Edith Harris Event: Advocating for Social Justice: Immigration Policy and Social Work Practice

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Date: November 21, 2019
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Law School Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium | Map
471 W. Palmer
Detroit, MI 48202
Category: Lecture

Michigan is home to nearly three-quarters of a million immigrants. One in 12 Michigander’s are native-born U.S. citizens with at least one immigrant parent. As social workers in the urban community of Detroit, we encounter clients facing residency and asylum challenges frequently. Our commitment to create social work knowledge while addressing broader struggles to advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice has lead us to develop a series of events to open the discussion of immigration, social work and how we can advocate for social justice in this arena. The Wayne State University School of Social Work would like to invite you to attend the second event in this series, the 32nd annual Edith Harris Endowed Memorial Panel Discussion entitled “Advocating for Social Justice: Immigration Policy and Social Work Practice”. This event will illuminate the issues that immigrants and refugees experience in our local Detroit area and will be followed by a public reception in the Law School. Attendees will engage in a discussion with panel experts on social work practice, legal challenges and advocacy strategies they can utilize when working with clients and their communities.

Wayne State Professor of Law and Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, Peter Hammer, PhD will serve as moderator and provide a brief presentation "The Immigration crisis through the historic lens of structural racism."

Panelists for the discussion "What does social work practice, advocacy and political action look like?" will include:

  • Deborah A. Drennan, Chief Executive Director of Freedom House Detroit
  • Rima Meroueh, Manager of Advocacy and Community Engagement, ACCESS
  • Jessie Urban-Guzman, LMSW, MPH, Youth and Legal Program Director LA VIDA Partnership at CHASS
  • Sabrina Balgmwalla, WSU Law School Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of the Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic

Event attendees are encouraged to stay for a brief free reception from 5 - 6 pm following the lecture to continue the discussion with the presenters and fellow attendees. The reception will be held in the WSU Law School atrium outside of the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium. Refreshments will be provided.

This FREE event 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.

Interested in having your students attend the lecture for class credit? We can track attendance for you! Simply contact KAtie Alfonsi at ec6856@wayne.edu with your student roster and we will send you the attendance record after the lecture!



Katie Alfonsi




Academic staff, Alumni, Community, Current students, Faculty, Parents, Prospective students, Staff