“Wherever there are people, that's where social workers need to be,”

Wayne State Insiders at the School of Social Work gave a tour of the new social work building on Woodward Avenue, as well as allowed students to meet with social work faculty and students on Oct. 13.

Dean of the School of Social Work Cheryl Waites said the School of Social Work opened their doors in January.

Waites said there are two sides to the building: phase one and phase two. She said phase two is not complete, and the school is planning to have more rooms for community engagement during the completion of phase one.

Provost Keith Whitfield said his area of research is health experience and during his career, he noticed, which he also feels is an error, there is such a focus on biology.

He went on to say there are many factors for us to be able to understand, including but not limited to, health care access, treatment differences, mistrust, family, genetics, socioeconomic status and others. He said WSU faces many challenges in addressing health equity.

“I think Wayne State’s School of Social Work can do much to contribute and has been contributing much to that goal,” Whitfield said.

Waites said the commitment to social justice, eliminating barriers, promoting equality and overall well-being has defined the School of Social Work for many years.

“Our school is committed to the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work,” Waites said.

The 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work is a groundbreaking initiative led by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

She continued by stating one of the challenges, “We must work towards closing the health gap.”

Waites said the school is playing an important role in closing the health gap by shifting society away from health disparities towards health equity.

Yvette Jones, a master’s student, said she thinks the new building is beautiful.

“I like the contemporary flare they have on it,” Jones said.

She said she found the program as a whole to be enriching, because it covers a multitude of areas from children, to older adults, to people in jail, schools and hospitals.

“Wherever there are people, that's where social workers need to be,” Jones said.

Amy Roberge-Heitman, a Wayne State Insider, said Wayne State Insiders wanted to put some attention on the program and the work they have going on along with the new building.

“We don't want anything to be a secret on campus,” Roberge-Heitman said.

She said Wayne State Insiders wants everyone to know about the great things happening on campus.

Wayne State Insiders holds monthly events and can be reached at www.mac.wayne.edu.

Contact reporter Natasha Young: eh3730@wayne.edu

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