School of Social Work seminar today wraps up Black History Month

York Professor Wilburn Hayden Jr., director of the Atkinson School of Social Work at York University, and Professor Wanda Thomas-Bernard of Dalhousie University in Halifax headline the third annual School of Social Work Black History Month Seminar. The seminar, which takes place tonight, at 7pm, in Vari Hall on York’s Keele campus, will feature presentations and discussions on the topics of White privilege and the pursuit of social justice for African Canadians.

A leading expert on Black Applachians, Hayden joined York University after a long and distinguished career at the California University of Pennsylvania where he was professor and director of the Master of Social Work Program, within the Social Work Department.

Left: Wilburn Hayden Jr.

Having grown up in the county of Forsyth in North Carolina, he has worked and been involved in Appalachian studies for a lifetime and has taught in three Appalachian universities. He was featured in the PBS documentary film "The Appalachians", which has been shown regularly on local PBS stations since April 2005. His scholarship has been complemented by extensive community practice as well as professional credentials that include the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Hayden’s presentation is titled "White Privilege: Close Up and Personal."

Thomas-Bernard is a community advocate who roots her research, teaching and practice in current community struggles. In 2005, she was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada. She is a professor and director of the Maritime School of Social Work at Dalhousie University. Thomas-Bernard’s teaching and research interests are in the areas of discrimination, racism, oppression and empowerment.

Left:  Wanda Thomas-Bernard

Highly regarded for addressing racial and cultural diversity in social work education and in the community, Thomas-Bernard has shared her expertise in family and social development with local, provincial and national organizations, most notably as a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers. Thomas-Bernard’s presentation is titled "The Pursuit of Social Justice for African Canadians: What role does social work play?".

This free seminar begins at 7pm and is open to the York community. Following the presentations, there will be a discussion. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call ext. 55226, or e-mail