The School of Social Work is proactive in Community Engagement in many ways, including:
Started in 2012, Humanities 101 (HUM 101) at Renison. A tuition-free university-level program for economically marginalised individuals, HUM 101 is intended to awaken interest in education, increase self-esteem, and serve as a springboard to further community involvement and/or education.
The course has recently been redeveloped to focus on environmental justice and action. There are 2 MSW students and 1 BSW student involved in this course development, recruitment, and facilitation for their practicum learning. There are community-based volunteers, as well. The course is offered virtually, on Thursday evenings for the class, and Tuesday evenings for discussion groups and mutual learning. Because it is being offered virtually, it is possible for students from different communities to participate in the course. A number of community based agencies, individuals, and leaders have been supporting the course in a variety of ways.
Walls to Bridges
The Walls-to-Bridges program brings incarcerated and campus-enrolled students together to learn university courses inside a correctional facility. Utilization of circle pedagogy and a collective approach to learning fosters critical thinking and reflection about course content, oneself, and each other.
Visit the Walls to Bridges website for more information.
BSW students social actions working with community agencies
Bachelor of Social Work students in the Advanced Macro Practice class are rolling up their sleeves and bringing their own social change to the community as part of their final project.
In this class last year, students were followed by peers, faculty, politicians, media personalities and community stakeholders. A group was interviewed on CBC and some of the projects extended beyond the course into research, social service, practicum and community work. Participants in the class were pleased to find out how helpful and supportive others were towards their projects.
Professor Funke Oba says that students are surprised by how much they learn in this class.
Students said it beat any other form of learning they had so far as it was different, scary, experiential and totally awesome at the same time. Many said it forced them to look inward, think critically, and interrogate their own privilege but they also discovered strengths, passion, purpose and inspiration as they enjoyed new found confidence and came away with a can-do attitude.
Advanced Macro Practice (SWREN 422R) examines and compares the strengths, limitations, differential uses, and interconnections of the range of skills needed for community organization, social planning, and social policy practice. Practical applications such as conference planning, proposal writing, and fund-raising are explored and used in their final project, which is to hold an event that supports and raises the profile of different social issues.