53 episodes

Podcast highlighting people working for social change. Interviews with social workers and those in related fields, educators, and activists about their work and personal stories of how they got into this work. Hosted by Shimon Cohen, LCSW.

Doin' The Work: Frontline Stories of Social Change Shimon Cohen

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 98 Ratings

Podcast highlighting people working for social change. Interviews with social workers and those in related fields, educators, and activists about their work and personal stories of how they got into this work. Hosted by Shimon Cohen, LCSW.

    Racial Equity in Psychiatry and Mental Health - Jessica Isom, MD, MPH

    Racial Equity in Psychiatry and Mental Health - Jessica Isom, MD, MPH

    Episode 53
    Guest: Jessica Isom, MD, MPH
    Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

    www.dointhework.com
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    Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

    Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.

    In this episode, I talk with Dr. Jessica Isom, a board-certified community psychiatrist, who practices clinically in the federally qualified health center Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She is also involved in graduate medical education and health care workforce development in her role as a clinical instructor in the Yale University Department of Psychiatry, which has inspired many invited talks and workshops around social justice and health equity. Additionally, Dr. Isom is a physician-entrepreneur who owns the consulting business Vision for Equity LLC that focuses on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), antiracism, and racial equity. We talk about how in medicine and mental health, race, specifically being Black-identified, is typically discussed as a risk-factor for ill health when racism is the root and primary risk factor. Dr. Isom explains that this approach pathologizes Blackness, as it’s intended to, and directs interventions and treatment in ways that do harm and perpetuate racism by incorrectly explaining health disparities as individual and biological rather than rooted in the systemic racism that creates inequity, stress, barriers to access, poor treatment, and that intersects with many other social determinants of health. She further details how this approach of pathologizing Blackness is deficit focused and promotes a deficit-based ideology and approach to addressing health disparities and the overall well-being of Black people. We talk about how whiteness and Western/Eurocentricity shows up in mental health, including the DSM, and Dr. Isom shares how she navigates this in her clinical work. She also shares her thoughts on Black healing and joy. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

    @drjessisommdmph (Twitter/IG/Clubhouse)
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-elizabeth-isom-12ba54a2
    www.vision4equity.com

    • 53 min
    Stop Playing Diversity - Monica Cox, PhD

    Stop Playing Diversity - Monica Cox, PhD

    Episode 52
    Guest: Monica Cox, PhD
    Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW

    www.dointhework.com
    Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify
    Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook
    Join the mailing list
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    Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.

    Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.

    In this episode, I talk with Dr. Monica Cox, who is a disruptor, trailblazer, change agent, and leader who believes in living an authentic life even if it makes people uncomfortable. She grew up an only child in rural southeast Alabama, where she was raised by her educator parents to persist in the face of personal and professional adversity. She is a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at The Ohio State University. Dr. Cox also provides coaching in the areas of career development; business strategy; and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Dr. Cox shares her experiences in navigating higher education and DEI as a Black woman, particularly around performative diversity and organizational issues. She has a way of speaking on these issues in a personal way that explains how systemic racism is deeply manifested in these spaces, how it has impacted her, what she has done about it, and encouraging others. I’ve found her words to cut through the BS and really hit home. You are going to want to hear what she has to say. She vulnerably shares her journey with us. For some, her words will be affirming because you know the reality. For others, her words will shake you up because things need to change, and you have a choice to make. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

    www.drmonicacox.com
    Twitter, IG & TikTok: @drmonicacox
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/monicafcox

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Abolish the Family Policing System (”Child Welfare”) - Joyce McMillan & Victoria, MSW

    Abolish the Family Policing System (”Child Welfare”) - Joyce McMillan & Victoria, MSW

    Episode 51
    Guests: Joyce McMillan; Victoria, MSW
    Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW


    www.dointhework.com
    Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify
    Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook
    Join the mailing list
    Support the podcast
    Download transcript


    Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.


    Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. In 2022 they will continue their ongoing series, Eyes On Abolition that explores abolition as practice and as a critical framework to bring about change, and invite you to join them in April when they host Becoming Abolitionists author, Derecka Purnell. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.


    In this episode, I talk with Joyce McMillan and Victoria about the family policing system, also known as the child welfare system. Joyce is a parent, activist, and community organizer who is focused on systems abolition. She is the Founder and Executive Director of JMac for Families and Parent Legislative Action Network. Victoria is a PhD candidate at UCLA Social Welfare, policy analyst, and here for the abolition of all carceral systems, organizing with Cops Off Campus Coalition, Let’s Get Free LA Coalition, and Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. We talk about the need to abolish the family policing system. Joyce and Victoria explain why they call this system the family policing system, drawing parallels to how prison and carceral systems function. They talk about how much of family policing is an attack on families in poverty – the majority of neglect reports are actually for situations due to poverty and have nothing to do with someone’s ability to parent. They talk about how the family policing system disproportionately harms Black, Brown, and Indigenous families, and how there is a history of racist social control in the creation of this system and its present-day operation, including predictive analytics and mandatory reporting. Joyce discusses how families do not know their rights, are not given warnings of their rights, and her work on Miranda rights for parents. Victoria talks about how the family policing system is part of the larger carceral system of surveillance and how families are caught up in this system. Both discuss how we could be supporting families rather than separating them. And yes, we talk about so-called “color-blind” removals. Joyce and Victoria share how they got into this work, with Joyce sharing how her children were removed and she fought to get them back, and Victoria sharing about her father being in kinship care and her work with youth involved in the system. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.


    Joyce
    https://jmacforfamilies.org/
    Twitter @JMacForFamilies
    Instagram jmacforfamilies


    Victoria
    Twitter @vee_etc


    https://upendmovement.org/


    https://stoplapdspying.org/


    http://www.generationfive.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Transformative-Justice-Handbook.pdf


    https://www.lovewithaccountability.com/

    • 1 hr 41 min
    Exposing the Right-Wing & Corporate Takeover of Education & Democracy - Jasmine Banks

    Exposing the Right-Wing & Corporate Takeover of Education & Democracy - Jasmine Banks

    Episode 50
    Guest: Jasmine Banks
    Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW


    www.dointhework.com
    Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify
    Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook
    Join the mailing list
    Support the podcast
    Download transcript


    Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.


    Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. In 2022 they will continue their ongoing series, Eyes On Abolition that explores abolition as practice and as a critical framework to bring about change, and invite you to join them in April when they host Becoming Abolitionists author, Derecka Purnell. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.


    In this episode, I talk with Jasmine Banks, who is the Executive Director of UnKoch My Campus, a national campaign that investigates and exposes how right-wing billionaire Charles Koch and his Koch network influence education, both in higher ed and K-12. Many of you who follow the podcast already care about racial, social, economic, and environmental justice, care about multiracial democracy, but do we always know the hidden influences of the agenda that opposes all of this, utilizing right-wing think tanks, research, and targeted campaigns? Jasmine explains what the Koch network is and how, through multi-million-dollar contributions, they promote ideas and policies that suppress voting rights, question climate change while actually advancing it, deny the reality of COVID, attack workers’ rights, and are behind the wide-spread efforts to ban any discussion of slavery and systemic racism in schools by attacking critical race theory and the 1619 Project. She shares that Koch helped fund the January 6th attempted coup and that multiracial democracy is truly at stake. UnKoch My Campus has released reports of how the Koch network carries out its agenda and those reports are available on their website. Jasmine explains how UnKoch My Campus works with students who organize to challenge the Koch agenda. She explains how the ruling of Citizens United treated corporations like people and how there is basically unchecked financial influence corporations have over elections and legislation. Policy folks often say we need to “follow the money” and Jasmine does a phenomenal job in breaking this down. Jasmine also shares how she got into this work and talks about working as a therapist. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.


    www.unkochmycampus.org
    Twitter: @UnKochCampus
    Instagram: unkochcampus
    Facebook: @UnKochMyCampus


    The Common Good Generation: www.thecommongoodgeneration.org


    Article: https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/charles-koch-crt-backlash/

    NASW & Sinema petition by Boston Liberation Health Collective: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfhaCWsVZ--u8RHFULOWg_BbNqr7GKoqvZX7tycmeHnv53mtw/viewform

    • 57 min
    Stop Whitewashing Social Work History: Tell the Truth - Kelechi Wright, LCPC & Kortney Carr, LCSW

    Stop Whitewashing Social Work History: Tell the Truth - Kelechi Wright, LCPC & Kortney Carr, LCSW

    Episode 49
    Guests: Kelechi Wright, LCPC, LPC; Kortney Carr, LCSW, LSCSW
    Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW


    www.dointhework.com
    Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify
    Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook
    Join the mailing list
    Support the podcast
    Download transcript


    Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.


    Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. In 2022 they will continue their ongoing series, Eyes On Abolition that explores abolition as practice and as a critical framework to bring about change, and invite you to join them in April when they host Becoming Abolitionists author, Derecka Purnell. Go to http://www.uh.edu/socialwork to learn more.


    In this episode, I talk with Kelechi Wright and Kortney Carr. Kelechi is a full-time doctoral student at the University of Kansas in the School of Social Welfare. She has expansive clinical experience in mental health with BIPOC communities. Her research focuses on immigration, criminal justice and the criminalization of immigrants. Kortney is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Kansas and a Professor of Practice in the School of Social Welfare. She has a lengthy practice background in community mental health, mental health, and private practice, with an emphasis on trauma. Her research focuses on how Black men have survived social isolation in the U.S. We talk about their article, co-authored with Dr. Becci Akin, The Whitewashing of Social Work History: How Dismantling Racism in Social Work Education Begins With an Equitable History of the Profession, published in an open-access, special double issue of Advances in Social Work. This article should be required reading in all social work programs! It is an interrogation of how social work history – what gets to be told as history, who tells it, what gets valued, what’s considered evidence, what’s considered professional, who is considered a social worker – all of it – is racist and whitewashed. They talk about how social work history often focuses on social work being created by privileged White women who helped the poor and oppressed, but does not talk about Black social welfare leaders and community organizers and activists who did this work in their own communities and beyond, and who should be held up as social work and social welfare leaders and founders. This inaccurate history portrays White people as saviors and Black people as passive receivers. To continue to teach this whitewashed history perpetuates white supremacy, which has serious consequences for social work students, faculty, social workers, and especially communities where we practice. As Kelechi and Kortney explain, we need an accurate telling of history so that our foundation is solid and our present and future are built on that foundation, rather than furthering racism and inequity. We need to honor the legacy of Black social work and social welfare leaders and teach about the critical theories, knowledge, approaches, practices – work – that they and others have done – and continue to do – to impact communities and the social work profession. And always remember and focus on the communal nature of the Black community and how Black social work and social welfare movements are in that same communal tradition. We also talk about racial justice work for educators and practi

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Decolonizing Mental Health & Supporting Indigenous Women - Tyra Wanatee-Flores, BSW

    Decolonizing Mental Health & Supporting Indigenous Women - Tyra Wanatee-Flores, BSW

    Episode 48
    Guest: Tyra Wanatee-Flores, BSW
    Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW


    www.dointhework.com
    Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify
    Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook
    Join the mailing list
    Support the podcast
    Download transcript


    Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work.


    Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work (UTK) has a phenomenal social work program, with the opportunity to do your bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate of social work online. Scholarships are available.


    In this episode, I talk with Tyra Wanatee-Flores, who is a descendant of the Sac and Fox Nation of the Mississippi in Iowa and identifies as Two-Spirited. Tyra is an advanced standing MSW student at Washington University in St. Louis, a photographer and activist of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Movement, an advocate for Indigenous women who have experienced violence, and a speaker about mental health in Indigenous Country. She talks about the work she is doing with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Mayetta, Kansas, to address youth suicide and substance abuse. We discuss how much of social work education and mental health interventions are Eurocentric, which makes it a challenge to find ways that will work for Indigenous communities, but how Tyra is addressing this in her work, using networking and approaches that honor community, tradition, and culture. Tyra talks about being part of the Buder Scholars program, where she and others have access to an Indigenous curriculum and how it has helped her to learn decolonizing approaches to this work. She emphasizes the importance of community in healing and getting back to pre-colonial ways. Tyra also talks about her work with Meskwaki RISE, a program supporting and empowering Indigenous survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault. She discusses Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), specifically the disappearance of Rita Papakee, who is from her community, and what we can all do to end this violence. Tyra also shares why she does this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.


    Instagram: tyra.w.flowers
    Twitter: @tyerista
    Tik Tok: @tyrista


    Meskwaki RISE
    Meskwaki RISE Facebook

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
98 Ratings

98 Ratings

HareYoh ,

Decolonizing social work

Shimon and guests do a wonderful job of laying out information in a digestible way. The recent episode of decolonizing social work was particularly enlightening for me. It changed my perspective on social work’s role in society and cause me to begin to brainstorm ideas of what decolonized social work could look like

idkwayne ,

Great podcast

Super informative with awesome guests. Keep up the great Prof Shimon!

Kiwizie ,

Every sw should listen

I am going to echo what one person said that every single social worker should be listening to this podcast! Thank you Shimon!

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