Today, at the University of Washington School of Social Work graduation, Ramona Beltran delivered an inspiring and amazing keynote speech. Ramona received her PhD after writing a dissertation entitled Bark made rope, roots made baskets: an integration of space/place, historical trauma, and embodiment as it impacts cardiovascular health in indigenous communities (2010). Ramona, also a dancer, has at times wished she could dance her dissertation.
Ramona’s speech related the journey of social work to a dance movie, drawing back to her love of dance. In that to really do the dance a dancer must embody a dance. To do the mambo, you have to feel the mambo. To do the hard work of social justice, one must embody justice.
In the end, she had a surprise for everyone.