   Community Foundations

VI.   Skills for Community Practice:  Dialogue and popular education

VII. Community-based, participatory research





3/26 3/27 Week 10 Group 3

Sec 002



4/2 4/3 Week 11 Group 4


Sec 004

4/9 4/10 Week 12 Group 5
4/16 4/17 Week 13 Group 6

Debrief Wrap-Up and Celebration

Other resources:

Mieko Yoshihama and E. Summerson Carr (2002) “Community Participation Reconsidered: Feminist Participatory Action Research with Hmong Women” Journal of Community Practice, Vol. 10(4) 2002 85-103.

Kevin P. Kearns, PhD (2006) “Faith-Based and Secular Social Service Agencies in Pittsburgh: Location, Mission, and Organizational Capacity” Journal of Community Practice, Vol. 14(4) 2006, 51-69.

Lon B. Johnston, David Jenkins (2004) “A Gay and Lesbian Congregation Seeks Social Justice for Other Marginalized Communities” Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 16(3/4), 193-206.

Faye Y. Abram, Heather A. Mahaney, Donald M. Linhorst, Sr. Jackie Toben, Marie Flowers (2005) “Interorganizational Collaborative for Children of Prisoners: One that Succeeds, Another that Struggled” Journal of Community Practice, Vol. 13(1) 2005, 31-47.

Lisa Knickmeyer, MSW, Karen Hopkins, PhD, Megan Meyer, PhD (2003) “Exploring Collaboration Among Urban Neighborhood Associations” Journal of Community Practice, Vol. 11(2) 13-25.

Michael Fabricant, PhD, Robert Fisher, PhD (2002) “Agency Based Community Building in Low Income Neighborhoods: A Praxis Framework” Journal of Community Practice, 10(2), 1-21.

Louise B. Jennings, PhD, Deborah M. Parra-Medina, MPH, PhD, DeAnne K. Hilfinger Messias, PhD, RN, Terry McLoughlin, MA “Toward a Critical Social Theory of Youth Empowerment” Journal of Community Practice, Volume 14, Numbers 1-2, 1 August 2006 , pp. 31-55(25).

Bev Lepischak (2004) ”Building Community for Toronto’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Transgender Youth” Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, Vol. 16(3/4) 2004 81-98.

Maxine Jacobson (2007) Food Matters: Community Food Assessments as a Tool for Change. Journal of Community Practice, Vol. 15(3) 2007, 37-55.

Heather Castleden, Theresa Garvin, Huu-ay-aht First Nation (2008). Modifying Photovoice for community-based participatory Indigenous research* Social Science & Medicine 66 p1393-1405.

Donna Hardina, PhD. “Linking Citizen Participation to Empowerment Practice: A Historical Overview” Journal of Community Practice, Vol. 11(4) 2003, 11-38.

Beverly A. McPhail (2004) “Questioning Gender and Sexuality Binaries: What Queer Theorists, Transgendered Individuals, and Sex Researchers Can Teach Social Work” Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, Vol. 17(1) 2004, 3-22.

Staral, Janice M.(2000) ‘Building on Mutual Goals’, Journal of Community Practice, 7: 3, 85 — 95

Edward Scanlon, MSW, PhD, Scott Harding, MSW, PhD (2005) “Social Work and Labor Unions:  Historical and Contemporary Alliances” Journal of Community Practice, Volume 13, Number 1, 26, pp. 9-30(22)

Slaght, Evelyn F. (2003) ‘Revisiting the Relationship Between Social Work and Law Enforcement’,  Journal of Community Practice, 10: 2, 23 — 36

Caroline C.Wang, DrPH, MPH and Cheri A. Pies, MSW, DrPH (2004) Family, Maternal, and Child Health through Photovoice. Maternal and Child Health Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2, 95-102.

Andrew Monk and Steve Howard. Methods & Tools. The Rich Picture: A Tool for Reasoning About Work Context. Interactions, March –April, 1998.