Ann Fessler, author of The Girls Who Went Away and filmmaker of “A Girl Like Her,” visited Northeastern as part of the Women Take The Reel film festival where a screening of her documentary-style film told the stories of dozens of women who were forced into homes for unwed mothers while their children were involuntarily surrendered for adoption in the 1950’s and 1960’s. A discussion following the screening unpacked the issues that contributed to this egregious violation of the rights of these women. Many women interviewed for the film and book attended the screening and provided valuable insight into their experiences as birth mothers. The screening and discussion allowed the audience to reflect on how far the nation has come in terms of adoption but also highlighted the areas, legally and socially, where society still needs to improve in order to fully respect the experiences of all members of the adoption triad.
Students in the Human Services Professions course (HSV101) study micro, mezzo, and macro levels of human services interventions. Students learn about these interventions in class as well as through actual practice via service-learning. In true Husky form, students in the HSV101 course learn best by doing. On February 24, 2014, two sections of Human Services 101 students led by Dr. Lori Gardinier and Julie Miller visited Julie and her colleagues at the MIT AgeLab. The AgeLab focuses on technology adoption, financial decision-making, retirement-planning, and lifelong wellness. The goals of the AgeLab visit were to introduce HSV101 students to the field of gerontology, to spotlight aging-specific issues within the field of human services, and to underscore the importance of research in the intersection of private and public industry. During their visit to the Lab, students learned about E-Home, a remote medication monitoring system, Miss Daisy, an Aware Car driving simulator, Paro, a therapeutic robot Seal, and more. Northeastern students were asked: “What are three words that come to mind when you think about retirement?” Interestingly enough, even with the fate of Social Security and government-subsidized health insurance programs unknown, this group of approximately 40 NU Human Services majors appears to be optimistic in their attitudes that their retirements will be- first and foremost- “relaxing.”
Students in Julie Miller’s section of Human Services Professions (HSV101) began the semester by jumping into group projects about mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. This topic sits at the crossroads of many intersecting areas of the human services field, including but not limited to health, education, and incarceration rates as they relate to race, class, and gender. This topic area also spotlights preventative and reactive practices, as well as relevant policies and their historical underpinnings. Groups of students in this course explored human rights considerations, mental health and substance abuse issues, restorative justice practices, and challenges and opportunities of re-entry post-incarceration. On Febraury 3, 2014, Haley House, a bakery-café in the Dudley Square neighborhood of Roxbury and a long-time partner of Northeastern University, opened its doors to the HSV101 students to tour the café and learn about its unique business model. Students had a chance to sit down with several staff members of Haley House to learn more about barriers to employment and general re-entry for people who were formerly-incarcerated. Trudging through the snow was well-worth it for our fantastic speakers and always-delicious Haley House, cookies. Thank you, Haley House, for hosting us!
The Human Services Program and the Northeastern University Law School co-sponsored a screening of the UNICEF documentary film, “Not My Life,” an intense look inside the world of modern-day slavery in all of its forms to recognize Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The film provided many horrific stories of trafficking in today’s world including women trafficked through the sex trade nationally and internationally, boys forced into fishing labor in Ghana and women forced into domestic servitude in wealthy communities in the United States. After the film, a lively panel of professionals in research, law and social services was introduced and asked to react to the film. Each of the panelists provided an interesting and informative perspective in relation to the problem of human trafficking specifically in Massachusetts and New England, inspiring thorough discussion about the motivating factors that contribute to the vulnerability of the trafficked. With an audience of potential service providers and legal advocates, the discussion revolved around what needs to be done to address the core factors like poverty, inequality and access to education which perpetuate modern-day slavery.
Julie Dahlstrom, Immigration Legal Assistance Program of Lutheran Social Services of New England
Peter L. DiMarzio, Victim Assistance Specialist/Peer Support Member, Homeland Security Investigations
Amy Farrell, Assistant Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Ann Wilkinson, Coordinator of Survivor Mentor Services, My Life My Choice
Elaine Kim, Task Force Facilitator, Love 146
Lori Gardinier, Program Director, Human Services Program
Child Intervention & Treatment: Play Therapy Session – December 4th, 2013
In the Child Intervention and Treatment (HUSV 3520) course offered by the Human Services Program, students had the opportunity to engage in a class period devoted to the study of play. Play was used an example of a prevention and intervention technique for children of all ages. Human Services faculty member Emily Mann led students in a multitude of “hands on” activities. Through the medium of play, students considered issues of child development, barriers of successful development, and possible mechanisms of strength and resilience. One game asked students to think outside of their comfort zone, to consider saying and doing the opposite of what they think they should do. As some students made errors and got (slightly) frustrated, they considered what it is like to be different, to have different abilities, to have limitations that hinder their goals. These little setbacks provided a forum for bigger discussions about equality, opportunity, and an individual’s ability to change and succeed.
A Week for Peace- October 21st-25th, 2013
Emmanuel Jal: A Concert for Peace
October 21, 2013
Emmanuel Jal: Music, Movement, and Self-Empowerment
October 24, 2013
October 25, 2013
Emmanuel Jal: Child Soldier to Hip Hop Star & Humanitarian – December 6th, 2012
At the age of seven, world-renowned hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal was recruited to become a child solder for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Attendees learned how this “lost boy” found music and uses it to promote peace, justice, and human dignity.
Presented by the Northeastern Students4Giving Social Impact Lecture Series
Sponsored by the Arthur K. Watson Charitable Trust. Read more here.
Paul Tough Talk and Book Signing – November 8th, 2012
Author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character (2012), Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America (2008).
Sponsored by the Human Services Program, NU Bookstore, NU Library, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Read more here.
NS4G presents Smart Giving Is Good Business with Curt Weeden (LA ’65) – September 20th, 2011
Northeastern alumnus Curt Weeden is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. His lecture will address current philanthropy trends and how business-nonprofit alliances can generate social change while also addressing private sector interests. Read more here.
Race to Nowhere: Film Screening & Panel Discussion – January 27th, 2011
This event presented a screening of Race to Nowhere and lively discussion on the state of the high-stakes, high-pressure education and the culture that has invaded our schools and our children’s lives, creating unhealthy, disengaged, unprepared and stressed-out youth.
Sponsored by Northeastern University’s Human Services Program, State Representative Carl Sciortino and Northeastern University’s Peace through Play.
Race to Nowhere is a call to mobilize families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens. To learn more about the film and event, click here.