Past Features

May 19, 2008 (Vol. 7, No. 9)

Lehman to Host Symposium Aimed at Diversifying Social Work Field

Students in the Library

Lehman College will host a symposium on May 30 from 9:30 a.m. to noon to discuss ways of attracting more men from diverse backgrounds to careers in social work. The event is free and open to the public and will be held in the East Dining Room of the Music Building.

According to a 2006 Workforce Study, conducted nationally, 81 percent of licensed practitioners holding master's in social work degrees are non-Hispanic women, six percent are African-American women and one percent are Hispanic/Latino women. Only seven percent are men—and only two percent of those are Hispanic/Latino or African-American.

"Given the increasing diversity of the population in the United States, there is a need for the social work profession to achieve a more balanced gender and racial composition in its licensed work force," explains Prof. Bryan Warde of Lehman's Department of Sociology and Social Work, which is sponsoring the symposium. "By doing so, it will better serve the needs of its client population, which in some urban communities can be 30-40 percent male and up to 80-90 percent minority."

Delivering the keynote address will be Prof. Willie Tolliver of Hunter College's School of Social Work and the CUNY Graduate Center. Prof. Tolliver has 20 years of experience teaching and increasing awareness about the intercultural dimension of human relations. He teaches organizational design in the social welfare doctoral program, and social welfare policy and the human and organizational development sequence in Hunter's M.S.W. program.

Among the panelists joining Prof. Tolliver are four Lehman alumni: LeShan A. Gaulman '05, Nichoals A. Calabro '05, Michael Sanchez '07 and Dwight Stephenson '08. Each will give an account of his experience as a social worker.

For more information, call 718-960-8192.