If You’re Hungry, We Feed You: Food Gnomes TEDxBuffalo video – Matthew L. Schwartz

16 04 2018

Food Gnomes Matthew image

“We only have one question: Are you hungry? If the answer is yes, then we feed you.” – Matthew L. Schwartz

We are thrilled to share this inspiring ten-minute TEDxBuffalo video by Mathew L. Schwartz, MBA, UB MSW student, about the Food Gnomes innovative project to feed people who are hungry! The project is based in Buffalo, NY (Erie County). Matthew started Food Gnomes and was quickly joined by other committed volunteers to create a trauma-informed approach to helping people obtain food.

Video link (also on our YouTube channel in the Innovation playlist)

You can also read the 2016 UB news release about Matthew and Food Gnomes.

Matthew graduates in May 2018 with his MSW and will continue to work on the Food Gnomes project.





In Trayvon’s Memory: Give new meaning to ‘Stand Your Ground’

16 07 2013

imageI am not Trayvon Martin. I am a white female social worker. One day after 20 years as a human service administrator, a well-respected executive  I knew approached me to apply for a senior level position in his agency.  I was so honored and excited.

I was devastated when I proudly shared the news with my husband and one of my closest friends. Without a pause, they both replied that this man only wanted to have sex with me (they did not even know him). I fought back tears both times- how could these people in my life reduce me to nothing more than breasts and vagina with no value to an organization? It made me feel less than a person. I felt very judged, profiled perhaps, as  just a female  whose worth is about sex instead of  my own professional reputation and competence. I cannot begin to imagine how Trayvon must have felt and others like him.

So what can we do about the tragic death of Trayvon? We can STAND OUR GROUND and speak out relentlessly to change laws, to change our society.  Share your thoughts  with our President, legislators, your own neighborhood watch group, etc.  Social media is a powerful tool and you can use the power of it to show politicians how of us many stand behind social change, social justice.  Let them hear your voice and always be sure to VOTE!

Here is a link to an amazing collection of posts  on a site called We Are Not Trayvon Martin where people share their similar experiences, related experiences, compassion, and more. To date there are over 800 posts featuring personal stories about the impact of racism, sexism and discrimination in their lives.  You can add your thoughts in a post on this site. http://wearenottrayvonmartin.com 

Not only can you read these powerful stories and share a link to them on your social media sites and email lists, you can share it  our politicians so they can hear the VOICE of the people.

Speak out and STAND YOUR GROUND for social justice and human rights!

Do not stop speaking out until all people are safe- until racial profiling, gender profiling, civil and human rights violations, and abuse end and we no longer need to weep.

Author: Lesa Fichte LMSW, Director of Continuing Education








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