Expecting Acceptance: Group Autoethnographic Reflections of What is Reasonable


Heather Sloane, PhD, MSW, LISW; Ciara Cuthbert, MSW, LSW; Courtney Chalfin, MSW, LSW; Josh Davies, MSW, LSW; Chantal Crane; Michelle Blue, BSW; Murtaza Syedt; Juli Lambert; Austen Allen; Alyssa Chitenden; Shakirrah Hudspeth; Jenaie Johnson & Skylar Sparks | September 20 | 2:45-3:45 PM

Topic: Art | Knowledge Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

The Fearless Writers is a creative writing and autoethnography group developed as a community classroom alternative and participatory action research pilot. The panel members met weekly for one academic year to discuss social separation and autoethnography method. This group was the result of collaboration between high school juniors of Rogers High School’s AVID program and interprofessional students from the University of Toledo, mainly the social work program and the medical school. These discussions inspired weekly writing prompts about careful observation, the limitations of observation, what divides us from other people and what connects us with other people. The group engaged in regular strengths-based feedback about observations and writing. Group members were free to be as creative as possible in their writing using Amherst Writers and Artists method. From initial writing, the group shared concerns about expectations and acceptance. Research group members will be reading excerpts of their writing and what the group learned from writing and sharing regularly about subtle acts of marginalization that contribute to larger policy practices of social separation. This research group also contributed to the exhibit Shining Light: Monsters, Mysteries, and How Society Divides Us being displayed at this 15th International Human Trafficking & Social Justice Conference.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Describe how communities can honor and respect the insights of young people.

·  Identify the impact of social separation in the United States and how it contributes to health disparities.

·  Demonstrate the power of creative writing, art, and photography to raising awareness about injustice.

·  Counter stereotypes about youth and understand how disrupting stereotypes is crucial in erasing implicit bias.

·  Inspire future research involving youth and interprofessional students that encourages connection and better understanding of differences.

About the Presenters