Events login

Main Events Calendar

Warning Icon This event is in the past.
November 15, 2018 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Category: Lecture
Location: Community Arts Auditorium (1st floor) | Map
450 Reuther Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: 0
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Parents, Prospective Students, Staff

The Wayne State University School of Social Work and the Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development are proud to welcome Elizabeth Kita, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. as the keynote speaker for the 31st annual Edith Harris Endowed Memorial Lecture. The lecture “They hate me now but where was everyone when I needed them?”: Trauma, mass incarceration, and social work praxis through a psychoanalytic lens will explore the ways in which mass incarceration serves an important psychological function for society, related to our anxieties around race and inequality, which is part of why we continue to invest in it despite its failure. From this perspective, Kita will discuss the implications for social work praxis, emphasizing the need for both meaningful thought and effective action. Relying on more than 15 years of clinical work with people who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, as well as on her experiences working within the state systems that immure them, Kita hopes to make clear the pernicious hold that mass incarceration has on the United States, and the work we need to do as a collective to wrest ourselves from it.  

Those attending will be able to identify the causes of mass incarceration, including those related to racism, trauma and precarity, understand how mass incarceration functions as a social defense against collective anxieties related to race and class, and identify ways to address the causes and consequences of mass incarceration in their social work practices.

Kita is a clinical social worker in public & private practice in San Francisco, California. She has been working with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people for over 15 years. Currently, her practice in a public clinic is primarily with people who have returned to the community after serving life sentences. In her private practice, she specializes in working with people who are suffering from complex PTSD, secondary traumatic stress, and vicarious traumatization. She also provides consultation and supervision, teaches in the MSW program at UC Berkeley, and chairs the Coalition for Clinical Social Work (CCSW).  

Click here for more information on this lecture.

Interested in having your students attend the lecture for class credit? We can track attendance for you! Simply contact Betsy Vanderstelt at with your student roster and we will send you the attendance record after the lecture!

This FREE event is open to all and has been approved by the MI Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative for 2 CE contract hours at a cost of $10 under CE Approval #: MICEC-0058. No pre-registration is required. 

For more information about this event, please contact Betsy Vanderstelt at 313-577-4464 or