13th annual Grief Seminar to focus on diversity of grief experiences


Event: 13th annual Grief Seminar: “Creating Community by Embracing Diversity”
Date and Time: Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: College Mennonite Church
Cost: $65 registration, $30 for students/retirees ($80/$40 after Sept. 16) (includes lunch, resources and continuing education certificate)
Sponsored by: Goshen College Social Work Education Program and Ryan’s Place. For more information or to register: visit ryansplace.org

The 13th annual Grief Seminar, “Creating Community by Embracing Diversity,” will take place on Friday, Sept. 23 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at College Mennonite Church on the Goshen College campus. Participants will explore the diversity of grief experiences through types of loss, as well as the diversity of people experiencing grief.

Gilberto Perez, Jr.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Gilberto Perez, senior director of intercultural development and educational partnerships at Goshen College. Perez’s keynote will focus on how a welcoming environment for Latino immigrants was created in the midst of cultural and life adjustments, loss, and integration. Prior to joining the faculty at Goshen College, Gilberto served as a mental health administrator at Northeastern Center. He is the author of a national recognized mental health promotion program for Latino immigrants.

Other guest speakers will share about how to effectively support Latino immigrants that experience loss and at the same time desire connections and relationships with their new friends and community.

Panelists and workshop presenters include:

  • Aileac Deegan, executive director at Ryan’s Place
  • Gabriela Tovar, English learners academic advisor at Goshen High School
  • Daragh Deegan, aquatic biologist for City of Goshen
  • Thavisith Mounsithiraj, pastoral staff at Maple City Chapel
  • Simelwe Dlova, student at Goshen College
  • Jami Presswood, social worker with Elkhart Community Schools
  • Jennifer Miller, clinical social worker
  • Kristin Buller, social worker
  • David Labrum, art counselor for Center for Hospice Care
  • Nel Warkentin, transitional coach and mediator
  • Kelly Sauder Neff, mediator and facilitator at the Center for Community Justice

The seminar is especially recommended for social workers, educators, counselors, therapists, nurses, clergy and other human service professionals. Continuing Education Units are available for mental health workers, funeral home directors, social workers, marriage and family therapists.

Workshop sessions include “The Grief Cycle with Children and Teens Experiencing the Divorce Process,” “Therapy in Color: Using Coloring as a Therapeutic Tool,” Coping with the Loss of a Beloved Pet,” “Maggie’s Story” and “Grief Associated With Incarceration.”

Seminar schedule:

8 a.m. – Registration
8:30 a.m. – Welcome
8:45 a.m. – Opening Session, Keynote Speaker
10 a.m. – Break
10:15 a.m. – Panel Discussion: “Loss through immigration and relocation”
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Lunch
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Workshop Sessions
1:45 – 2:45 p.m. – Workshop Sessions
2:45 p.m. – Break
3 – 3:45 p.m. – Concluding Session

The cost for registration before the early registration deadline on Sept. 16 is $65 for the general public ($80 after the deadline) and $30 for students ($40 after deadline). Online registration is available at ryansplace.org.

The registration fee includes lunch, snacks, a resource notebook and a continuing education certificate.

For further seminar information contact the Goshen College Social Work Department at (574) 535-7400 or e-mail carolaj@goshen.edu. Or visit www.goshen.edu/sowk for more information and to register online.