Last week, a group of students from the Certificate for Social Work with Latinos/as and I presented at the DU Graduate Research and Performance Summit (DU RAPS). Along with a handful of other MSW students, we contributed our perspective and shared a framework that can often be quite different from that of other academic programs.
Specifically, we shared our experiential learning from the Puebla, MX trip and discussed our views on immigration, influenced both by our classroom learning and field experience. Overall, presenting at DU RAPS was challenging and valuable as a growth experience. We were placed in a section titled “Power, Privilege, and Resistance” with one other presenter from GSSW, one from Performance Studies, and one from Communication Studies. I was proud to be contributing to the conversation from an applied perspective and to be learning from others with differing theoretical frameworks.
I want this blog to encourage others to present in the future. We make up a significant portion of the Graduate student population on campus (totaling at approximately 6,000). We have strong foundations in social justice, human rights, and ecological approaches. We bring a perspective that differs from other departments, in that we directly apply our learning every week in our field placements. Furthermore, as professionals in the field, I think it is important to have these interdisciplinary dialogues outside of our social work-framed conversations. After all, if our aim is to effect social change, we can’t be relegated to conversations amongst one another.
Just to demystify DU RAPS, here are some (I hope) helpful insights about the summit:
- You can present on research, you can perform a piece, or you can reflect on experiential learning (something we are extremely well-versed in doing :)).
- The application process is somewhat simple with just a 250 word abstract for the presentation.
- Presentations happen in break-out rooms that are themed to group the different presenters together. Rooms can hold up to 50 people. You have access to things like power-point or images if that seems appropriate.
- Your presentation can be no longer than 10 minutes but it’s more of a gentle warning rather than a cut off.
- The facilitator will draw connections between the presentations and ask for you to dialogue.
- Everyone is very welcoming and in the spirit of encouraging this cross-disciplinary event.
- There is free food!
I hope to see more GSSW presenters in the future and I hope we all grow from the interdisciplinary dialogues this event promotes.