Thursday, January 31, 2008

Not Doing Much Saturday, February 9th?

The 3rd Annual Conference on the Health of the African Diaspora: Mental Health explores disparities in mental health among the black population and provides a forum for sharing best practices that would close the gap of inequities in mental health. Several of the speakers are activist-scholars who have worked on a range of health issues affecting Harlem.
A few presentations noteworthy for the Harlem community:
~Thoughts and Reflections on the Unlocking of America: Black Men and the Crisis of Incarceration
~The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health in African American Communities
~Racism, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Health Care Disparities

Diversity in the News...

Take a look at some diversity issues within the news....
What do you think?

Hope Abounds,

Detroit Mayor Falters on Sanctity of Marriage

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been a staunch advocate against gay marriage, defining marriage as a sacred institution between "a man and a woman." However, the recent admission of his extramarital affair has gay-rights advocates questioning how much he believes in the sacredness of marriage. Kilpatrick was allegedly spotted at a luxury resort with a woman identified as Carmen Slowsky, reports This is the second time in the past two weeks that Kilpatrick was under fire for extramarital affairs. The first time was earlier this month when text messages between Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff Christine Beatty were uncovered by state officials. What are the same-sex-marriage laws in your state?

Noosed Voodoo Doll Stuns Black Employees

Black employees at the Millennium Hotel in Times Square were fuming Wednesday after they spotted a voodoo doll hanging from a noose on a bulletin board, reports The New York Post. The voodoo dolls, which some employees saw as early as Monday and reported to the hotel's management team, were found hanging in a non-public area. "The union came in and all the employees stopped working and stood in the lobby of the hotel," Colin Taylor, a hotel cook and union delegate, told the the Post. A spokesperson for the hotel said the incident was being investigated. Check out the exclusive DiversityInc Noose Watch, which documents noose-hanging incidents across the United States. Also, find out why one woman who found a noose on her desk chose to fight back.

Google Age-Discrimination Lawsuit Back in Court

The California Supreme Court says it will hear Google's appeal of an age-discrimination lawsuit filed by Brian Reid, a 54-year-old manager, who alleges he was fired after a supervisor told him his opinions were "too old to matter," reports The Associated Press. While Google denies Reid's allegations, an appeals court ruled in October that a jury should determine if Reid has enough evidence to prove Google paid lower bonuses and gave worse performance reviews to older managers. To find out, more read Are Your Opinions 'Too Old to Matter?' Google Age-Bias Lawsuit Back in Court.

Tighter Border-ID Rules Start Today

Tighter border-ID rules are set to go into effect today. The Congress-approved rules require verified citizenship and identification of all those entering the country from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, and no longer allow people to simply declare their citizenship, reports The Associated Press. The U.S. Customs Department says it will provide a grace period for travelers without the extra ID and will hand out flyers explaining the new rules. The passport requirement for land and sea crossings has been delayed until June 2009. Applications should be available starting tomorrow, Feb. 1, and processing is estimated to take three to four months. Find out how your state fares on immigration issues.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable...

Today in class our discussion was a real challenge for me. I couldn't even speak up in class because I couldn't find the words to express what I was feeling. I heard a lot of views that I didn't agree with and felt an actual flash of extreme annoyance. I had to check myself because people are entitled to their opinions and beliefs no matter how much it conflicts with mine. I also like to think of myself as being a person who can hold my own views and accept the views of others without passing any judgments because I know, and accept, that we aren't all going to see things the same way.

Now, talking about gay men and lesbians didn't phase me in the least because I am comfortable around that group, have friends in that group, and sympathize with that group, and today I actually was in a place where the majority of people held an unfavorable view of them and that was a totally new experience to me. I kind of felt like the Filipino counselor in the story that we read. If only they would have a conversation with them and get to know them as a person then maybe...

I was absolutely shocked today at some of the responses from my fellow Christian classmates. I don't mean to offend anyone but the disgust that was on the faces of some people as they talked about gay people was appalling to me. Aren't we called to love no matter what? But to say that you could never even talk to someone gay because of what you believe is ridiculously unChristlike. I also see the other side of the coin. I was raised around gay people, some of my closest friends are gay, so it isn't a problem for me. Someone who wasn't raised that way can feel the exact opposite from what I feel about the subject. I just feel that if Jesus ate with the sinners. Tax collectors. Prostitutes. Murderers. I'm sure He'd sit with the gay community.

I hope this is not coming off as being judgmental. That's the last thing I want. Or maybe it's being completely judgmental. I have no idea! But, I'm sure, at the end of this class I'll know. This class is all about taking a good look at ourselves and discovering our biases and prejudices and attempting to change or not. I applaud everyones honesty in the class and hope that everyone will remain to be as open and honest as they were today.

so far so good..

I have got to admit that class is pretty. i am a like literally attach to my phone in every other class and i think this is the first class where i actually dont worry about who has sent me a txt or an as i was sitting in class it really opened an understanding of how so many things are viewed in terms of like criticism. one of the topics that i found interesting the most was when we spoke about Gay/Lesbians it is definitely a topic that everyone had something to say. But what i do believe is that we as Christians learn to love those who have sin, learn to love those who have killed, and those who someway somehow have done something that does not necessarily fall under God's will but the point is that we learn to love them for who they are, and that is the key, LOVE. because God is love.

~Katiri Taveras~

Friday, January 25, 2008


The First 2 weeks of this class has been great and i believe that it is going to open my way of thinking even more. When I first entered social work I believed that it was going to be a boring career but it has so much to train for and it is so fun is unbelievable. I am so excited and pray that all my old ways of thinking of others can change as I learn about other and have competence with their cultures.

Charles Diaz

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

God is FUNNY!!

Today was my first day in class and i thought hey, this is just going to be a regular class where i am most likely going to be bored(just being honest) to my surprise it was so interesting. i have been battling with a couple of changes in my life, including my ministry. i was not understanding why God was allowing so many things that i did not want to happen. And today when the verse in Luke was read i honestly believe it was God speaking to me and letting me know that change is necessary. I literally left class so stunned because sometimes we think that God is going to speak to us through a preacher or through an amazing situation little do we know or want to understand that when God wants you to understand something, He is going to speak to you in which ever way it is going to make it easier for you to know that no matter what His will, will be done. I am definitely looking forward for this semester, but most importantly looking forward to CHANGE.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Praying with My Legs

The late Jewish theologian and activist Abrahm Heschel coined the term “praying with my legs”. Religions & Ethics Weekly had a segment dedicated to him. Here’s a piece:
It was his participation in the civil rights movement that first made Heschel widely known. In a famous photo of the Selma march in 1965, its leaders wearing garlands, Heschel was the white man with the prophet’s beard, two to the right of Dr. King. That was the occasion on which Heschel said he felt he was praying with his legs.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Welcome to Our SWK 254 Blog-Web Page!

Hello Students of SWK 254:

Together we begin a semester of new learning and growth....The purpose of the Blog, is to provide our class with a space to respond to weekly readings and class sessions, in ways that will positively draw us to a better understanding of ourselves and others. We can post our questions, comments and stories. I encourage you to respond throughout the course to the many activities and readings. This activity will assist in developing personal awareness and insight into your reactions, thoughts, feelings that are experienced during class, from readings, and related activities, and to communicate on a personal level w/ your fellow students and course instructor.

Hope Abounds,
Mayra Lopez-Humphreys
Assistant Professor
Department of Social Work
Nyack College