Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

School of Social Work to launch yearlong 90th anniversary celebration

The School of Social Work (SSW) will kick off a yearlong celebration of its 90th anniversary on Nov. 19 with a full-day celebration that will include a keynote address by social activist Michael Sherraden.

Sherraden, who was named to TIME magazine’s annual list of the World’s 100 Most Influential People earlier this year, is a Washington (Mo.) University professor known for his pioneering work on asset building for low-income people.

The founder and director of Center for Social Development at the St. Louis school will speak from 12:45-2:45 p.m. about using asset-based policy to fight poverty. Sherraden’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion that will include experts such as Dr. Trina Shanks, assistant professor of social work, and Ismael Ahmed, director of the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Other events scheduled to take place include a performance by the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, which will perform “Speak For Yourself! Young Detroiters Talk About Race.” Featuring a mosaic of different voices, including African-, Arab- and Latin-American teenagers, the play imagines a future where people accept one another, not on the basis of race, but on the strength of understanding, tolerance and mutual respect. The performance will take place from 9:30-10:30 a.m. with a 15- to 20-minute post-show discussion.

On Nov. 20, the school will launch a Worldwide Day of Service, calling on all members of the SSW community across the globe to participate. For information about service projects around Ann Arbor, Michigan and the U.S. go to

The yearlong celebration marks a program that began in 1921 as part of a bachelor’s degree offered in LSA, and which has grown into one of the world’s pre-eminent schools of social work, leading the profession in training, teaching, research, innovation, scholarship, collaboration, and service.

SSW averages around 650 enrolled master of social work students and 80 enrolled doctoral students each year, and has 57 faculty and 47 lecturers. In each of the last 15 years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked it either the No. 1 or No. 2 school of social work in the country.

For more on the SSW 90th anniversary, go to Click on “Attend Events” to access a full schedule of events and to register for the celebration.