Social worker's homelessness research showcased on Joe Strummer Day on CJAM

It seems only fitting that Debra Hernandez-Jozefowicz would be the featured guest on a radio show on CJAM on the same day the station is paying tribute to Joe Strummer, the former front man of the pioneering British punk band The Clash.

Not only does she conduct research on youth homelessness, an issue that was near and dear to Strummer’s heart, but she even quoted him in her own PhD dissertation.

“My dissertation was on high school drop-outs, another group of at-risk youth, so the quote was ‘Should I stay or should I go now/If I go there will be trouble, but if I stay it will be double,’” she said.

Strummer died at the age of 50 on Dec. 22, 2002 but left behind a legacy of musical and political activism. Under the direction of program director Vernon Smith, CJAM declared Dec. 22 as Joe Strummer Day to draw attention to the issue of poverty in the station’s listening area of Windsor and Detroit. All of the shows on that day will be linked to Strummer’s music and the causes he supported.

“This is now our mission every Dec. 22 — to get the world to listen to Windsor-Detroit poverty issues,” said Smith. “We marry that mission with the music of Joe Strummer because so much of his songbook examines the connection between poverty and oppression.”

Prior to arriving at the University of Windsor’s School of Social Work, Hernandez-Jozefowicz conducted research on homeless youth in downtown Detroit while she was still a professor at Wayne State University.

Hernandez-Jozefowicz will talk about that research and how she plans to expand on it here in Windsor when she appears tomorrow on Research Matters, a weekly talk show that airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on 99.1 FM.




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