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Black Brilliance in Social Work: Alumna Sherene Whyte

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FIFSW Alumna Sherene WhyteWhere to do you work and what is your role there?

I work at Nisichawayassihk Neyo Ohtinwak Collegiate in Nelson House Manitoba as a guidance counsellor.

What communities do you work with?

I have worked with Black youth in the past, and I currently work with Indigenous children and youth. I approach my work from a learner perspective. So I respond to those I work with by saying that I have learned from my children and youth, that I know nothing, and that nothing can be accomplished without collaborative work and the willingness to be vulnerable.

What part of your work or journey in social work are you most proud of?

I am most proud of being able to work with different communities and experience other cultures. For example, I have travelled to South Africa and interacted with young people who are passionate about their ancestry and making connections to their future. Similarly, working with Indigenous youth allows me to experience their culture while being with them in the moment.

What is a professional or personal goal that you would like to achieve?

I would like to create a network consisting of all Guidance Counselors within Northern Indigenous communities in order to collaborate and share resources to better serve our children and youth in the North.

What advice do you have for Black social workers entering the field?

Never give advice. Always be open to learning, unlearning and relearning.

Recommended reading:

Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise”. Read it more than once, at different stages of your life. Journalize your feelings and emotions each time. After several years, reflect.

Throughout the month of February we will be highlighting the work of Black social workers in our Faculty and around the world. If you would like to highlight a Black social worker or are a Black social worker yourself, connect with us.

> Black History Month 2022: Check out our list of upcoming events and programs

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