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Valerie Borum

Dr. Valerie Borum

Director, School of Social Work
EducationPhD, MSW, LMSW
OfficeEPH-200B
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 544580
Areas of ExpertiseThe role of ethnoculture as a promotive/protective factor in health, mental health and disability; Families of colour of D/deaf and hard of hearing children; Anti-racism and the implications of Whiteness; Anti-racism; Womanism/Black Feminism; Afrocentric research and scholarship

Dr. Borum, Director, School of Social Work, came to Ryerson University in January 2020.  She has experience as both a BSSW Program Director and an MSW Program Director. As a social work practitioner, she directed two programs, supervising social work and human services professionals serving persons with disabilities and intersecting identities. Her research and scholarship focus on the role of ethnoculture as a protective and promotive factor in health, mental health, and disability, with attention to Black/African Americans. She also studies the intersection of disability, deafness, and ethnoculture, with attention to Black/African Americans and Afro-Latinx/Black Hispanics families with deaf and hard of hearing children.  Dr. Borum completed her post-doctoral studies (e.g., focus on suicide and ethnoculture) at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine, Rochester, NY. Dr. Borum received her Ph.D. in Social Work from Howard University, School of Social Work and her MSW from Gallaudet University. She received the Ester Ottley Fellowship, a one-year internship for one female student who most exemplifies qualities of leadership and humanity while at Howard University. While studying at Gallaudet University for her Master’s in Social Work, all of her instruction was in American Sign Language (ASL). She received her B.A. in Psychology with minors in Biology and Philosophy from Mundelein Women’s College at Loyola University, Chicago, IL. Dr. Borum is currently conducting research with a focus on advocacy and families of color (visible racialized minoritized groups) as a research collaborator/consultant with Laurent Clerc National Deaf Educational Research Center at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.  As PI for the Title IV-E Training Child Welfare grant and The CH Foundation Professional Practice Fellowships in Graduate Social Work, Dr. Borum continues to seek external funding for her research.  Dr. Borum was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • 2019-2021 Title IV-E Child Welfare Agency/University Partnership ($240,000) Role: Principal Investigator 
  • 2018-2019 The CH Foundation Professional Practice Fellowships ($32,000) Role: Principal Investigator 
  • 2018-2021 Families of Color and Deaf Children Advocacy Project Gallaudet University/Laurent Clerc National Deaf Educational and Research Center Role: Research Consultant/Collaborator
  • 2012 – 2013 Understanding the Socio-Cultural Role of Ethnic Culture as a Protective and Promotive Factor against Suicide among African American Women: Womanist Implications for Public Health and Public Policy Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago Role: Principal Investigator ($7,000) 
  • 2012 African Americans’ Perceived Socio-Cultural Determinants of Suicide: Afrocentric Implications for Public Health Disparities Faculty Research Scholarship Support Program, University of Illinois at Chicago, ($1,000) 
  • 2009 - 2012 RFA-CD-09-001, Research to Practice: Translating Research through Health Promotion, Prevention and Preparedness, Across Two Settings Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Role: Co-Principal Investigator and Co-Evaluator ($1,349,659) Note: Grant accepted and approved. However, due to insufficient funds (H1N1 Pandemic), the grant was not funded. 
  • 2009-2010 Exploration of Culturally-Relevant Protective Factors Against Suicide Among African American Young Adults Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago Role: Principal Investigator ($4,000) 
  • 2007-2010 University of Illinois at Chicago Minority Faculty Research Grant An Exploration of Culturally-Relevant Protective Factors Against Suicide Among African Americans Role: Principal Investigator ($30,000)
  • 2007-2009 The Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues: Promoting Pluralism and Academic Freedom on Campus Role: Co-Investigator ($100,000) Note: Not Funded 
  • 2006-6007 Fordham University Faculty Research Development Fund Perceived Suicidal Risk, Support, Help Seeking, and Utilization of Mental Health Services Among African American College Students: An Afrocentric Theoretical Approach Role: Principal Investigator ($4,000.00)
  • Borum, V. (in press). Invited. Rocks in my pockets (Signe Baumane, 2014) and The S Word (Lisa Klein, 2017). Films for the Feminist Classroom. 
  • Borum, V. (2014). African Americans’ perceived sociocultural determinants of suicide: Afrocentric implications for public health disparities. Social Work in Public Health, 29, 7, 656-670. 
  • Borum, V. (2012). Perceptions of communication choice and usage among African American hearing parents: Afrocentric cultural implications for deaf and hard of hearing children. American Annals of the Deaf, 157, 1, 7-15. 
  • Borum, V. (2012). African American women’s perceptions of depression and suicide risk and protection: A womanist exploration. Affilia: Journal of Social Work and Women, 1- 12. 
  • Borum, V. (2011). Faces at the bottom of oppression. Society without Borders: Human Rights and the Social Sciences. 
  • Borum, V. (2008). African American parents with deaf children: Reflections on Spirituality. JADARA, Journal of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association, 41, 3, 207- 226. 
  • Borum, V. (October-December 2007). African American mothers with deaf daughters: A womanist conceptual framework. Families in Society, 88, 4, 595-604. 
  • Borum, V. (2007). Why we can’t wait! An Afrocentric perspective in working with African American families. Special Issue on African-American Perspectives. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 15, 2/3, 117-135. Also simultaneously published in Hall, J. C., & Bowie, S. L. (Eds.). African American behavior in the social environment: New perspectives. New York: Haworth. 
  • Borum, V. (2007). African Americans, U.S. poverty, and international law: An Afrocentric cultural transformation. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 15, 1, 99-120. Borum, V. (2006). Perceptions and responses to deafness among African American families with deaf children. JADARA, Journal of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association, 37, 3, 1-27. · 10 · 
  • Borum, V. (2006). The practice of teaching concepts of ‘race’ and ethnicity: An Afro-feminist perspective. Monograph— UK: The Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, part of the Higher Education Academy. 
  • Borum, V. (2006). Reading and writing Womanist poetic prose: African American mothers with deaf children. Qualitative Inquiry, 12, 2, 1-13. 
  • Borum, V. (2006). Where’s the poetic justice? African American parents’ view of an American deaf community. Quality Report, 10, 4, 703-717. 
  • Borum, V. (2004). African American families with deaf children: A review of the literature. JADARA, Journal of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association 37, 1, 1-24. JADARA Best Article Award for 2003- 2005 Book Chapter(s) 

Peer-Reviewed Journal Manuscripts In Review and/or In Progress 

  • Borum, V. (in review). Examining African American women’s perceptions and beliefs regarding mental health services and depression care: A Womanist organizing framework. 
  • Borum, V. (in review). Gun violence and the disparate impact of culture: Whose lives matter? 
  • Borum, V. (preparing to submit). Toward an Afrocentric public health framework: Making a space for African American humanity. 
  • Borum, V. (in preparation) Evidence-based practice paradigm and threats to validity: When universal cultural assumptions go unchallenged.