Blogs

Department of Social Welfare Blogs

September 08, 2012
This summer, Ph.D./MSW student Sara Pilgreen shares postcards from Johannesburg, where she is living and working. As my days came to an end in Jo’burg I just could not believe it. Very similar to the feelings of completing my first year internship at “The Village” in Long Beach, the incredible journey that began only 11 weeks prior was coming to a screeching halt. Even though I have been well versed in the “termination” stage of ending relationships and internships, and had been reminding all...
August 02, 2012
This summer, Ph.D./MSW student Sara Pilgreen shares postcards from Johannesburg, where she is living and working.The other weekend I joined up with the Boksburg Rotaract and we travelled out to HaMakuya Village. Based in the Limpopo Province (one of nine provinces that comprise South Africa), it is in the greater Venda area, while HaMakuya Village is about 20 miles from the Zimbabwe border. This trip, which began as a light-hearted weekend road trip to deliver much needed school supplies...
July 19, 2012
This summer, Ph.D./MSW student Sara Pilgreen shares postcards from Johannesburg, where she is living and working.On July 18th, Mr. Nelson "Madiba" Mandela celebrated his 94th birthday. The day marked the third annual "International Nelson Mandela Day." The buzz around the office was palpable as everyone was asking who was doing what for his or her 67 minutes of giving back. The call of 67 minutes of volunteering for each of us (globally) comes from the fact that Mr. Mandela spent 67 years of...
July 06, 2012
This summer, Ph.D./MSW student Sara Pilgreen shares postcards from Johannesburg, where she is living and working.I show up to work in my tekkies (running shoes) and casual clothes (for the first time) as instructed numerous times from various people the day prior. The plan was to head to Soweto for a Youth Development Conference. “Oh Sara, I am so sorry I told you to wear tekkies...I am wearing them as well, however we are way too casual. The President is going to be there today.” Hmm, an...
June 27, 2012
This summer, Ph.D./MSW student Sara Pilgreen shares postcards from Johannesburg, where she is living and working. Over the weekend I travelled from Johannesburg with my host sister and her two friends to the townships of Lenasia and Soweto. Soweto -- the much acclaimed and, perhaps, most famous township in the world, with the renowned Vilakazi Street -- was an incredible experience. My time spent in Lenasia was also appealing as we traveled there solely to visit Nadine’s family. Nadine was...
June 26, 2012
This summer, Ph.D./MSW student Sara Pilgreen shares postcards from Johannesburg, where she is living and working.Week 1- Johannesburg, South Africa.I finally arrived after 20 hours flying (5 hour flight from the west coast to NYC, followed by a 15 hour direct flight from NYC to Jo’burg) plus a +9 hour time change. Customs was a breeze, so much so that I was not sure if I had actually passed through (there was not even a person to stop and ask if one had anything to declare). I did not need any...
May 28, 2011
The mental health care is a profession increasingly dominated by women, giving rise to concern that some men in need of help may go without. The New York Times recently covered this issue, addressing therapy concerns for men as the field tends to be dominated by what researchers call "feminization." More about psychology and these trends can be read here.
August 17, 2010
On the 40th anniversary of the successful grape boycott led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, UCLA urban planning alumnus Alvaro Huerta looks at the event in the context of today’s labor laws and working conditions.  In a piece published in The Progessive, Huerta writes: “Now, 40 years later, farmworkers continue to toil under harsh working conditions. To draw attention to this, the UFW has launched an innovative campaign called “Take Our Jobs.” The “Take Our Jobs” campaign encourages...
August 05, 2010
Interview everyone living on these streets. Find out how long they've been homeless. Ask about their addictions, their mental and physical health."   The Los Angeles Times investigated the social problems surrounding Skid Row as a four-part special considering the the state of homelessness and need for social rehabilitation. The articles highlight a plan known as Project 50, started by Los Angeles County Officials, looking at the 50 most-likely-to-die on the streets of the city. Those...
August 02, 2010
Los Angeles has many attractions such as Hollywood, but what about gangs? Former gang member Alfredo Lomas has collaborated with community leaders and former gang members to help create a LA Gang Tour. The tour looks at the history, art, and seeks to educate those unfamiliar with Los Angeles gangs.  NBC4 Los Angeles recently covered the tour and it's highlights. The transcript is available here.