It is with great sadness we share the news that Joseph Pyles (MSSA, 1952) has passed away at the age of 94. Well-known in Northeast Ohio as a social worker at the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Families, the Catholic Counseling Center of Cleveland, and Metro General Hospital, he was also a longtime member of the Mandel School faculty and a mentor of Dr. Jerry Strom.
But long before all that, Joe was a Buffalo Soldier of the 92nd Division in World War II. Unlike his white Army counterparts, Joe, as a person of color, was not allowed to carry a loaded gun, boarded the bus in the rear, and was served out of the back door of local cafes. In 2012, he told The Plain Dealer about his experiences facing prejudice while defending his country. Read the interview and watch a video: http://bitly.com/JoePyles
His friends at the Mandel School recall his memories of his wartime service, noting that Joe was assigned to Italy and made friends with families there that he continued to visit for years after. As a field education adviser and adjunct faculty, Joe mentored many, many students and was always kind and interested in their welfare. He stayed active, playing tennis well into his 80s.
The wake for Joe Pyles is tomorrow, February 21, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Anne's Church in Cleveland Heights, immediately followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m.
Teaching Human Rights, co-edited by M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad, the Ralph S. and Dorothy P. Schmitt Professor at the Mandel School, is a new curriculum handbook published by CSWE Press that provides invaluable resources to social work educators for teaching about a highly relevant topic that has sometimes been overlooked in social work education, and it reflects the Council of Social Work Education’s initiatives to integrate human rights into established courses or create new ones.
Similar to a resource guidebook, Teaching Human Rights provides social work teachers with:
• Classroom syllabi;
• Course modules;
• Teaching exercises;
• Media on human rights.
“We hope that by teaching students about human rights, they come to understand its complexities and eventually are inspired to work for change,” Hokenstad said.
The Mandel School is a pioneer in incorporating social justice into its curriculum, and now this book helps other schools do the same. Currently only about 10-15% of schools of social work have social justice content in their curriculum. At the Mandel School, all students are required to take a Social Policy class their first year, which includes a module on human right and social justice.
Hokenstad is the lead editor of Teaching Human Rights. He teamed up with co-editors Lynn M. Healy from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and Uma A. Segal from the University of Missouri. The editors are members of the advisory board of the Katharine A. Kendall Institute for International Social Work Education that sets policies and initiates actions the benefit international social work organizations.
The book draws upon Hokenstad’s publications and experiences as a long-time member of the United Nations NGO Committee on Aging, with its recent focus on promoting a Human Rights Convention on Older People. He recently led human rights workshops in Stockholm, Sweden and Dallas, Texas. Hokenstad will be leading a Study Abroad group to Geneva, Switzerland in May to study global health initiatives and tour the European United Nations Headquarters, the World Health Organization and observe the World Health Assembly.
Kathleen Farkas, Ph.D., LISW-s, associate professor at MSASS, has been invited to attend "Advancing the Science of Education, Training and Practice in Trauma" at Yale University April 25th-28th. She is one of 60 national experts invited to develop and define competencies to guide mental health practitioners working with trauma survivors. The conference is funded through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and co-sponsored by American Psychological Association's Division 56 (Trauma Psychology), the Department of Veteran's Affairs' National Center for PTSD and the VA's Center for Homelessness. Dr. Farkas was an active member of national steering committee that developed the competencies for Advanced Social Work Practice in Trauma, published by the Council on Social Work Education in 2012.
Cleveland Local ABC news affiliate Newsnet5 and reporter Joe Pagonakis ran a feature on the evening news touring vacant homes in the city of Cleveland. Using Vacancy data from the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development in his report he said, "The latest data released by Case Western Reserve University and Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing, or NEO CANDO , shows Cuyahoga County now peaking at 26,453 vacant homes.
For the last two years, the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development has been working as evaluator of a new model of resident services with resident engagement at its core. Center Co-Director Dr. Robert Fischer is lead investigator on this study at the Cascade Village neighborhood in Akron and was quoted in the Akron Beacon Journal article "Knight Foundation grant helping build a community at Cascade Village" on January 14, 2013.
Mark Chupp, an assistant professor of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and faculty associate of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, is also director of the East Cleveland Partnership, a community group that's helping to revitalize East Cleveland and was featured as part of the Cleveland Plain Dealer commentary "Fairfax and East Cleveland want to grow, prosper with University Circle" by Tonya Sams on April 12, 2012.
"University Circle is the fastest growing job center in Ohio," said East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton. With University Circle flourishing, the adjacent city of East Cleveland and the Fairfax neighborhood in Cleveland want to improve and grow with it. Partnerships are being strengthened and developed in the Greater University Circle area.
CBC News journalist Paul Hunter recently visited Cleveland to investigate how the city is combating the ongoing foreclosure crisis. Hunter met with Gus Frangos, president of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation (often known as the Land Bank), who illustrated the severity of the situation with a map showing the more than 15,000 properties in Cleveland suffering foreclosure, generated with data from the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development's NEO CANDO (Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing).