Category Archives: Word from the Director

MARCH IS SOCIAL WORK MONTH
March is known nationally as Social Work Month a time when we celebrate the many accomplishments of the social work profession. I want to personally thank the Latino pioneers of social work that have made many of the available services for Latino children and families possible in Southwest Detroit today! Pioneers like Ricardo Guzman, Ignacio Salazar, Graciela Villalobos, Consuelo Alcala, Ozzie Rivera, Maria Guadiana, Erminia Ramirez, Sylvia Guzman, and Armando Rivas. We also remember those who have left us, posthumous, Adela Camarena, Berta Morales, Tony Ramirez, Dorothy Gonzales, and Margarita Martinez. These people led the way and championed the rights of Latinos. They marched for basic access for human services. They recruited Latino students to enter social work and serve the community. This is how I came to Detroit and still here. Two MSW graduate students Sylvia Guzman and Tony Ramirez came to Central Michigan University to recruit for the WSU Social Work Program. They were very compassionate when they presented the needs of Southwest Detroit. Many of these folks marched at Wayne State University 40 years ago for the right to have a Latino Studies Program. That goal was accomplished and that program still exists today. Bilingual mental health access and advocacy for Spanish language services that exist today were also made possible by many of these courageous folks!
We also salute the new social workers who are making their own path in Southwest Detroit, Raquel Castaneda, Detroit City Councilwoman, Juan Jose Martinez, Principle, Cesar Chavez High School, Matt Nahan, Youth Transit Alliance, Stephanie Chang, Michigan State Representative, Carmen Rodriguez, Tricia Terteling, Ann Roth, Lillian Roa, Jessie Urban, and Andrea Cantaneda. Thank you on behalf of those who do not have a voice!- Guadalupe Lara

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