Social Work LIVE: John Robertson and the Case for Studying Social Policy
- Office of Communications, Columbia School of Social Work
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About this Week’s Guest
John Robertson (bio page) is a full-time lecturer at the Columbia School of Social Work with an expertise in social policy, advocacy, and community organizing. He is a longtime resident of Bushwick, Brooklyn, where he practices social work at the Duncan Genns elder housing development and works in two community gardens alongside other Bushwick residents. Dr. Robinson recently developed a Coursera MOOC on social policy, which is targeted at health and social service practitioners but can, and should, be taken by anyone who works with people or votes. In developing the MOOC, he drew on his experience of working on several national policy research initiatives related to poor families, their employment, family formation, and receipt of public assistance. A former monk, Professor Robinson continues to live by the Franciscan values of humility, love, and joy, and the belief that “if you want to find hope, you have to be present with and move with and live with people who are struggling, not just for them but for yourself.”
About the Host
Michael Friedman (bio page) is a social worker with over fifty years of experience in mental health and public policy. He has chaired, founded, or directed numerous city and state agencies and published approximately 200 articles, chapters, and essays, including a parody, The Diagnostic Manual of Mishegas. Since retiring he has continued to teach at the Columbia School of Social Work and to write about mental health, aging, and other topics at www.MichaelBFriedman.com and in a column for MedPageToday (see latest). He is also a semi-professional photographer and jazz pianist.
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