Strengthening Communities to Improve Lives

Summer 2018

We recently lost one of our heroes and a co-founder of Adler University, Harold Mosak. This issue of Social Change is dedicated to him and his legacy. In a future issue, we will explore his impact on our University and in the world.

Dr. Mosak and his colleagues founded Adler University with the principle of Gemeinschaftsgefühl, that our health resides in our community life. Alfred Adler encouraged practitioners to be activists for social change to improve their clients’ and communities’ well-being. That recommendation remains as essential today as it was more than 100 years ago.

This issue of Social Change highlights how our alumni, students, and faculty are strengthening communities through word and deed. We are embedding students in community organizations, advocating for policy changes, sharing views on social justice reforms, and much more.

A great example of our approach to community support and social justice is described in the feature story about the opioid epidemic, which has become an alarming public health crisis in the USA and Canada. Our alumni, faculty, and students are approaching the crisis as socially responsible practitioners, translating their values into action.

We challenge public perceptions of drug users, knowing that drug use is not an individual failing and that society’s main response to drug addiction—judgment and punishment—isn’t effective at helping people or making communities safer and healthier. We support people who use drugs as they address trauma or set goals to improve their lives. We examine the social determinants of opioid use, as well as the societal systems and structures that harm drug users and their families. We advocate for innovative program and policy solutions that benefit entire communities.

Our collective efforts have an impact across many communities. Together, we are advancing a more just society.

Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D.