School of Social Work Students Organize Fall Community Day

November 14, 2006 @ 5:00 am

November 14, 2006

New York, NY — How can social workers help to bridge the gap between Columbia University and its community in Harlem? This question was the theme for the fall 2006 Community Day, organized by the Student Union at the Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) on November 13th.

Community Day is a full day event that was developed by students for students at CUSSW. The event features panels and workshops to enable students to engage in discussions with peers and professionals in the field about relevant social issues. This semester’s theme, “Columbia University School of Social Work and Harlem: Bridging the Gap,” explores the relationship between Columbia University and Harlem, with a particular focus on social work practice issues.

C. Virginia Fields, social worker and former Manhattan Borough President, presented the keynote speech. Following her presentation was the main panel discussion on CUSSW in the Harlem community with Victoria Mason-Ailey, Assistant Vice President for Planning and Project Coordination, Office of Government and Community Affairs, Columbia University; Greg Watson, Chief Operating Officer, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement; Sandy Helling, Associate Director of Community Impact; and Dr. Marion Riedel, Associate Professor of Professional Practice, CUSSW.

CUSSW students also had the opportunity to attend workshops on specific social work practice issues facing the Harlem community. Speakers from local agencies and Columbia University were invited to speak about various topics, including the effects of incarceration, HIV/AIDS in New York City, serving the refugee population in Harlem, women’s health issues and childhood risk and resilience.

Ann Sinclair, a vocalist from the historic Cotton Club in Harlem, wrapped up the day with a special performance at Alfred Lerner Hall.

For more information, please contact Jeannie Yip at 212-851-2327 or