Remarks from Nicole McCullough, Master's Student Representative
Class of 2015 Convocation
Dean Videka, Associate Dean Shibusawa, Trustee Silver, and distinguished guests,
We gather here today to celebrate the individual and collective accomplishments of the Silver Community.
On behalf of the Graduating MSW Class of 2015, I want to thank the families who've supported us, the faculty who've guided us, the friends who've cried with us, and the clients who've inspired us.
This day captures countless moments that could have ended in failure, but instead were overcome by success.
On this day, our road to success is captured in the diplomas we receive, the gowns we wear and the stoles we bear…
As you look across the auditorium, notice the message communicated by students, administrators, and faculty—a message of solidarity, which marks our commitment to the field of social work.
(Black Lives Matters Stoles)
These stoles are reminders of the mornings we've protested, the nights we've marched, and the days we've lobbied for social and systemic justice.
Those moments turned the students before you into advocates, and those advocates into leaders and leaders into agents of change. Following a year of tremendous challenges dividing communities across the U.S., we emerge united despite our differences.
As social workers, we must dare to challenge the system, challenge the status quo, and challenge ourselves.
Remember that our commitment to advocacy began here, but must continue long after we cross this stage.
Remember the leaders who were brave enough to pave the road less traveled, so that we might have the opportunity to take it.
Martin Luthers and Maya Angelous.
Lucy Stone and Elizabeth Stanton.
Lavern Cox and Harvey Milk.
Use their message as maps to guide our future:
"Has identified injustice anywhere as a threat to justice everywhere"
"Reminds us that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
"Shares that the future belongs to those who are inspired to pursue their dreams."
Today marks the beginning of that pursuit and the potential for a better tomorrow.
So, be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to stand alone, and strong enough to lead a movement.
We are the future of change. We are the future of social work!
It is now my great pleasure to introduce one of the greatest advisers, advocates, and mentors within our Silver community, Associate Dean Tazuko Shibusawa.