Social Work Warriors celebrate National Social Work Month - March 2022

For over a century, social workers have been working to empower social change in their communities and advocating for social programs that impact us all including minimum wage, a 40-hour workweek, Social Security, Medicare and more. Led by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), every March we recognize the over 720,000 social workers in the U.S. and three million worldwide who positively impact our daily lives. The March 2022 theme, The Time Is Right for Social Work, underscores the contributions social workers have made to this nation and how the services they provide are needed more than ever as our nation addresses economic inequality, systemic racism, the need for improved health and mental health care, COVID-19, and other issues.

Ways to celebrate

  • Support our faculty promoting the impact of social workers this month, including Center for Behavioral Health and Justice (CBHJ) Project Coordinator Nicole Hamameh, LMSW and Re-entry Manager Tamarie Willis. LLMSW who will be featured guests on WXYZ's Spotlight on the News with Chuck Stokes on Sunday, March 13, 2022. Hamameh and Willis will lead a discussion of how the opioid epidemic is manifesting itself in Michigan’s prison population and how the CBHJ, social workers and criminal/legal experts are working to change the system and turn the tide of the epidemic. 
  • Attend an event held this March
  • Get involved via social media:
    • Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter) to like and repost our spotlight series featuring Emerging Social Work Jobs, which will be featured throughout March.
    • Join Association for Black Social Workers student organization President AeYanna Yett on WSU’s Instagram channel for a “day in the life story takeover” on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. In addition to her ABSW leadership role, Yett is currently a student in the Dual-title Master in Social Work and Infant Mental Health Program, an Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Fellow, and most recently, became the Chair of the first-ever African American Coalition in Sterling Heights. She has quite the resume, and lots of experience to share! 
    • Share the essential work you do in your everyday lives through posts, pictures, and videos. Use the phrase: "I became a social worker because..." or "I became a social worker to help shape the world we live in" and be sure to tag us! Hashtags for this March: #SWMonth2022 #RightTimeforSocialWork #SocialWorkMonth

Emerging social work job spotlights

Throughout March, we will highlight the wide world of unique emerging jobs in the field of social work. Learn more about social workers empowering social change in their communities through roles including veterinary social work, development, library social work, sports social work, and more. Learn more about these social workers below and on our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter.

Caitlin Brown


Caitlin Brown, LMSW-Macro
Yoga Therapy and Entrepreneurship

Caitlin Brown (she/her/hers) is a social worker (LMSW-Macro), yoga and meditation teacher (E-RYT 500), yoga therapist in training, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She teaches a Mind-Body-Spirit class for social work students and helped design the Yoga & Mindfulness Minor at Wayne State University. Through her business, Mindful Detroit, Brown creates social work continuing education workshops, sees clients for yoga therapy, consults on curriculum design, teaches community yoga classes, and leads employee wellness workshops. Brown is passionate about sharing her knowledge of social work, yoga, and meditation for self-care and burnout prevention, especially for other helping professionals.

Allison Sevegney-Reynolds


Allison Sevegney-Reynolds, LMSW
Veterinary Social Work

Allison Sevegney-Reynolds’s role at the Veterinary Medical Center at Michigan State University allows her to pair her passion for animals with her career as a clinical social worker. Through her relationships with her own pets, Sevegney-Reynolds appreciates the strong human-animal bond that exists for the clients that she serves. Her experience in the field of bereavement prepared Sevegney-Reynolds well to work with animal owners and the difficult medical treatment decisions they face, including euthanasia. For the hospital community, she enjoys helping to improve client relationships and communication. Sevegney-Reynolds also helps promote mental health and wellness among medical staff and veterinary students, with wellness events and trainings on compassion fatigue, resiliency in the workplace, and veterinary mental health.  

Danielle Shields


Danielle Shields, MSW
Development and Community Building

At the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, WSU alum Danielle Shields (BSW ’17, MSW 18’) is able to use her past experiences in fundraising and organizational development to build relationships with Detroit Public Schools Community District supporters, especially alumni, to create meaningful philanthropic investments for them. Being out in the community, listening to stories and connecting individuals up with the needs/initiatives of the District through their own interest is a beautiful match-making experience! Authentic stewardship of donors can ensure that non-profit programs can operate at their most optimal level – ultimately providing our community with the quality services they deserve. Keeping humans at the center of all you do is critical to make an impact! 

David Perez


David Perez, MSW
Library Social Work

David Perez is the first social worker hired by a public library in the state of New Jersey. He served ten years in the U.S. Army, over fifteen years in the healthcare business, two years as a social work intern, and the past five years as a library social worker at the Long Branch Free Public Library. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from American Intercontinental University and his Master of Social Work from Monmouth University. He currently supervises interns from Monmouth, Rutgers, and Boston Universities. Perez is also a Rutgers University School of Social Work Field Liaison.

Jeffrey Williams


Jeffrey Williams, MSW
Sports Social Work

Wayne State alum Jeffrey Williams is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works as the Assistant Director of Mental Health & Wellness for the University of Tennessee Athletic Department. Currently, Williams is a Doctoral Candidate at Middle Tennessee State University in Higher Education. Williams received both his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Degree and Master of Social Work Degree from Wayne State University. Williams has experience working in schools, private practice and community mental health settings. Williams has a passion for mental health and helping individuals through psychotherapy. Williams hopes to continue to enhance his knowledge to help others with their mental health and wellbeing.

Shayla Zimmerman


Shayla Zimmerman
Macro Community Engagement 

Shayla Zimmerman is the Special Projects Manager for Community Impact at United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Shayla is the first person in her family to achieve a college degree and is a proud graduate from Wayne State University with a Bachelor’s of Social Work. She is currently working toward a Master’s of Public Health at the University of Michigan and is a recent Racial Equity Fellow. Most of her career has focused on community engagement, resource coordination, and capacity building within nonprofit organizations. Her passion for evidence-based social work has led her through various opportunities such as working with a healthcare foundation in Kabale, Uganda, empowering women to run and win seats in government, and serving in leadership positions to prevent gun violence and generational incarceration.  


March 3: Destigmatizing Sexual Education Panel with UNIFIED
4 - 6 pm EST on Zoom

De-stigmitize sexual education with the Social Work Queer Alliance (SWQA)! The SWQA is our LGBTQ+ Social Work Student Organization, dedicated to creating safe spaces and support systems for social work students. Our Virtual Sexual Education Panel will be a virtual student-centered discussion about sex education, HIV, STI information, and expert knowledge on equitable healthcare on zoom. We will have a panel of specialists and educators to answer questions and share their knowledge within breakout rooms and Q and A sessions! 

March 10: Small Plates, Big Ideas: Diversify your Social Work Career
3 - 5 pm EST on Zoom

Social workers are found in every facet of community life, including schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, senior centers, elected office, private practices, and more. This amazing variety of skill-building opportunities offers innovative ways to build your personal brand and increase your financial stability. WSU School of Social Work alum Leo Niffeler utilized non-traditional methods to leverage his degree in an array of industries. Leo's unconventional social work path led to a successful career that included increased financial success. Current WSU Social Work students and recent graduates are invited to join Leo for an interactive conversation on ways you too can achieve financial success using your experience and training to help others, while also diversifying your own revenue and building your personal brand.

March 21: Data Integration in Michigan Counties: Utilizing cross-systems data to track progress
12 - 1 pm EST on Zoom

The Center for Behavioral Health and Justice provides counties across Michigan with technical assistance in support of a variety of initiatives and projects related to diversion of individuals from the criminal legal system. One component of this technical assistance focuses on the utilization of cross-systems community data to track progress on an on-going basis - a process referred to as data integration. County data integration systems bring together information from multiple sources, including community behavioral health and criminal legal, to generate regular reports that provide stakeholders with updates on key measures that define progress such as prevalence of mental illness in jails. This workshop provides information on the purposes and potential benefits of data integration systems, recommendations for development and implementation processes, and examples of key features from existing data integration systems. 

March 24: The Detroit Disability Justice Movement
3 - 5 pm EST on
2 Social Work CE's available for $10

For 86 years the Wayne State University School of Social Work has invested in, and committed to, the rights of those with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. As an urban school located in the heart of Detroit, we have worked hand-in-hand with our neighbors to build a just community for all, however, there is still work to be done. This academic year we are proud to host an open, honest and powerful three-part series focused on disability justice. The series will allow us to take an in-depth look at the student disability experience, hear lessons from world-renowned disability justice advocate Judith Heumann and explore the disability justice climate in our own backyard of Detroit. Learn more about the Disability Justice Series

The third event in our Disability Justice Series will explore the disability justice movement in our own backyard. Local panelists include Owólabi Aboyade, Hala Alazzawi, Tameka Citchen-Spruce, and Jamie Junior, ADAC. Sharon Milberger, Sc.D. will serve a facilitator for the discussion. Panelists will discuss the history of the disability justice movement in Detroit, where we are at now and where we need to go. Attendees will hear ways in which they can advocate for disability justice at the individual micro and macro policy level in their community. This event will host an American Sign Language interpreter and provide the option for captioning. 

March 25: Relax with Art
11 am - 12 pm in the Social Work building classroom #001

The Wayne State School of Social Work is inviting our faculty, staff and students to take some time to relax and rejuvenate through the media of paint. As we pass the mid-way point of the semester we encourage you to take a break and join your fellow classmates and colleagues for our Relax with Art event. All supplies will be provided, you only need to bring an open mind and desire for relaxation (no artistic skill needed). Social Work Assistant Professor Athena Kheibari will lead attendees through the art of paint pouring and everyone will get to leave with their own framed work of art. Space is limited and RSVP's are required. 

March 31: 2022 Social Work Student Research Symposium
3 - 5 pm EST in the Social Work building Community Engagement Room

Research is the bedrock of social work practice, ensuring that individuals, families and communities receive the most effective, innovative, and culturally attuned interventions and treatments that social workers are able to provide. The Wayne State School of Social Work has devoted faculty, staff and resources to fostering this passion for research in our students. The Center for Social Work Research invites you to join us in supporting our students and attend the FREE annual Social Work Student Research Symposium in our Social Work Community Engagement Room. This event will feature bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students who are gaining exciting research experience in the advancement of clinical practice and social policy at the national and international levels. Highlighted research projects at this event may include thesis work, directed study projects, faculty-student projects and community engagement initiatives. 

Learn about more events occurring on campus on the Wayne State University Event Calendar

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