Ruth was elderly, a widow, very hungry and giving $1,000 checks to anyone who came to her door if they would just bring her something to eat. Most took the money, but didn’t bring back any food. She gave her car away to someone who promised to bring her food. She was about to sign her house away when Adult Protective Services got involved. The court appointed a guardian for her who ensured she was never hungry again.
[Episode 128] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is a conversation with Dr. Holly Oxhandler.
Dr. Jonathan Singer speaks with Holly about the definitions of religion and spirituality, similarities and differences in religious and spiritual affiliation between social work professionals and their clients, how to address religion and spirituality in practice, and her experience as the co-host of the CXMH podcast.
In November 2017, Kristen Tekell Boyd stands in the pulpit of Truett Seminary’s chapel in Waco, Texas, and preaches, taking Ezekiel chapter 37 as her text. As she describes the valley with the prophet Ezekiel coming upon the dry bones, she reads a key question from the Scripture: “Can these bones live?”
This question might have been asked 20 years before when Carver School of Church Social Work closed in 1997, an event that seemed like a death to many of its alumni.
As individuals and institutions across the country consider necessary changes to effectively fight racism, two terms are gaining familiarity: cultural humility and antiracism.
Kerri Fisher, LCSW, an expert in cultural humility training and lecturer in Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, defines those terms and shares five tips to help people cultivate cultural humility and antiracism in their personal and corporate lives.
“We are all impacted by the supremacist cultures that socialize us,” Fisher said, “so while we are not responsible for our first thought, we are responsible for our second thought and our first action. This means we must be brave enough to admit when our brain, body and behaviors are exhibiting racist reactions.”
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory (Psalm 63:2 NIV).
Nature calms me and reminds me in times of doubt and feeling disconnected from God that the Creator truly is. I find assurance in the creativity of each leaf, tumbling stream, dipping valley, rolling wave, bird song and even the blade of grass surviving against all odds in the crack of the sidewalk.
The minute details of nature act like a balm to my weary soul. They remind me with a fierceness something has been here creating and is still here creating.
Remembering this brings me to God’s sanctuary. Sanctuary is a word too often equated with a building. It actually means “refuge” or safety.” It means God’s very presence.
The uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 public health crisis has placed added focus on mental health. Dr. Holly Oxhandler, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and Assistant Professor in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, is a recognized expert on the intersection of faith and mental health. In this Baylor Connections, she shares how individuals can prioritize their own mental wellbeing through both immediate and long-term practices, and discusses the role of an individual’s faith in their mental health.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Kevin Pranoto.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kevin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there. I grew up in Houston, Texas, in the most diverse county in America. Growing up, I was most fascinated by my Social Studies classes, especially when we discussed the sections on human and civil rights movements. For college, I attended Baylor University, where I received my Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and was pre-med. The sciences was not a fulfilling track for me, and I quickly found out that I was meant to do something different. Shortly after working at MD Anderson Cancer Center as a nutritionist, I switched tracks and went back to Baylor to attend graduate school, where I received a Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Social Work (MSW). My first MSW internship was working with homeless and unaccompanied youth in the Waco Independent School District. I primarily worked with high school students, many of whom had been kicked out of the house and were living in foster care or in group homes.