2016 Advocates' Forum Letter from the Editors

 
FROM THE EDITORS
Advocates’ Forum was founded by students in 1995, and continues to function as a student-run social work journal at the School of Social Service Administration (SSA). The 2016 edition of Advocates’ Forum builds upon the journal’s tradition of engaging issues relevant to social work and social justice. 
 
Christine Kregg’s article confronts the gaps in mental health service provision for exonerees that have been wrongfully imprisoned. Savannah Felix’s article also addresses the justice system, but from the perspective of youth who experience both systems of child welfare and juvenile justice. Kevin Langson’s article explores the currently contested and highly visible issue of refugee resettlement, with a focus on the particular barriers that LGBTQ individuals encounter when seeking refuge and asylum. The article co-authored by Annie Zean Dunbar, Jessica Lloyd, Shauna Taylor, and Lucia Ramirez examines the impact of a youth program seeking to reduce racial tensions in Mari El, Russia.
 
These articles encompass a broad range of topics and perspectives, demonstrating the varied interests and skill sets of SSA students. Yet, they are all connected in their concern for how existing social structures produce oppression and inequality. They also propose recommendations for promoting positive change for individuals and communities that too often experience social exclusion. In this way, they reflect SSA’s approach toward defining problems and shaping solutions.We further believe that these articles represent the aspirations of many social work students to engage across the spectrum of the discipline, integrating clinical and administrative perspectives, and considering local and global issues.
 
We have sought to engage an editorial process that is transparent, collaborative, and critically reflexive. To this end we have also included a letter from the Editorial Board in this year’s edition of Advocates’ Forum. This letter sheds light on the article review process and offers perspective into the dynamics of the SSA experience in 2016.
 
We would like to thank our authors for sharing their outstanding work, and their diligent efforts in preparing their articles for publication. We are also grateful to Assistant Professor Gina Fedock, who has shown unwavering commitment to supporting the editorial board in her first year as the journal’s faculty advisor; to Daniel Listoe, Ph.D., our writing consultant that worked closely with authors to help them present their best work; to Julie Jung, Director of Marketing and Communications; and Dean Neil Guterman. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the Editorial Board. This year’s journal would not have been possible without their dedication to the editorial process.
 
Andrea Haidar
Jessica Smith