Social Work Global Conference Report 2018

Melissa Upreti’s presentation will discuss the accountability of public and private actors embedded in local communities for human rights violations associated with slavery-like practices. Using child marriage as an example, the presentation will focus on how slavery-like practices are shaped by discriminatory gender stereotypes and continue with impunity. Contemporary forms of slavery are sustained by structural discrimination linked to poverty, racism, and gender discrimination. The presentation will highlight strategies that have been used by activists to tackle these drivers of slavery and advance social justice by linking local activism to the global human rights discourse. After the initial section on the socio-individualistic nature of human cognitive life, we look at recent discussions about the status of groups or communities as epistemic agents. It is argued that groups have an autonomous epistemic status because their collective judgments cannot be reduced to the judgments of their members on pain of paradox. This implies that groups or communities with internal structure, meeting the requirements of the epistemic agency, exist independently of their individual members. We develop a sketch of an epistemology which can ensure epistemic justice to the doxastic attitudes of communities, particularly the vulnerable ones that have been exploited in the past or are being oppressed currently. This epistemology of communitarian contextualism has the following elements to it: communitarian doxastic attitudes supervene over the doxastic attitudes of individual members and can be multiply realized, there can be irreducible differences between the doxastic attitudes of different communities and groups, such communities also have a broad range of shared beliefs about the world, and finally, knowledge-ascription across such communities can be carried out with testimonial and hermeneutical justice only through the exercise of what I call dual intellectual virtuosity. Legislative Fixes and Advocacy: What You Can Do The aim of this presentation is to provide individuals with a tangible understanding of how to address the social and economic injustices faced by people experiencing modern-day slavery. This local call-to-action is accompanied by education pertaining to the tools necessary to intervene on a legislative level. Executives from varying organizations within the community will discuss their organizational mission, the needs they address within the community, challenges they face, and future organizational goals that they hope to achieve in regard to addressing human trafficking and exploitation within the local community. MSW/MPA Candidate, The American penal system holds a generous portion of the captive labor force, which is proving to be detrimental to poor and working-class Americans. Corporations have used the growing prison system as access to this large labor force that can work for less pay. The presenters will discuss the historical context, implications, and underpinnings of forced labor and how it occurs within the prison systems of the United States.