Social Work Research Tour in Cuba

7/9/2012
CubaDelegation.jpg

In June 2012, Marazul Charters in collaboration with the CSWE Council on Global Learning, Research, and Practice and the Katherine A. Kendall Institute as program consultants organized a social work research and study tour in Havana, Cuba. A delegation of 21 social work educators from across the United States was led by David Strug, professor emeritus of social work at Yeshiva University in New York. The Cuba study tour addressed a number of social work oriented topics including end-of-life care issues, school system intervention, the social-political-economic forces that affect social services, international social work, mental health, child welfare, socialism in action, and intergenerational family dynamics. Tour participants stated that the trip contributed to programmatic and professional development goals such as developing reference materials for teaching social work and social policy courses and providing contacts for future study abroad opportunities at their schools.

Participants

  • Aneesha Bharwani - Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Kristie Esposito Brendel - Aurora University
  • Karen Bullock - North Carolina State University
  • David R. Cameron - Mental Health Therapist
  • Barbara A. Conklin - Barton College
  • Jami Curley - Saint Louis University
  • Theresa J. Early - Ohio State University 
  • Ruth Gerritsen-McKane - University of Utah
  • Priscilla A. Gibson - University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • Jodi K. Hall - North Carolina State University 
  • Norma Harris - University of Utah
  • Lucy A. Lawrence - Warren Wilson College
  • Sayde L. M. Logan - University of South Carolina
  • Vadim Moldovan - York College of the City University of New York
  • Irene Queiro-Tajalli - Indiana University 
  • Selena T. Rodgers - York College of the City University of New York
  • Jessica Rosenberg - Long Island University 
  • Samuel J. Rosenberg - Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • David Strug - Yeshiva University 
  • Sabrina W. Tyuse - Saint Louis University
  • Linda Wermeling - Northern Kentucky University  

In addition to meeting with social work and sociology faculty from the University of Havana and the president of Cuban Social Workers in Health Care, the delegation participated in a number of visits to social service and community organizations such as the following:

  • Casa Cultural of Playa Municipality
  • American Faculty of Social Sciences, Cuba (FLACSO)
  • Cuban Center for Psychosocial Investigation
  • Casa Comunitaria of the Martin Luther King Center
  • La Colmenita-Little Beehive Theatre and Dance Project
  • Las Terrazas Community Project

Many delegation members described their experience in Cuba as personally and professionally transforming. Many reported that the study tour dispelled myths about Cuba, provided a better understanding about life in Cuba, the U.S. political system, and an alternative ideological paradigm. Members of the delegation are developing a networking forum with their counterparts in Cuba, noting that the professionals they encountered are eager for opportunities to collaborate on projects. CSWE is pleased by the success of this study tour, and plans are underway to organize another trip in 2013.