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2017 State System Summit

Session 15

Contact 2017 State System Summit  

2017 State System Summit

13-15 University Ave.
West Chester, PA 19382

Hiram G. Martinez
2017 Summit Chairperson
Phone: 610-436-2433

Civil Discourse and Intergroup Dialogues: Promoting Diversity and Social Justice

  • 3:00 PM – 3:55 PM

This presentation will highlight preliminary results of a study addressing issues of diversity and inclusion. Given the deeply polarized current political and social environment, it is necessary find innovative ways to connect with one another, building bridges within and among our university communities. Intergroup dialogue, using techniques of civil discourse, is a modality to productively discuss difficult topics. Students worked collaboratively across disciplines to identify issues and barriers to civil discourse and to create strategies to overcome individual and institutional obstacles in their personal and professional lives. Through these discussions connections were made, bridges were built, and communities were extended. The presenters will discuss the development, implementation, and findings of this research project, as well as lessons learned.


Alison Knapp, WCU Student Volunteer


Dr. Joyous Bethel, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Millersville University
Dr. Joyous Bethel earned her BA and MSW from the University of Oklahoma and her PhD, in social work, from Barry University. She has extensive experience in hospice car as a social worker and bereavement clinician as well as an administrator. She served on the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's (NHPCO) task force for access to hospice care by minority groups. She teaches social work at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Millersville University. Her interests are complicated mourning, trauma, spirituality, creativity, wellness, and diversity.

Dr. Loenora E. Foels, Associate Professor of Social Work at Millersville University
Dr. Foels teaches at the BSW, MSW, and DSW levels. Dr. Foels received her PhD from Barry University School of Social Work in 2007 and MSW from Simmons College School of Social Work in 2003. A licensed clinician, the focal point of Dr. Foels research agenda includes social work practice, diversity, social justice and change, social work education issues, and using technology in education. In 2015, she was appointed chairperson of the President's Commission on Cultural Diversity & Inclusion (PCCDI).

Dr. Jennifer Frank, Instructor of School of Social Work at Millersville University
Dr. Jennifer Frank is an instructor in the BSW and MSW programs at Millersville University. Dr. Frank holds a PhD from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. Her dissertation was a qualitative study entitled "Making it work: Small town system building in homelessness services." Dr. Frank is currently engaged in several research projects to explore various issues, which include: perceptions of poverty, socio-economic distance, critical civil discourse, and food insecurity. In the classroom, Dr. Frank enjoys creating an atmosphere of intense dialogue around pertinent and controversial issues of social welfare. A proponent of social justice, Dr. Frank seeks to engage students in broad thinking around issues at the macro level to create an environment conducive to social action and change.

Dr. Alexandra Redcay, Assistant Professor of School of Social Work at Millersville University
Dr. Alex Redcay is Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), an Assistant Professor, MSW Coordinator at Millersville University and the Executive Director at Serise ( Dr. Redcay's teaching and research interests include behavioral health, LGBT issues, advanced research methods and works as an expert witness consultant, trainer, and program evaluator.