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Leading with heart

Advocating for Just and Equitable Systems

How We Advocate for Just and Equitable Systems

The Morrison Family College of Health teaches students about dismantling systemic health inequities, an emphasis which is rooted in the mission of St. Thomas and drawn from Catholic social teaching. Only by addressing fundamental causes of health inequities, such as racism and poverty, can we improve health and well-being for all people, regardless of background. We believe it is incumbent upon all of us to use our knowledge and skills to not only deliver services, but also to advocate for reducing the barriers that prevent people and families from accessing the health and support services they need to survive, thrive, and flourish.

An emphasis on health equity and social justice is woven throughout College of Health programs. Students, faculty, and alumni also find many opportunities to focus their work in areas about which they are most passionate. Explore some of the ways we advocate for just and equitable systems in the College of Health.

Master of Social Work Areas of Emphasis

Practice with Older Adults and Their Families

Gero-social work includes attention to physical, social, familial, cultural, community, and societal factors that serve as barriers to well-being of older adults and their families.
Gero Social Work

Practice with Immigrants and Refugees

Clinical practice with people of immigrant and refugee backgrounds recognizes the cultural factors that contribute to mental health among immigrants and refugees.
Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees
Students gather after a walk out

Confronting societal challenges

Social Work for Social Justice

School of Social Work faculty look to Catholic Social Teaching as a rich resource to inform and further specify social justice goals of social work education and practice. Catholic Social Teaching represents a “tradition of ethics” derived from papal encyclicals, scripture and other major church documents.

Social Work for Social Justice (PDF)

Thought Leadership

Headshot of Bryana French Headshot of Chris Vye Headshot of Catherine Marrs Fuchsel Headshot of Katharine Hill

Radical Times Call For Radical Healing

Bryana H. French, Ph.D., LP, writes about evidence-based practices that promote individual and collective healing in the face of racism in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder.


OCD and COVID-19

Chair of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology Dr. Christopher Vye discusses the challenges of living with obsessive compulsive disorder during a pandemic.

Tommie Experts: OCD and COVID-19

Facing Domestic Abuse Among Immigrant Latinas

Catherine Luz Marrs Fuchsel, an associate professor and director of the doctoral program in the School of Social Work, shares her knowledge in order to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Tommie Experts: Facing Domestic Abuse Among Immigrant Latinas

Voting is Health Care (and Social Work!)

Dr. Katharine Hill, director of the School of Social Work, explores the correlation between voting and the health and well-being of our communities.

Voting Is Health Care (and Social Work)!