As a welfare recipient, I thought the system was unfair. As a case manager and researcher, I was appalled by how welfare was distributed.
Why are we screening and discussing “Kids for Cash”? With our partners Active Voice, SenArt Films and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, we at the Adler School believe it’s critical to examine the juvenile justice issues raised in this film.
On Dec. 12, the Adler School Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice will host the Chicago pre-release screening of “Kids for Cash”–a new documentary on a juvenile justice scandal—and discussion with the film’s director and Illinois experts discussing juvenile justice reform.
The psychological state of victims is always considered during emergency management. Yet only recently has the field begun giving attention to how first responders and their families, as well as entire cities and communities, are psychologically affected.
I’m not saying that as a therapist I’m going to solve gun violence, or come up with one catch-all solution for families to communicate better. But if my peers and I can practice in a way that works to impact what affects families and communities, then we will be socially responsible.
I love how the Adler School flips the script. You take as premise that systems and situations shape our identities and interactions, but you quickly caution that this insight shouldn’t make us feel powerless. Instead, you remind us of a great but oft-forgotten truth.
Like many of my fellow graduates, I am not a Chicago native. I moved here from Denver. Two years later, I know how to navigate the entire city by CTA, survive a demanding work and class schedule with too little sleep and too much caffeine, and how to utilize mental health resources in order to help the community I now call home.
I learned of McDowell County in West Virginia, the poorest county within, arguably, the poorest state in our nation. I learned of the numerous disadvantages experienced by its residents who see their future in the mirror of their past. And I remember Adler’s words: “If we do not live in a suitable societal situation, we have the obligation to change it.”