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The School of Social Work turns 50!

We’re planning a year’s worth of events and activities: connections and re-connections among alumni, celebrations of the wisdom and talent of alumni and instructors, and opportunities for remembering, reflecting, and reimagining futures for the School and for social work and its projects.

Join us for the 50th Anniversary of the School of Social Work!

November 9 & 10, 2018

The 50th Anniversary will foster connections and re-connections among alumni, students and instructors; offer a chance to talk together about current educational and research initiatives; and create opportunities for remembering, reflecting, and imagining the next decade.

We are excited to announce that on Saturday we will have a keynote presentation from the Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard, Senator!

We have a full line up of events all weekend long and of course, there will be many opportunities to reconnect, mingle and chat with friends, old and new!

Details and Registration!

Reflections on social change advocacy, activism and agency

In conversation with Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard

The Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard, Senator is a community activist, a researcher at the Dalhousie School of Social Work, and a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers. The first African Nova Scotian to be appointed to the Canadian Senate, she has promoted citizen engagement and social work engagement in Canadian politics and in law-making.

Dr. Arig al Shaibah is McMaster’s new Associate Vice President Equity and Inclusion and adjunct professor in the Department of Sociology. Her research and teaching have focused on educational equity in higher education, feminist pedagogy and critical race studies. She was most recently the vice-provost (Student Affairs) and acting executive director of Human Rights and Equity Services at Dalhousie University.

This is a free event and is open to everyone! Register here to reserve your ticket! 

Date: Friday, November 9,  2 - 3 p.m.
Location: Council Chambers, GH 111

Presented by the School of Social Work, the President's Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community, and the Socrates Project.

Register Now!

In Conversation with Cindy Blackstock

In this candid and personal conversation with acclaimed documentary film director Alanis Obomsawin, Dr. Cindy Blackstock will share her experiences and reflections as Canada’s foremost advocate for First Nations children. 

This event is currently sold-out. Please visit the registration site to add yourself to the waitlist.  

Date: November 21, 2018 at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:15 p.m.
Location: Concert Hall, L.R. Wilson Hall, McMaster University 
The Concert Hall is accessible and there are all genders washrooms in L.R. Wilson Hall. Please let us know if you require accessible seating in the Concert Hall.

Find directions to campus and a campus map

November 20 is the International Day of the Child. In recognition of this day, Dr. Blackstock invites everyone to support Shannen’s Dream. Shannen Koostachin, a youth education advocate from Attawapiskat First Nation, worked tirelessly to try to convince the federal government to give First Nations children a proper education. 

Learn more and add your voice.

Presented by the School of Social Work, the Indigenous Studies Program, Six Nations Social Services and the Socrates Project at McMaster University.

Add Yourself to the Waitlist

The Sheila Sammon Award for Excellence in Field Instruction

Warmest congratulations to Liz Lamb

Recipient of the 2018  Sheila Sammon Award for Excellence in Field Instruction

Social Work is not for the faint of heart. As a career, it demands a lot of people, both personally and professionally. A social worker needs to be compassionate, empathetic, knowledgeable, kind, respectful, a skilled communicator and a champion relationship builder. At times of crisis, they must display courage, professionalism and calm.

In April 2018 the School of Social Work celebrated the contributions of our field instructors at our annual Field Instructor Recognition Breakfast to thank the field instructors and agencies who provide field placement opportunities for their students.  At the event we honoured 27-year veteran Social Worker Liz Lamb with the Sheila Sammon Award for Excellence in Field Instruction.

Nominated by her students and peers for her ongoing commitment to field education in social work, Lamb has supported the development of generations of social work students.

Join us in congratulating and thanking Liz!

Read the Full Story!

Call for Nominations | The Sheila Sammon Award for Excellence in Field Instruction

This Award was established in 2016 in recognition of Professor Sheila Sammon’s outstanding contributions to social work practice and field education over almost three decades: in the School of Social Work at McMaster, in the Hamilton community, and in her leadership in social work education provincially and nationally.

The Award is conferred annually on a Field Instructor who has made exceptional contributions to social work students’ learning and professional development and to the School’s field education program and who, in doing so, extends Sheila’s commitment to skilled, ethical, wise and just practice.

Nominations must be received by 4:00 p.m. Friday February 15 , 2019

Selection Criteria

Past Events

3Voices in Child Welfare

Successful first event! The Sally Pearce Palmer Conference Series

The first conference of this series, held February 22-23 at McMaster, involved service users, service providers, and academics/ researchers/ traditional knowledge keepers working together for better child welfare. The conference paid particular attention to Indigenous, Black and other voices that tend to be underrepresented in the way child welfare is currently imagined and delivered. The conference was well attended and felt to be a great success!  The Conference committee is currently reviewing feedback and starting plans for the second conference which will take place in approximately 18 months!

3Voices Conference

Free Lectures

John Clarke, Professor Emeritus, The Open University, United Kingdom

Professor Clarke is a key contributor to the study of contemporary social policy, known for bringing cultural analysis to bear on policy scholarship. We were so fortunate to have him join us in March as a  Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor, hosted by the School of Social Work and the Institute for Globalization and the Human Condition.

Professor Clarke’s free public lectures were part of McMaster’s Socrates Project.

Socrates Project

Lecture Details

Austerity and After? Policies, Politics and Ideologies Monday March 19, 1.30 – 3pm in L.R. Wilson Hall Room 1003, McMaster University

Angry Publics and New Politics: making sense of populism, nationalism, authoritarianism and more Tuesday March 20, 12 – 2pm in L.R. Wilson Hall Room 1003, McMaster University

Making Policy Move: the problems and possibilities of policy-in-translation Wednesday March 21, 1.30 – 3pm, One James North Room 204 (in Jackson Square)

Contesting Citizenship: people, places, politics Thursday March 22, 2.30 – 3.30pm in Hamilton Hall Room 302, McMaster University

Remaking the public in public services: contested identities, institutions and relationships Thursday March 22, 4.30 – 6.30pm, One James North 206 (in Jackson Square)

'Open Classes'

Over the next several months we will welcome all field instructors and community partners to attend current social work classes, to mark the Anniversary year.

• An Open Class at One James North will focus on critical, ethical leadership in social services and communities 
• An Open Class will be held at Six Nations in collaboration with Six Nations Social Services 

We are looking forward to marking the anniversary with you this year!

The McMaster School of Social Work 50th Anniversary Planning Team:

Janice Chaplin ’97, Faculty member and Coordinator of Field Education
Lorraine Chapman ’71 
Bonnie Freeman ’05, Faculty member & Chair of the Circle of Indigenous Social Work Action

Marlene Dei-Amoah ’93
Saara Greene, Faculty member 
Tara La Rose, Faculty member
Tammy Maikawa ’06, Administrator
Salomeh Mohajer ’06 

Rufaida Mohammed '18

Jordan Perreault-Laird '18
Chris Sinding ’94, Faculty member and Director 
Jennie Vengris ’04, Faculty member & Coordinator of Field Development and Support

Lisa Watt '17, Sessional Faculty