CSM Holds Social Justice Awareness Events at Prince Frederick Campus April 12, 14

Students, Experts Discuss How Socioeconomic Status Affects Today’s Society

“How Socioeconomic Status Affects Today’s Society” is the theme for the College of Southern Maryland’s annual social justice awareness events on April 12 and April 14 at the Prince Frederick Campus.  Experts in mental health, healthcare, law enforcement, social work and education will examine how an individual’s socioeconomic status affects their access to healthcare, housing, education and legal services as well as fairness in the justice system. Events will include guest speakers, a student debate, scholarly poster sessions and a viewing of the film, “Waiting for Superman.”

            The events April 12 will focus on the issues of healthcare and homelessness. The morning sessions will explore issues of socioeconomic class and healthcare led by CSM Counselor Ann Penick. Community Outreach Coordinator Tara Pavao will discuss crisis intervention programs available at the Calvert County Health Department Crisis Intervention Center. CSM student Lori Irvin will share her personal socioeconomic struggle with caring for a child with a congenital heart defect. 

The day’s keynote presentation will feature homeless or formerly homeless persons from the “Faces of Homelessness Speakers Bureau,” an organization seeking to inform the public about the causes, problems, myths and stereotypes imposed on people experiencing homelessness. In addition, Makeba Lawrence and representatives from Calvert County’s Project Echo will discuss the realities of homelessness in Southern Maryland.

CSM Social Services Professor Dr. Arthur Viterito will discuss the changing demographics of Southern Maryland during the afternoon session.

            The events April 14 will explore socioeconomic issues related to education and the justice system.  Lt. Dave McDowell, patrol commander of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, with victim advocate Lori McClain, from the Prince George’s County’s Office of the State's Attorney, will discuss issues and outreach available for homeless individuals in Southern Maryland, and the connection between domestic violence and homelessness.

Students from the CSM Speech and Debate Club will debate the question, “Should the U.S. justice system institute reforms to eliminate social class disparities?” Students will conclude the day by viewing the award-winning film, “Waiting for Superman” which analyzes the American public education system by following hopeful families, waiting in suspense to see if they will be selected by a lottery to gain entrance into successful charter schools.

            CSM’s social justice awareness events are supported by diverse student organizations, including the Social Sciences and Human Services Career Club, the Future Teacher’s Club, the CSM Speech and Debate Club and the Student Government Association.

            Events on April 12 are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include: “Socioeconomic Status and Healthcare from 9 to 10 a.m.; student poster session from 10 to 11:30 a.m.; “The Faces of Homelessness” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.; and “Changing Demographics in Southern Maryland” from 1 to 2 p.m. Events on April 14 are from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and include: “Socioeconomic Status and the Criminal Justice System” from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.; CSM Speech and Debate Club’s “Should the U.S. justice system institute reforms to eliminate social class disparities?” from 1 to 2:15 p.m.; student poster session from 2:30 to 4 p.m.; and showing of film “Waiting for Superman” from 4 to 6 p.m.

            For information on social justice awareness events, visit http://www.csmd.edu/.  

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