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March & April 2020

Monthly Newsletter of the
Western Institute for Social Research

A Premier Academic Institute for Social Change
Since 1975

2930 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94705

(510) 655-2830 

Look for our page and group on Facebook, also WISRBerkeley on Twitter.
Current newsletters with seminar descriptions, events and other announcements will be posted at  

Those with email can find these dates on Google Calendar.

All seminars and events are onsite and online, *except where it indicates they are online only and not onsite. 

JUNE 12-13, 2020



*Mon. 3/9, 6-8pm
Yack & Hack: WISR's Future As An Online Learning Institution: online only

Sat. 3/14
Richard Lawrence Reflections on Battles
with Racism

*Mon. 4/13
6-8pm Yack & Hack: WISR's Future As An Online Learning Institution: online only

Sat. 4/25
10am-12:30pm Panel: The Green New Deal & Environmental Justice, Where Do We Go From Here?

Sat. 5/30, 10:00am-12:30pm Professional Wellbeing, A Turning Of The Soul! (Continued from Feb. 29)

MFT Seminars (w/CEUs* see details below)

Sat. 3/7, 10am-1pm
Psychopathology and Diagnostic Principles IV

*Sat. 3/21, 10am-12pm
Practicum Process Group
: online only

*Sat. 4/11, 10am-12pm
Practicum Process Group
 online only

Sat. 4/18 10am-1pm Psychopathology and Diagnostic Principles on Personality Disorders V

Mini Conference And Graduation Dates Confirmed:
Friday-Saturday, June 12-13, 2020

You are invited to visit with the 
Exhibitions of Western Institute for Social Research (WISR)
at Oakland Farmers Markets at the following dates.  Please contact Dalia Liang, 
510.207.1359,, if you're willing to staff the Exhibitions for a couple of hours. We would love to take turns, so we all can do some shopping for fresh groceries. 

Grand Ave & Lake Park Ave, Oakland
Saturdays, March 21 & April 11th, 9:00am–2pm

5300 Claremont Ave, Oakland (DMV Parking Lot)
Sundays, March 29 & April 26, 9am–1pm


Important Information and Disclosures about WISR Seminars and Events

WISR T-Shirt Sale--$15 each or 2 for $28.00. Limited sizes and colors are available. Contact us for choices still available:


INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR(S)  are a way for WISR students to learn about core subjects of social change, writing, multiculturalism, adult/higher education, community leadership and social action-research. Community members are welcome to participate as well.  Students are strongly requested to participate in at least one seminar each month, unless they have an unavoidable conflict.  Students also have the option of creating seminars on topics of interest, of forming their own peer discussion groups, and developing regular collaborations with other WISR students. 

(Online/Webinar only; not on site) 

Monday, March 9th, April 13th
Meets the 2nd Monday of each month
Mark Wilson, WISR’s Learning Experience Designer\ Technologian. 

Mark Wilson will demonstrate the structure of the internet, how we connect to each other, and applications we can use to find, create and distribute digital works. 

To join from a distance use Zoom Meeting ID 774 808 774 or by phone 669 900 6833. For help with technical difficulties call 510 655 2830 or email or



Saturday, March 14, 2020,
10:00 am-12:30pm

Victor Bloomberg, LCSW, WISR Ed.D. Student,  and Richard Lawrence, MDiv, WISR Board of Directors, Facilitators. In conversation with therapist Victor Bloomberg, author, activist and retired minister Richard Lawrence recently asked, “How is it that I’ve always known that I’m loved and lovable despite all of the abuse that I’ve suffered from racism?” Implicit in Richard’s question is a premise: the power required for emancipation is love. Our dialog is intimate. Intimacy is healing, empowering; and the vulnerability is mutual. Clinical education for psychotherapy attempts to teach methods of intimacy constrained by the Hippocratic Oath. We hope to show examples of non-clinical intimacy guided by the same ethics. Richard and Victor plan to use the seminar conversation and post-seminar feedback to guide their continuing efforts. Their project’s goal is to create short videos that can be used at WISR and in the community to support social justice activists.

This will be the premier showing of an 8 minute video that Richard and Victor produced. In it, Richard shares an incident of racism and imagines turning it into an educational resource to combat racism. The significance of racist injustice is discussed. It is the second video produced by Victor and Richard in the past few months. The first video they produced was shared on the WISR Community Discussion Forum at Google Plus. The theme that ties each video is: “Respect for dignity empowers and emancipates.” The first video provides some context for the seminar. The Youtube  link is: . Following the premier of the second video, the seminar conversation will begin!

Richard Lawrence and Victor Bloomberg co-founded a nonprofit,  "Info Power To The People, Inc.," in 2004. Its mission is to support the development of  grassroots organizations. Both of them emerged from the historic wave of movements for human and civil rights during the 1960s. Richard's work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Jesse Jackson in Chicago instilled in him a lifelong dedication to social justice activism. Richard's memoir is the foundation for continuing conversations between him and Victor. It is: "Light, Bright, Damn Near White: Stories and Reflections of a Multi-Racial Black Man's Battles Against Racism in America”   

To join from a distance use Zoom Meeting ID 204-739-752, or by phone 669 900 6833. For help with technical difficulties call 510 655 2830 or email



Saturday, April 25th 


Cara Judea Alhadeff, PhD

(, is a

member of WISR’s Academic Advisory Board and former Professor of Gender and Critical Pedagogy at UC Santa Cruz. She is a fine-art photographer/ video-artist, Iyengar yoga teacher, and author of dozens of books and articles on philosophy, art, gender, ethnic, and cultural studies. Dr. Alhadeff will discuss how activists can live their ethics in order to collectively organize for climate justice. Dr. Alhadeff states that At this juncture of geopolitical,ecological, social, and corporeal catastrophes, we must question and critically reframe supposed solutions such as ‘sustainability,’ the ’Green New Deal,’ and the Renewable Revolution (‘renewable’ energy alternatives to fossil-fuel addicted economies). These relational paradigm shifts must include historical, cross-cultural, and intergenerational perspectives. 

Sudia Paloma McCaleb, EdD is WISR Faculty member and Director of WISR’s EdD Program, formerly of New College of CA is also Director of the Center for Critical Environmental and Global Literacy ( which builds collaborative relationships between Bay Area educators (and beyond) and indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico and Sonsonate, El Salvador. Dr. Paloma McCaleb will present on “The Green New Deal” (GND), a conceptual framework for future legislation in Congress that will address the climate crisis while ensuring that social justice is held paramount during the course of the transition. 

Kyle Bilorusky, BA candidate in “Society and Environment” at UC Berkeley. Kyle has recently assisted Sudia Paloma McCaleb in introducing the Green New Deal at the ethnically diverse Oakland Oakland Tech High School. Previously, Kyle did internships in the office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, at the South Berkeley Community Garden of Pastor Michael Smith of the Center for Food Faith and Justice, and with California Public Interest Research Group, and was mentored by Margaret Gordon, head of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project. Kyle Bilorusky will present insights from his honors thesis on increasing attention to Environmental Justice in secondary school high school curricula. 

To join from a distance use Zoom Meeting ID 204-739-752, or by phone 669 900 6833. For help with technical difficulties call 510 655 2830 or email


! (Continued)

Saturday, May 30th, 10:00am-12:30pm

John Borst, WISR alumnus (Ph.D. dissertation title, The Metaphors We Teach By) invites you to attend a very unique professional development workshop to dialogue with colleagues about your teaching experience, to imagine and create an action plan to transform (or ponder) your teaching practice, and ready your soul for heightened growth, awareness, and professional wellbeing. Persons not employed as a teacher per se may apply workshop learnings to similar or different professional contexts, and/or benefit by understanding how one can support teachers in transforming their profession for the wellbeing of both students and society.

MARRIAGE FAMILY THERAPY (MFT) SEMINARS are for WISR students pursuing an MFT and/or LPCC license. Other interested persons are welcome to attend (on site or by video conference) and receive CEU credit for MFTs and LPCCs, but you must RSVP the faculty member (see email contact info below) in advance. *WISR students not in the MFT program may get CEU credit for no additional charge, others pay $40.  These seminars are typically held at WISR from 10am to 12 or 1pm (as listed) with a short break; often students bring a snack. MFT students must participate in a total of 48 such seminars in order to graduate. These required seminars for our MS program lead to the State of California MFT and LPCC licenses and are now available by telephone conference call and video webinar.  



Saturday, March 7th, April 18th, 10am-1pm 

Ronald Mah, MA, LMFT, PhD, WISR Faculty. 

These workshops will examine the study of the diagnosis, assessment, prognosis and treatment of mental disorders. Included will be a study of the characteristics and dynamics associated with various pathologies, ranging from neurotic styles found among "normal," functioning adults to severe disorders. There will be an examination of different systems of diagnosis, including the current edition of the DSM, and the strategies of treatment associated with these various diagnoses. 

Various approaches to diagnoses as related to varied mental health practices will lead to the concept and practice of differential diagnosis, the impact of co-occurring substance abuse disorders or medical psychological disorders, established diagnostic criteria for mental or emotional disorders, the role of diagnosis in recovery-oriented care, and the treatment modalities and placement criteria within the continuum of care. Diagnosis, including conceptualizations of issues will be linked to conceptualizations and therapeutic approaches and strategies. Subtopics for Seminar IV will include: OCD, Trauma-Stress Related, and Disassociative Disorders;  Somatic Disorders, Feeding & Eating Disorders, Elimination/Sleep-Wake Disorders (and Sexual Dsyfunction and Gender Dysphoria; and Neurocognitive Disorders  if time allows)

To join from a distance on March 7th (IV), use Zoom Meeting ID  129-544-872,

April 18th (V on Personality Disorders), use Zoom Meeting ID 546-760-637,, or by phone, call 669-900-6833. To RSVP or for help with technical difficulties call 510 655 2830 or email or and provide a phone#.

Monthly Series of Seminars (Online/Webinar only; not on site)

Saturdays, March 21st, April 11th 10am-12pm

Rosa Reinikainen, MFT, WISR Adjunct Faculty will lead this group for those MFT and LPCC students and alumni who are pre-practicum, those who are in practicum, and those who have already done their practicum.  We will be discussing issues around therapy practices, including treatment plans, assessments, modalities etc. This is a place for students, interns and associates to discuss their experiences, hopes and ideas and to discuss the world of therapy in a group setting.  This is a monthly seminar where we can discuss any thoughts, ideas or concerns you might have surrounding practicum and therapy practices. Everyone is welcome regardless of where you are at in your learning. 

To join from a distance On March 21st, use the Zoom ID 511 514 811, or by phone, call 669-900-6833.

On April 11th, use the Zoom ID 866-778-489 and link To RSVP or for help with technical difficulties call 510-655-2830 or email and provide a phone# in case of technical difficulties. 


JUNE 12-13, 2020

 WISR Faculty member, Brian Gerrard, PhD will be a keynote speaker at a Two-day International Conference, March 21-22 on UNDERSTANDING YOUTH: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS in Sriperumbudur, India, sponsored by the RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Invitation to Catalogue WISR’s Library! 

We are in the midst of cataloging the books in WISR’s library and need 6 or more people people to volunteer about 4 hours per week for at least several months. Training is provided. Requirements for volunteers include: 1) Be able to read and follow detailed instructions; 2) Have good computer, typing, and internet use skills and 3) Are able to meet with the Librarian on weekends.

Please contact or for more information.



  • For those who are new to WISR, here are some important things to know about WISR seminars and events.

  • All WISR seminars and events are accessible online through the use of Zoom, and they are also concurrently held on site at WISR’s facility in Berkeley, CA, which is on unceded, traditional Ohlone territory.

  • At WISR, we intend to create a learning environment that is safe, and supportive of mutually respectful dialogue and collaboration, and curiosity and openness in learning. [see WISR’s Statement of Non-Discrimination and Affirmation of Diversity Values: --and a portion a portion of which is found under “WISR Core Values Include” below ]

  • At WISR, we welcome people from all walks of life and of many, varied values and political beliefs, who share WISR’s commitment to our affirmation of diversity values.

  • At the beginning of each seminar, we give each participant a minute to introduce themselves, and if they wish, to share a bit about themselves. Those wishing to inform others of the personal pronoun they wish to have used for themselves, are encouraged to do so, when introducing themselves.

  • All WISR seminars and events are recorded, and photos and brief video clips of WISR seminars may be posted on WISR’s website. In addition, the entire video of each seminar is accessible to WISR students, faculty and staff through WISR’s online courses. By participating in a WISR seminar or other event, you are giving WISR permission to use photos or videos of your participation in these seminars and events. However, if you have strong concerns about a particular portion of the seminar in which you made comments, you may, within 24 hours, request that we remove that portion of your comments. (For more details, go to:


Developing a multicultural, inclusive perspective. This means developing and using multicultural perspectives to inform one’s purposes, and one’s views of social issues and challenges and opportunities in one’s chosen fields or arenas of endeavor—profession, workplace, community.

  • Developing a sense of empathy, compassion and community toward, and with others.

  • Appreciating and understanding the broad spectrum of perspectives and consciousness, and how those arise out of people’s culture, gender, economic background, religious and sexual orientation.

  • A culture of learning that respects and promotes the dignity of every person.

  • The belief that no individual or group may rightfully prosper at the expense of others.

  • The use of language that conveys respect for persons whose gender identity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, economic background, or political interests may differ from our own.

Prospective students and Community Learners are invited to attend these seminars. Contact WISR if you need a ride from the BART or want to carpool. 

Copyright © 2020 Western Institute for Social Research, All rights reserved.

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