School of Social Work and MSU students Adriana Carreon, Julissa Olguin, Barbara Jean Almeida, and Rochelle Rivera attended the Latino Social Workers Organization (LSWO) conference 2017 at the University of California-Berkeley in March. Faculty, social workers, and students gathered to share their research work and professional experiences in order to improve their cultural competence, as well as to create partnerships to provide the Latino community with the services that they need during this uncertain time in our history.
The workshops presented an array of topics, including inequality and discrimination, immigration and human rights, the impact of parental deportation, the need of Latino social workers in health services, academic success, higher education, research demystification, and gender affirmative services for transgender youth.
According to Adriana Carreon, “The LSWO conference was a tremendous learning experience that provided me with the opportunity to improve my learning about the challenges that the Latino community in the United States encounters, new approaches to improve the mental health of this population, and to network with professionals in the social work field.”
Julissa Olguin added, “The Latino social worker's organization conference was such an eye-opening experience. It made me more passionate about my major, and it helped me gain knowledge on what is happening to the families that are getting deported. It was horrible to hear how people are treated and how everything is affecting the lives of children. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet Mr. Zayas and the rest of the speakers, they motivated me to continue my dream of finding a solution to the deportation of thousands of families. Overall I have to give a big thank you to Dr. Anderson who made my experience possible.”
Barbara Jean Almeida continued, “The conference in UC Berkeley was an amazing experience. I became very open-minded on the situations that were being addressed and on how social workers play a very important role. It is important that people are able to attend conferences like this because it makes us aware of the circumstances that are going on around the country and how it affects the Latino community.”