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My Social Work Voice - December 2014

December 2, 2014

My name is Harold Pliszka and I will finish my Master of Social Work degree next summer specializing in international and community development.  My future is exciting – it’s so bright you might want to put on your shades.

In a way, my education is coming full circle, twenty-some years ago, I completed a Bachelors degree in Foods and Nutrition. Back then, I had an interest in community and public health. That interest has grown into a full-blown passion for social justice everywhere.

Social equity is huge for me, I feel it is a requirement for healthy societies, global peace and to save our planet from pollution and climate change. Will all this happen in my lifetime? Not likely. But I do plan on contributing to the changes required.

To contribute to change, I will use research to influence sound evidence-based policy decisions. I will analyze, influence and develop policy to the betterment of society.  I will practice social work with a social justice lens inspired by third and fourth wave feminism.

I have 20 years of for-profit business experience and owned a communications and branding firm focused on new and print media for the last 15.  Ten years ago this month, I returned with my wife and a friend from vacation in Tanzania and Kenya.  People I met during that trip inspired me to assemble an international team to start Helping Youth Through Educational Scholarships. That organization has now provided more than one thousand scholarships for secondary students in Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Guatemala.

I will combine this experience, my MSW knowledge, and the things I learn from others every single day to be a strong advocate for myself and for others.  I am well suited to performing leadership roles in non-profit organizations and possibly even government.

I have played active board-level roles in organizations serving community, education, ending homelessness and overcoming addictions, and LGBTTIQQ2SAA persons.  These roles enable me to learn more from the advocacy of others.

Currently, I am most interested in issues pertaining to human rights, gender and sexual diversity, aging, homelessness, mental health, education, economics and politics. All from an anti-oppressive perspective.

As I move forward to completing my last term of studies, I will endeavour to learn even more from professors, fellow students and independent study. An international practicum in a multi-lateral organization will round-out my studies as I move toward a brand new career in social work.

View the video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/furraZXv_c4.

“To contribute to change, I will use research to influence sound evidence-based policy decisions. I will analyze, influence and develop policy to the betterment of society.  I will practice social work with a social justice lens inspired by third and fourth wave feminism." (Pliszka, 2014)


Related links:
Video on YouTube