Friday, March 16, 2018

Video Interviews About Minority Male Mentoring

Check out a 7-minute video of interviews with California State University, Northridge (CSUN) faculty, alumni, and students who are men of color. Please feel free to share with anyone needing inspiration on their academic journey.

Being purposefully vulnerable make great stories and stories are good medicine.

Click on this link to watch the video on YouTube: M3 Video

After watching the video, please click on this link to take a survey about your reactions to the video: M3 Video Survey

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

M3 Storytelling Campaign Poster: Charles

"As an athlete, I was plagued with injuries and forced to find success in a different arena. Falling into depression, I felt I would never regain my identity. Through many dark days and nights, I worked toward a graduate degree in a filed that feels perfect for me, but I still struggled with my personal anxieties of not measuring up. A few of my professors inspired me through their knowledge and personal testimonies. That made me realize that I needed to start valuing my worth more. Their constant encouragement and relentless efforts kept me going - they were my coaches. Finding my identity, I reclaimed my team. Working with at-risk youth is my second chance to reach success. I want to walk with them through the light, the dark, the failures and the successes. I am very proud to say that I am a Master of Social Work graduate from CSUN. Feeling proud is one thing, remaining humble in my pride is the only thing. -Charles Ohaeri '17 MSW, CSUN"

Posters from the M3 storytelling campaign are now available. Please contact me about how to order from CSUN QuickCopies.

M3 Storytelling Campaign Poster: Vincent

"I grew up in a rough neighborhood in North St. Louis, Missouri (near Ferguson) with two parents who did the best they could, but faced extreme hardships. The public schools that I attended had caring teachers, but lacked the resources that my peers and I needed to succeed to the best of our abilities. Although public school could not prepare me for all that was to come in secondary education, college changed my life and afforded me opportunities that most people from my neighborhood will never have access to. I could not have been successful in college or graduate school without the support, guidance, and resources provided by both my M3 Career Mentor and my M3 Peer Mentor. My life will never be average or what it was expected to be. I am setting a new standard. -Vincent Tabb, '18 MPA, CSUN"

Posters are now available. Please contact me about how to order (QuickCopies at CSUN).

M3 Storytelling Campaign Poster: Abel

"I had my first-born when I was 17. I had to provide for my family, so I joined the Navy when I was 18 and did two deployments to the Gulf of Iraq. After five years, I was honorably discharged. It was difficult to transition from the military to civilian life - I dealt with post-traumatic stress, depression, homelessness, and ended up incarcerated. I ended up in places I never thought I'd end up and I thought I'd never make it back from that. But after everything I've been through, after all these years, I went back to school and got my bachelor's degree in psychology. Now, I'm the manager of the residential program where I stayed when I was homeless. I'm working on my master's of social work degree so that I can help others who have been or are going through what I've been through. I made it here, but I didn't do it alone. I couldn't have done it without the support of my family and the guidance of my mentors. -Abel Martin '16 B.A. Psychology, '18 MSW CSUN"

Posters from the Minority Male Mentoring (M3) storytelling campaign are now available. Please see me about how to order at QuickCopies at CSUN.

M3 Storytelling Campaign Poster: Allen

"Growing up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1980s-90s as a young Black male challenged me to make a difference in not only my life-but in the lives of other men of color. Living with a single mother and an older brother, we moved often. Yet the one thing that was stable in my life was school. With my mother's strong faith in God, she always made way. I was the first person in my family to pursue higher education, so I attended four community colleges and worked two part-time jobs to fulfill my general education requirements in two years. I then transferred to UC Santa Barbara, double majoring in Psychology and Black Studies. I then earned a MSW degree from USC, later receiving my doctorate in clinical psychology. If it were not for my mentors - who were role models and believed in me - I would not be where I am today. I strongly believe in having visible representation of men of color in higher academic settings. I am passionate about providing psychological and emotional justice for men of color.
 -Allen E. Lipscomb '15 Psy.D. Assistant Professor of Social Work, CSUN"

Posters for the M3 storytelling campaign are now available. Please contact me about how to order at CSUN QuickCopies.

M3 Storytelling Campaign Poster: Jonathan

"As a first-generation college student at UC Irvine, I was placed on academic probation. Not once, but twice. I tried to ignore it, but more than anything, I was ashamed. I never told my parents out of fear of disappointing them, especially my mom. They had so much pride in their son that I did not want to crush their expectations of me. After I found my way and figured out how to successfully navigate the system, I graduated and felt so relieved that I did not let my parents down. But that was not enough. My goal was to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. The first and second time I applied, I was flat out rejected. Similar to undergrad, something inside me kept me going despite the obstacles and challenges. But I was never alone  in this quest. The support and guidance from my family and mentors was instrumental to my perseverance. I earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA in 2013, which was something I could have never imagined while on academic probation. But I made it here, and I belong.
-Jonathan Martinez '13 Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology, CSUN"

Posters from the M3 storytelling campaign are now available. Please contact me about how to order from CSUN QuickCopies.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Social Work Super Powers

Social Workers have many super powers, you realize. Here are two...

1. Empathy

This means truly and deeply understanding and accepting the thoughts and feelings of another. It feels amazing and powerful. When was the last time you experienced empathy - when someone understood and accepted you completely? It makes you feel sane and connected, no matter what story you have to tell.

In the book, Confessions of a Sociopath, by M.E. Thomas, the author notes that most people confuse sex with love but what really feels like love is being understood. When I read this, I thought, that is our super-power as social workers! And like any power, it can be used for good or evil.

Manipulators use empathy to take advantage of their target. Manipulators find it easier to get whatever they ask for from someone who thinks they are understood, accepted, and in love. This game ends when the target taps into their own deep well of self-love. Self-acceptance and self-love trump fake love and empathy from a manipulator.

Social workers practice empathy because it is healing. Sometimes there are no words and empathy is all you've got to give. Fortunately, it's plenty powerful.

2. Exploring Ambivalence 

We feel ambivalent about everything.
We love and hate our parents.
If notified about a $20,000 raise and promotion, we would feel both excited and scared at the same time - What will be expected of me? Can I rise to the challenge? Will I succeed or fail?
The main obstacle standing between us and our biggest dream or deepest desire is our ambivalence. One of my mentors taught me to explore ambivalence in order to release it's grip on goals.
Exploring ambivalence involves asking about and bringing to light all fears, worries, doubts, questions, and concerns. We can address them when we acknowledge them. Facing fears, worries, doubts, questions, and concerns is important if we are to start the journey to our promised land.

Video Interviews About Minority Male Mentoring

Check out a 7-minute video of interviews with California State University, Northridge (CSUN) faculty, alumni, and students who are men of co...