Contact279 Williams Street, Room 345, Athens, GA 30602
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane McPherson develops, evaluates, and advocates for human rights-based approaches to social work practice in the U.S. and around the world. She also conducts archival research exploring how local Georgia histories of charity and social work entwine with ideologies of white supremacy and capitalism, and asks questions about how these histories still echo in social work practice today. As an arts activist, McPherson was an organizer for One Million Bones, a nationwide anti-genocide initiative that created and laid one million handmade bones on the National Mall. A licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), McPherson worked for 20 years in child protection, bereavement, mental health, maternal-child health, infant mental health, and torture treatment before becoming a professor.
Complex Cloth is Dr. McPherson’s ongoing project documenting the multiple histories related to the University of Georgia School of Social Work, the profession of social work in Athens, and the historic mill building that the School now occupies at 279 Williams Street in Athens, Georgia. To learn more: https://complexcloth.org/
Telling Complicated Stories or Why History Matters for Social Work
This 3-part lecture complicates the stories we tell about the social work profession, while looking locally at the history of Athens, Georgia. In Part 1, McPherson discusses social work’s history of “facilitating injustice” (Yoosun Park’s term) and provides a few examples that reach beyond Georgia. In Part 2, she highlights the stories of pioneering Black social workers and social work institutions in Georgia, whose histories should be shared more widely. In Part 3, she brings us back to Athens, Georgia, where she lives and works, where she delves into the history of the Athens Factory (in whose building the University of Georgia School of Social Work now operates) and then explores links between social work’s beginnings here and a dominant white supremacist ideology.
Slavery at UGA: A Tour of North Campus
Truth telling is a social work intervention. The short film Slavery at UGA: A Tour of North Campus (co-produced by Jane McPherson), is an effort to truthfully narrate some of the University of Georgia’s difficult history. The film illuminates this history and also contributes to discussions of how this history should be remembered, memorialized, and addressed today.
One Million Bones
One Million Bones was a national arts-activism project that laid one million handmade bones on the National Mall in Washington, DC, as a visible petition against ongoing genocide and mass atrocity. Jane McPherson explains the project in this video documenting the installation of 25,000 ceramic bones in Tallahassee, Florida, in April 2012.
Human rights & social work; global social work; social work history; social work practice; arts activism
Human rights & social work; global social work; social work history; immigrants and refugees; maternal-child health; social work education