Kerri Shaw, a 1998 and 2004 graduate of Ohio University and field director for the social work program in OHIO’s College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP), was recently featured as part of The Aspen Institute’s Weave:The Social Fabric Project.
Shaw’s impact within the Athens community and its surrounding area via her efforts in CHSP’s Department of Social Work made her a natural selection to become part of the Weave project — a community of people with the goal of replacing loneliness, division and distrust with relationships, community and purpose. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization with a mission of fostering leadership based on enduring values to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
Shaw, MSW, LISW-S, was interviewed for the project and, in early 2019, a short video was released. In the interview, Shaw discusses her roles in the community as a field director and a local activist.
“We’re all connected in ways that we bring value to the table no matter what level we are,” she says on the video. “Seeing success in other people has definitely reinforced what I do. Knowing that I can affect change on an individual basis and on a family basis and on a community level, that’s real success.”
As part of the project, Shaw participated in a dinner event with 25 people from various walks of life who conduct community-based works. Through conversation prompts, the participants learned how others defined community and how everyone plays a role in building community.
“I was really pleased with the video,” Shaw said. “I thought they did a nice job of capturing why I value social capital. I’m using that social capital in a lot of different ways. It connects to the work that I’m doing her with students in addition to the work that I do within the community.”
“I’m excited to see my work being highlighted in a different way and being really valued,” she added. “The part that really resonated for me was my love of Athens and the Athens community. It’s amazing to know that you have this network of people that support you and your work.”