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July 2019 Educator | Resource of the Month

The Center for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice Educator|Resource is a monthly feature that highlights curricular resources and social work educators who address diversity and justice.

The Practice of Hope: Participatory Models for Work With Communities

Hope is a powerful strategy to heal communities. Yet we live in hope-challenged times. The current turbulent climate challenges the field of social work to articulate our vision of equity and hope across the diverse communities with whom we work. Although the dynamic role of hope has received wide acknowledgment in social work, pragmatic approaches to infuse hope into social work research and practice are sparse and fragmented. This Educator | Resource describes resources on the use of participatory approaches such as asset-based community development and community-based participatory research as pragmatic strategies that ignite hope in social work research and practice with diverse communities and organizations.

Teaching Resources

Module 1: The Practice of Hope  Slides: The Practice of Hope Research Brief: New Americans Project
Module 2: Asset-Based Community Development Classroom Exercises  
Module 3: Community-Based Participatory Research Research Brief: Cultural Leadership Project  

About the Educator

Arati MalekuDr. Arati Maleku is an assistant professor in the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University. Maleku’s principal area of research is the role of social determinants of health in the migration context. Her research integrates participatory and transformative mixed methods approaches into cross-cultural contexts by incorporating novel methodologies, such as arts-based and photovoice inquiries, that place immigrant voices at the center of the research process. Dr. Maleku is chair of the South Asian Social Work Educators Association, an affiliate of the CSWE Commission for Diversity and Social and Economic Justice.

Educator Q&A

What are your thoughts on how social work can infuse the practice of hope into issues of diversity and justice in social work research and practice? 

The practice of hope in social work research and practice is both an art and a science. The science largely comes from organizing concepts drawn from the literature on community participation, community development, capability, and community psychology. The art comes from the understanding, skills, and empathy used to apply and adapt the science in ways that put community voices at the center of social work research and practice. Read the full Q&A

The views expressed in the Educator|Resource are those of the educator(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council on Social Work Education.

 Interested in contributing to the Educator | Resource of the Month? Please contact Dr. Yolanda Padilla, CSWE Diversity Center Director, at [email protected].