Local social work group publishes textbook

May 2, 2014
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Mission Hill-based Boston Liberation Health (BLH) members have released a book, “Social Justice in Clinical Practice: A Liberation Health Framework for Social Work,” on incorporating social justice activism into social services work.

Dawn Belkin Martinez, BLH’s co-founder and Lecturer in Clinical Practice at the Boston University School of Social Work told the Gazette she decided to co-edit and contribute to the book because she kept hearing from recent social work graduates that they needed a guide to integrating social justice activism into their day-to-day case management.

“I kept hearing from my students that they were learning all this social justice theory but that when they left the classroom, they didn’t know how to do it,” she said. “There wasn’t a recent text that gave a practical methodology in seeing the connections between private troubles and the larger sociopolitical picture.”

“A lot of people go into social work because they want to make the connections” and the book will help them do that, she said. “Our whole purpose was to give concrete examples in how to do this.”

Belkin Martinez told the Gazette her work on the book was definitely informed by her activism, and social work’s history of activism.

“Social Work has a strong history of activism from the 1930s onward,” she said. “It’s just not emphasized. Social work has been doing this a long time.”

And while the book is targeted at social work professionals, Belkin Martinez said it is absolutely accessible to the public.

“This book is for social workers, for community activists, for anyone who is interested in seeing complexity in how things connect,” she said.

“Social Justice in Clinical Practice” is available from amazon.com and bookstores.

The cover of “Social Justice in Clinical Practice.” (Courtesy Photo)

The cover of “Social Justice in Clinical Practice.” (Courtesy Photo)

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