By George Ashley, Ph.D.
On Friday October 3, 2008 the Oakwood University Social Work Department co-hosted the third annual Social Justice Retreat with the University of Chattanooga in Tennessee. The event provided social work students and professional social workers with an opportunity to learn more about contemporary social and economic injustices, and human rights violations taking place locally, nationally and in the international arena. The event included global presentations, peer interviews, testimonies, a historical human rights presentation, a disparity walk, a campus march on poverty, action groups and strategic planning. Over 250 social work students and faculty were in attendance from six social work programs in Alabama and Tennessee.
Following the conclusion of the Social Justice Retreat, 31 students and faculty traveled to Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee, where they spent Friday through Sabbath evening with social work students and faculty from Southern Adventist University. The event, sponsored by the Southern Union Conference, was the outcome of last year’s Diversity Education Exchange Program (DEEP) co-authored by President Delbert Baker of Oakwood University and President Gordon Bietz of Southern Adventist University. The weekend activity focused on some of the challenges within our church from the perspective of college students. It also emphasized the importance of developing methods of effectively utilizing Christian social workers as a part of our church ministry team
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