Happy New Year! I hope 2018 brings peace, joy, and fulfillment to us all. I thought now would be a good time to more thoroughly introduce myself and my story.
I decided long ago that I wanted to help people. Specifically, I wanted to change the inequities I saw growing up; the contradictions between what I was being taught in school and what I was witnessing in my neighborhoods. The concept that one need only work hard to succeed didn't really seem to manifest that easily, since some of the hardest working people I knew never really managed to get the recognition and success I thought they deserved.
I knew that I needed more information, more education, to figure out why and how these discrepancies existed. I started out in psychology, but eventually moved toward macro level social work. What does that mean? Good question! You can find out more here.
What drew me to macro social work was the realization that individual (micro) and group or family (mezzo) level problems were often attributable to community and population (macro) level systems and structures. These systems and structures are connected to and support each other in ways that perpetuate inequality. I wanted the opportunity to understand and dismantle oppressive systems.
Once I realized that I wanted to be a social worker, I enrolled in the master's program at the University of Tennessee, eventually becoming one of only a few students in my program to conduct research for a master's thesis. I had known for a long time that I needed to continue toward a doctoral degree. Being accepted into the Ph.D. program at Fordham University meant I returned home to New York. There were some challenges, the greatest being related to my health. But I persevered and became Dr. Dopwell.
I find that the most difficult issue I'm facing today is that there are so many problems that need to be addressed. And I am only one person. But one person can do a lot, especially when she has the support of others. I am hopeful that in 2018 I can connect my knowledge and skills to those of others in a way that brings about the remedies we as a country need going forward.
Thank you for reading, and once again Happy New Year!