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BIPOC, BLIA, or BILPOC? Engaging in Difficult Conversations on Anti-Racism, Equity, Justice, etc.

This is an interactive workshop designed to facilitate consulting and collaborating with faculty and students to effectively engage in difficult conversations. The emphasis is on incorporating education on anti-racism, equity, justice, white privilege, and supremacy in our coursework. Discussions of student/faculty-student interactions as well as current media examples are included.

Rhonda Hayes photo

Rhonda Hayes


Rhonda Hayes received her M.S.W. from West Virginia University’s School of Social Work, at the Wheeling extended campus and currently holds an Independent Clinical Social Work License. She earned her bachelor’s degree with University of Maryland University College online while living overseas. She taught early childhood and elementary education and carried her passion for families and children into social work.In social work Rhonda worked in the field of domestic violence as the Director of the YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program, served on the WV Board of Directors for Family Protection Services, held a WV Domestic Violence Advocate Certification, and served on the West Virginia Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. She then moved to WV DHHR as a Child Protective Service Worker and later to community corrections where she earned an Advanced Drug and Alcohol Certification while counseling with the Lee Day Report Center. Rhonda later, developed and implemented a recovery/reentry program for women through the YWCA. Rhonda is a certified trainer for Love and Logic parenting, as well as, High Conflict Parenting Education. After working with abuse, addiction, mental illness, and violence, she desires to bring understanding of the complex dynamics of these social issues and quality intervention that will break the cycles of abuse and oppression.

Mandy Weirich photo

Mandy Weirich


Mandy Weirich is a graduate of the MSW program at West Virginia University and she received her B. A. in Criminology at St. Leo University, Norfolk Campus. Ms. Weirich’s entire college career was spent as a non-traditional student, attending evening and online classes, while working and raising a family. Ms. Weirich has over a decade of experience in the rural aging field, including Adult Protective Services, Statewide Trainer for Adult Services and Adult Protective Services, and Program Manager for Healthy Home--an innovative supportive housing and health model for low-income Seniors.

Ms. Weirich has been the recipient of several awards in her field including: the inaugural WV NASW Karen J. Glazier Award for Social Work in Gerontology, David K. Brown Scholar, Hartford Fellow through the Mountain State Partnership at WVU, Adult Protective Services Worker of the Year. She has co-authored several publications on topics of social isolation and rural service networks, contributed to the NAPSA Adult Protective Services Abuse Registry National Report, and was interviewed about formal and informal caregiver roles for an issue of NASW Social Work Advocates. Her primary interests are in the field of gerontology, policy, health care, and the use of technology in education and social work.