Image by Chris Copelin, MSW ’20
Visioning Our Collective Alternative Liberation (VOCAL) SP2 is focused on building knowledge of community-led efforts to pursue a just redistribution of power, resources, and access in Philadelphia. As a collective, we are member-led, member-inspired, and member-driven. We invite community members to participate through sharing events, information, and resources in pursuit of these goals, and to attend our next general and/or planning meeting or VOCAL sponsored events.
Formerly the Criminal Justice Bloc (CJB) at SP2, VOCAL reflects a name and mission aligned with members’ emergent visions of liberation related to the criminal legal system. In our first year of formation in the 2019-2020 school year, we hosted an opening potluck. People gathered over shared food to engage in a community conversation about what abolition looks like, prompted by watching a video about abolition created by VOCAL members.
Members also contribute to and spread the word about various community organizations and initiatives, including the Youth Advocacy Project (YAP), Walk-In Re-Entry Services (WIRES) Clinic, Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration (CADBI), Youth Participatory Defense Hub, Philadelphia Community Bail Fund,Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW), Asians for Social Justice (ASJ), Social Work Advocates for Immigrants and International Rights (SWAIIR), New Sanctuary Movement (NSM) of Philadelphia, Caucus of Working Educators (CWE), and PHILLY THRIVE.
WIRES is the Walk In Reentry Services Clinic run by SP2 volunteers through VOCAL. WIRES offers brief case management on a walk-in basis for individuals who have experienced incarceration. Support services include referrals to services, strategic planning for short and long term goal attainment, and resume review. The clinic seeks to enable SP2 student involvement in the criminal justice service community, providing students with experience or interest in criminal justice to apply their skills, and further develop their expertise. WIRES is held every Tuesday evening from 5:30-7:30 at the People’s Paper Co-Op 2558 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA. 19133. For more information email email@example.com. SP2 students interested in signing up to staff the clinic can do so here.
To find out more information, forward along community events to other VOCAL members, learn about how you can get involved, or for the date of our next meeting, please contact our planning committee at firstname.lastname@example.org, and someone will get back to you and add you to the listserv. Feel free to also reach out to the following members of our planning committee.
Hannah Prativa Spielberg
Maggie Ann Simpson
VOCAL Staff Advisor/GRI
Ruth Shefner, MPH, MSW
For resources on critical and radical social work, please feel free to visit and add to this ongoing document: Critical and Radical Social Work Media Resource List.