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Social Work Professor to Launch 'Lived Experience Project: Being Black in America' on FB Live  

The minors

The Minors, Aaron, Simone and Sheldon.

Professor Widian Nicola, D.S.W., LCSW, is set to launch a Facebook Live series that will discuss weekly the "lived experience" of Black Americans.

Nicola, a Palestinian-American who emigrated from Galilee to the United States with her parents when she was eight years old, is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Seton Hall and was recently elected the first Arab-American president of the National Association of Social Workers NJ.

In 2016 Nicola launched the "Lived Experience Project," a podcast series that "explores unique and evocative narratives rarely heard in mainstream media." Each season focuses on a lesser known and marginalized population and how these oral histories unveil the often complex nature of the shared human condition.

The first season of her "Lived Experience Project" podcasts dealt with the realities of life in America for undocumented immigrants — using oral histories and storytelling as a means of conveying the day-to-day lives of men, women and children living in the United States without the benefit of legal status.

The second season, dealing with the impact of climate change on individuals, is forthcoming, but has been put on hold to now address the impact of race and racism in America.

"To effectuate real and lasting change, dialogue on race in America will ultimately have to be more than rally cries and protest," said Nicola. "And after nearly 20 years as a social worker, I am more than ever convinced that the most profound way to connect to a cause and to people is through narrative: stories bare with complexity and raw with truth of our fellow human beings. And that is exactly what we hope to broadcast through "Lived Experience: Being Black in America."

The first episode will be broadcast on Facebook Live on Saturday, June 13, at noon. It will feature an interview with Shelton, Simone and Aaron Minor, and "a raw and frank discussion of what it’s like to be a black family in America." Respectively, a photographer/film maker, an RN and a college student, the Minors live in Central New Jersey. Simone and Shelton grew up in Harlem and have been together more than 30 years, married for 24.

Episodes of the "Lived Experienced Project: Being Black in America," will be broadcast weekly through both Zoom and Facebook and can be accessed via Zoom and Facebook.

"Stories are a bridge," said Nicola. "And in America, race relations to date have been a bridge too far. In creating this live platform, I hope that black voices can be amplified and that stories of courage, love, family, identity, and commitment to justice will find a home in our hearts."

Categories: Arts and Culture

For more information, please contact:

  • Michael Ricciardelli
  • (908) 447-3034
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