Eastern Michigan University educator to host One Love Symposium focused on improving point of service contacts between human service professionals and the public

YPSILANTI — As a result of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests against police brutality that followed, Anna Gersh, an Eastern Michigan University educator and EMU Bright Futures project administrator, founded the One Love Symposium.

A three-phase initiative, the One Love Symposium is a vehicle to improve the skills of education, healthcare, and law enforcement professionals around key features of their jobs that have led to gross inequities in the treatment of individuals of different races and classes. It seeks to address and improve the first point of contact between these human service professionals and the public, exploring what professionals need to know in order to offer the best services they can to those they encounter.

The first phase took place throughout the summer and included the creation and collection of surveys that focused on gathering feedback from community members about what human service professionals need to know to be effective in their roles. Those survey results are now being used to drive phase two of the project: a preview event at the Ann Arbor District Library from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

The event will feature discussions on values-focused decision making with Michael Johnson, a professor in the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs at McCormack Graduate School in Boston, Wendy Burke, teacher education department head at EMU, Rebecca Guzman, founding member of the Michigan Community Health Workers Alliance, and Brandon Tucker, associate vice president of workforce and community development at Washtenaw Community College and director of the WCC Police Academy. The meeting will also be broadcast during a fundraising event at the Blue Llama Jazz Club in Ann Arbor.

In February 2022, the final phase—The One Love Symposium—will include a writing contest for teens, performances by local musicians and various panel discussions about shared human values. Complete details for the events can be found on the One Love Symposium schedule of events webpage.

Eventually, Gersh hopes that the initiative will result in the creation of a course that human service professionals can complete to earn certification and continuing education credits.

The event has been approved by the State of Michigan to offer State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) for teachers continuing education and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits for social workers continuing education. Please reach out to onelovesymposium@gmail.com for details.

For more information about the One Love Symposium, visit the Symposium homepage.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

September 23, 2021

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Morgan Mark