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Unique Opportunity for Children Ages 5-14; UT School of Social Work, Topic: Oppression

On Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6, the University of Texas School of Social Work is hosting the 5th National Liberation-Based Healing Conference here in Austin.  They are offering a unique opportunity to families with children ages 5 – 14 to help with a demonstration on techniques for approaching the concept of insiders/outsiders and oppression with children.

Children who participate in this opportunity will watch brief clips from the movie Avatar that dramatize (in an appropriately low-key way) situations that the children encounter in their lives.   The group leaders, Judith Lockard and Caroline Hann (both from the Institute for Family Services), will facilitate discussion by asking questions that elicit thoughtful responses about the dilemmas and challenges children normally struggle with (friendship, bullying, changes in life such as moving, being different from others, etc.)   With guidance from the group leaders, children will create a very brief skit using the characters in the movie to express the issues and feelings generated by the situation.  They will then be encouraged to switch roles and try out different responses to the situation, moving away from traditional norms to expanded liberatory narratives.

Families who wish to participate are asked to come to a practice/orientation on Thursday, November 4th from 4 – 6:30pm.  This will take place at SafePlace, located at 1515 A Grove Blvd (call them at 267-7233 if you have trouble finding them.)  On the morning of Saturday, November 6, families are asked to arrive at the conference, located at El Buen Samaritano (7000 Woodhue Dr., 439-0700) by 8:00am in order to get comfortable and re-establish connection with the group leaders before the conference attendees show up at 9:00am.  Participants are asked to stay until 12:00pm.  Please email if you would like to participate in this opportunity.

For more information about the conference, visit  the conference website at or view the conference brochure at

Details at a Glance:

  • Who – Families with children ages 5 – 14
  • Practice/Orientation – Thursday, November 4 from 4 – 6:30pm; SafePlace, 1515 A Grove Blvd, 267-7233
  • Demonstration – Saturday, November 6 from 8am – 12pm; El Buen Samaritano, 7000 Woodhue Dr., 439-0700
  • Contact- Please send your child(ren)’s name(s) and age(s) and your contact info. to if you would like participate.

Group Leader Bios

Judith Lockard, LCSW, CAC., is a postgraduate trained family therapist and addictions specialist. She maintained a private family therapy practice in the Princeton area for 15 years and has been on the faculty since 1996. Her expertise is in the intersection of addictions and domestic violence. Since 2001 she has facilitated the Alliance for Racial and Economic Justice. She has done extensive training over a 20-year period in the areas of domestic violence, addiction, and family life cycle issues. She has published on these topics in journals and book chapters.

Caroline Hann, LCSW, is a team member at The Institute for Family Services in Somerset, NJ, as well as Affinity Counseling Group in North Brunswick, NJ. Ms. Hann earned her Master of Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City (2004), and recently completed a two-year post graduate program at the Institute for Family Services in Transformative Family Therapy (2007).  At IFS, Ms. Hann is director of the children and adolescent program and is currently authoring an article “Remembering children within a social justice landscape: therapeutic strategies of intervening with children”.  In addition to her work with families, Ms. Hann is also a member of the Alliance for Racial and Social Justice (2006), a non-profit organization committed to anti-racism and liberation work around the issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and white privilege.

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