Noted social work educator, researcher to speak on campus

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Michael


KALAMAZOO--One of the nation's leading and most-respected social work educators and researchers will speak next week as the Western Michigan University School of Social Work celebrates Whitney Young Day.

Dr. Michael Reisch, the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland, will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in Room 209 of the Bernhard Center. The event also will honor student award recipients and is free and open to the public.

About Reisch

Reisch has played a leadership role in national and state advocacy, professional and social change organizations that focused on the needs of low-income children and families, welfare recipients and unemployed or homeless people.

He is the author or editor of more than 20 books and monographs, 100 articles and book chapters and 250 papers at state, national and international conferences on the history and philosophy of social welfare, the meaning and application of social justice and multiculturalism, radical social work, community organization theory and practice and contemporary policy issues, particularly welfare reform and the impact of globalization on the future of the welfare state.

Reish has directed or consulted on political campaigns at the federal, state and local levels in four states and has been honored for his work by the Maryland General Assembly, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, numerous local and national nonprofit organizations, professional organizations and universities. He is currently working on several forthcoming books on social policy and social justice, multiculturalism and U.S. social welfare and community practice.

Whitney Young Day observance

Whitney Young Day is an annual observance honoring Whitney M. Young Jr., an internationally renowned social worker. Young was the convocation speaker at the dedication of the WMU School of Social Work in 1968. He was, at that time, president of the National Association of Social Workers and Executive Director of the National Urban League. The next year he drowned in a tragic accident in Nigeria. Young is recognized as one of America's most influential civil rights leaders during the l960's.

In 1971, the WMU School of Social Work established a student scholars program in his name to recognize students whose scholarship and service follow the ideals he represented.

Whitney Young student scholar award recipients

Undergraduate student Angela Dietrich and graduate student Darrel Huinink are this year's Whitney Young student scholar award recipients and will be honored at the event. Dietrich recently returned from Tanzania where she volunteered and worked with children at an orphanage. Huinink spent several years in Haiti where he and his wife ran an orphanage and did extensive relief work after the country was devastated by a tsunami.