Saturday, January 26, 2019

NPQ: The Organic Role of Libraries as Centers of Inclusiveness and Support

The Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) has a very interesting story on the evolving role of public libraries as community centers. As a result, librarians are increasingly finding themselves in the role of social service provision, even though that was not their primary responsibilities (and certainly not their training in graduate school!). Public libraries are forming partnerships with social workers to become more inclusive and supportive in addressing the diverse needs of marginalized populations in the community. I remember San Francisco became the first major public library system to hire a social worker on their staff. Public libraries are more than just books--librarians and paraprofessionals must be cognizant of social problems in the community like affordable housing and other adverse challenges. Below is an excerpt:

People may check out fewer books from libraries than they used to, but libraries have continued to grow as their role as community hubs deepens. Here at NPQ, we have profiled libraries that have become maker spaces, supported gardening, and rented out musical instruments. In some cities, librarians have been trained to administer Narcan to interrupt opioid overdoses. In Ferguson and in Baltimore, as those cities were in a state of unrest after the killings of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, respectively, the libraries served as sanctuaries, remaining open to the community. They have, in some cases, even been affordable housing partners.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sign up for Smartbrief Newsletter

Ever wonder how you can find the latest industry news in one place? Smartbrief is an excellent website that brings the most important industry-specific news to you! Smartbrief editors curate top stories from more than 10,000 credible sources and summarize them for you. I receive their emails daily on industry topics such as education for instance. The news comes to me rather than me searching through individual websites. Sign up today! Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) has their own Smartbrief newsletter focused specifically on higher educaiton careers and employment trends. I haven't forgotten about social workers. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has their own Smartbrief newsletter. This is a great resource for social workers who work in clinical and/or policy settings.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018: A Year of Commemorating Civil Rights

Happy New Year! 2018 was an incredibly busy year for me. It marked a major comeback for me in education. I am looking forward to spending more time building up this blog. I have exciting things planned for 2019. Expect more updates and posts on this blog. Before we start the new year, I want to reflect on an incredible year. 2018 was also a year to commemorate important events in civil rights history in America. More importantly, they were related to my research interests. Check them out below!

  1. 50th Anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report: Formally known as the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, the Kerner Commission, named after its chair, Governor Otto Kerner, Jr. of Illinois, was an 11-member Presidential Commission established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in Executive Order 11365 to investigate the causes of the 1967 race riots in the United States and to provide recommendations for the future. This report was significant because Detroit was one of the cities that influenced the establishment of this government study.



  2. 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act: Known as the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination by direct providers of housing whose discriminatory practices make housing unavailable to persons because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability.

  3. 50th anniversary of the Poor People's Campaign: The Poor People's March on Washington was a 1968 effort to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States. It was organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and carried out under the leadership of Ralph Abernathy in the wake of King's assassination.



In 2018, my alma mater, Northwestern University, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Bursar's Office Takeover. I visited the campus last summer to learn more about the legacy and impact of the student sit-in on the university. In 1968, more than 100 Northwestern students peacefully occupied the Bursar’s Office to protest the black student experience. It led to increasing black student enrollment and financial aid, to revised housing policies, to the expansion of “studies of black history and black culture,” among others. I would argue that this event inspired me to learn more about civil rights and social justice in college and beyond.

To learn more about the history of the black student experience at Northwestern University, please check out this recent book release, Voices and Visions: The Evolution of the Black Experience at Northwestern University (2018).

This volume shares the experiences of African American students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni who studied, worked, struggled and triumphed at Northwestern University from the late 19th century to the present. Through over fifty first person accounts, the stories of individuals and groups critical to the progression of the Black experience at Northwestern are used to reveal that evolution."

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Michigan, Harvard partner to solve poverty in Detroit

This is fantastic news for my hometown, Detroit. and Harvard University have formed new partnerships to bring actionable change through research and community engagement. With Harvard's new president, Lawrence Bacow, a native Michigander, supporting the effort, this project will bring immense opportunities for researchers to study and propose effective interventions that help the residents of Detroit.

From the alumni magazine, Michigan Today:

The University of Michigan and Harvard University are forming two new partnerships designed to spur economic mobility and reduce poverty in Detroit, as well as combine resources and expertise in response to the national opioid crisis.

The Equality of Opportunity Project — led by Harvard faculty members Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren and Brown University’s John Friedman — will work with U-M’s Poverty Solutions initiative, led by Luke Shaefer, U-M faculty member and Poverty Solutions director.

The universities will collaborate with the city of Detroit and local partners on an action plan to identify promising, results-based interventions for improving the livelihoods of low-income Detroit residents.