SW 504 Week 1

September 5, 2017

Welcome to SW 504 Diversity and Social Justice!

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 wordpress.com 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 (or not) 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 a journal of sorts, and a place for you to keep track of your journey for this course.  You will also be asked to read other’s blogs throughout the semester as well.  If you have any problems/issues – please email me at spencerm@umich.edu.  It is up to you if you want to make your blog public or private.  If you make it private (as this page is) you will need to add people’s emails to your blog so that they can access it.

A big part of this class will be working on our critical consciousness and decolonizing ourselves – which is always a work in progress.

I would like you all to take some time to share your mo’olelo or your story in Hawaiian!  You can write something…  You can upload a youtube video link… You can upload link to a powerpoint presentation with pictures… You can be as creative as you wish!  A big part of the decolonization process is being honest with ourselves and others.  We are all impacted in one way or another by colonization – it is important to learn about and recognize where this has happened and how we participate  (willingly or unwillingly) in systems that continues to marginalize people.

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 you think you might contribute to this class?
  • What your understanding of diversity and social justice is (no right or wrong answers)?
  • How you think diversity and social justice and social work might be connected?
  • How will you work on developing a critical consciousness toward issues of diversity and social justice in this class?

An example of an introduction can be found here.  It is done in poem/video form.  You can choose whatever format you like.
I have also included an attachment below “My Story”, where you can access a template for a “Where I’m From” poem.
You do not have to use this format, but feel free to borrow from it if you’d like.  Be creative!!


Please complete your version of your mo’olelo and have it posted on your newly established blog by September 12.
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 ALL of their classmates’ blogs by September 16.  Feel free to comment if you wish.  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 in the comments section below. 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!

Thank you!